Onigiri: one-hand sushi sandwich

Two onigiri waiting to be opened

Two onigiri waiting to be opened

I love the Japanese! They invented one of my fave Jax Snax on the Go-Go hunger busters! Onigiri: it’s like a sushi sandwich with a variety of savory fillings including salmon, tuna, cod roe, plum, etc. Just follow the three steps on the packaging to release the seaweed wrapper from the plastic cover that protects it from the rice and you get a triangle of sushi rice (about one cup in size), freshly wrapped in seaweed (by you—clever) and munch away. You don’t even need soy sauce since the filling is seasoned, but you can always request a packet. Oh, they are also C-H-E-A-P!

Between $1.50 - 2.00 at Cafe Zaiya, where they are made fresh and kept at room temp since they turn over quickly—or at least one hopes they do… You can get them at other places like Sunrise Mart, but those are pre-wrapped and refrigerated. The cold temperature makes them potentially safer to eat, but it also makes the rice hard and the seaweed soft, since it’s touching the rice, killing the texture combo I love. I prefer to take my life in my hands at places that make them and leave them out. I have never had a problem with them.

I had them first in Australia, in the early 90’s and thought, “This is genius! So much easier than trying to balance a take-out tray o’ sushi while you are walking down the street.”

They make great sense if you are on a gluten-free diet, as there are not a lot of quick, wheat-less things to snack on while you are traipsing around the city. They are also called omusubi and I fantasize about one day eating my way around Tokyo trying the incredible varieties that are available there.

Jax Snax BONUS: if you get them at Zaiya’s midtown location, 40th between 5th and Madison, they have Beard Papa cream puffs, too—two awesome snacks under one roof!

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