Pork Tamago Onigiri: ポークたまごおにぎり

ポーク po-ku: pork

たまご tamago: egg

おにぎり onigiri: riceball

In this case, “pork” refers to spam. As any good Hawaiian will tell you, spam is most definitely an appropriate filling for musubi/onigiri (riceballs wrapped in nori/seaweed). They are eaten for breakfast, a quick snack, lunch, whenever. Here in Okinawa, people feel the same way. So that’s where this cute little shop called Pork Tamago Onigiri comes in– super fresh onigiri with spam, cooked in front of you.

Now, I don’t eat pork. But my husband does. When he heard about this shop he wanted to try it, so since we were in Naha, off we went towards the Makishi Market area to find it. The shop is located in an alley off the Makishi Market area and not hard to find at all; I remembered passing it a few times before while I was in Naha and wondering why so many people line up for spam onigiri.

It was a Sunday morning, but luckily there were only a few people ahead of him in line. He chose the spicy carrot, egg, and spam onigiri (it is called supaishi ninjin shiri-shiri スパイシー人参しりしり on the menu). I think the menu had English to some degree, and at least pictures, so it is not difficult to order. It took about 15 minutes until his order was ready; they were back there cooking and assembling… everything is made fresh to order! It was actually a pretty huge serving and my husband quite enjoyed it. This is not your typical conbini onigiri that has been sitting on the shelf for a few hours. Needless to say, now I know why it is always so busy at the small shop! They are even opening a branch at the Naha Airport~~ if you are a spam-lover, definitely check out of these shops.

address: https://goo.gl/maps/a2q3tf49dSL2

Mochikibi Onigiri: もちきびおにぎり

More of Island mama’s home-cooking (part 1). This time another recipe from one of the islands in Okinawa prefecture, Tonaki-jima 渡名喜島.

Mochikibi もちきび: millet.

Onigiri おにぎり: rice ball.

So mochikibi onigiri is rice ball with millet mixed in; it is very healthy! This recipe is from Tonaki-jima, off the coast of Okinawa main island, but it is seen everywhere (and perhaps some places on the mainland of Japan!). Mochikibi is one of the specialty products from Tonaki-jima.

Recipe? Well… I mean, it is just onigiri! There really are not any tricks to this recipe. What you need:

-rice (white, but you could use other types)
-mochikibi, 1.5 tbsp
-a little salt (to taste)

Wash rice, add to rice cooker with mochikibi and add required amount of water for you rice cooker (note: if you are Hawaiian, you just do the first knuckle test for adding water). Cook according to rice cooker. Mix in a little salt, make sure the mochikibi is evenly distributed in the rice, let cool for a bit, and form your onigiri. Finished. Usually this is served a bit chilled or room temperature, perfect for bento or quick snacks.


Riceballs: おにぎり/おむすび

おにぎり onigiri, also called おむすび omusubi, are rice balls. Onigiri are a common item for Japanese lunch boxes, called bento 弁当. You can find onigiri at every bento stand and conbini; Lawsons and FamilyMart usually have 20 different types lined up in the refrigerated section, with a variety of fillings from plain salt to tuna to spam with egg.

For my lunch, I went to a vegetarian-friendly market and picked up an onigiri-bento. It came with 2 onigiri: one wrapped in shiso leaf with nori (seaweed) sprinkles (also known as furikake ふりかけ), and one with shoyu and ginger (and probably some other things); it also came with something shaped like onigiri but with pickled plum/shiso and purple sweet potato (and maybe okara, aka soy leavings, but I am not a hundred percent sure). There was a delicious side of pickled carrot and daikon, mini tomatoes, and potato salad. I also bought a delicious vegan strawberry and poppyseed muffin for dessert. Everything was really tasty, so if you are in Okinawa, be sure to stop by HappyMore Farmers Market in Nakagusuku.