After a whirlwind tour of various Japanese onigiri, let’s take a gander at culinary influences from the Korean peninsula, the insular country’s western neighbors across the Sea of Japan:
The Japanese on the right column mentions that Korean seaweed (海苔・のり/nori) is used, and on the left column, that chili peppers (唐辛子・とうがらし・tow-gara-shee) are present.
This was my favorite of the three choices today, with the lightly salted seaweed being a good reason for that. (OK, don’t tell anyone, but I prefer snacking on Korean 김, or gim.)
Super spicy squid kimchi with chili oil (激辛いかキムチラー油/げきから いか キムチ ラーゆ/geki kara eeka kimuchi raayu).
As alluring at it sounded to me, it was disappointing. That’s likely because chili oil in Japan means as spicy as a bell pepper, or a throw pillow.
Bibimbap grilled onigiri (ビビンバ 焼きおにぎり・ビビンバ やき おにぎり・bibimba yahkee oh-nee-gee-ri).
Too sweet. Yes, besides the occasional shishito pepper and wasabi, you may find that Japanese food is not piquant in the least. No matter, sometimes you need to give your stomach lining a rest.
How do these three Korean omusubi sound to you? Have another flavor in mind?