Looking for a quick lunch that is easy to make, yet addictively delicious? Well you're in the right place! This Devil's Onigiri is a recreation of a popular rice ball sold at the convenience store chain "Lawson". It's so simple, yet so good! Let's get started!
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What is "Onigiri"?
Every country has their go-to lunch box dish right? Well in Japan it's onigiri!
Onigiri is the Japanese word for "rice ball". They usually come in a rounded triangular shape, but they can also be spherical or cylindrical too.
Onigiri come in lots of different flavours with many different fillings, they're hugely popular and you might have seen them in Japanese TV dramas or anime.
What is "Devil's Onigiri"?
So what is "Devil's Onigiri"? you might ask. Devil's onigiri is a special rice ball only sold in the Japanese convenience store chain "Lawson".
The English name comes from the direct translation of "Akuma no Onigiri" (悪魔のおにぎり).
It was first released in 2018 and proved a massive hit with 200,000 being sold in the first 4 weeks.
This rice ball is packed with flavour and supposed to be "devilishly addictive" as well as "devilishly delicious" "devilishly high calories..."
These days, the word "Devil" is used for a lot of dishes in these contexts.
Variations of Devil's Onigiri
There have been a few different variations of "Devil's Onigiri" released since then.
- Devil's Onigiri (Rice cooked in dashi then mixed with tempura batter and nori seaweed.)
- White Devil's Onigiri (Rice cooked in dashi then mixed with sea lettuce, spring onion and sesame seeds.)
- Black Devil's Onigiri (Seasoned with okonomiyaki sauce and mixed with tempura batter, sea lettuce and spring onions.)
- Gyoza Onigiri (One whole gyoza wrapped in rice and egg.)
As you can see, the Devil's onigiri is simple and yet brimming with flavour, that's what makes them so addictive!
Who is "Akuma de Tanuki Kun"?
You might be wondering about the strange character on the front of the packaging of the Devil's Onigiri. Well, this is Akuma de Tanuki Kun.
He's a Japanese "tanuki" racoon dog with bat wings and devil's horns. You might think it's random, but Japanese characters nearly always have some meaning behind them.
Did you know there are two popular Japanese dishes with "tanuki" in the name?
- Tanuki Udon (Udon noodles topped with bits of tempura batter)
- Tanuki Soba (Soba noodles topped with bits of tempura batter)
It is said that these names came around because the brown fried tempura batter reminded people of the colour of a tanuki's fur.
So, because the devil's onigiri contains the pieces of tempura batter associated with tanuki udon and tanuki soba, a tanuki racoon dog became the mascot for this onigiri!
The great thing about this recipe is all of the ingredients can be made at home! This recipe includes the following:
Onigiri are usually made with short grain white rice, if you are unsure you can just use "sushi rice". We use short grain rice because it's sticky and holds itself together when it's shaped.
Unfortunately if you use other kinds of rice, it's likely to fall apart. Sometimes you can mix different rice or grains into the white short grain rice though.
Japanese people usually use rice that has been cooked in a rice cooker, it's nearly always the perfect texture. But if you don't have a rice cooker, don't worry! We have instructions on how to cook Japanese rice on the stove here.
If you make tempura, don't throw away the crumbs!
Tenkasu (天かす) is the name for those little bits of tempura batter that fall off and float around on the top of the oil.
You can use them in other dishes such as this Devil's onigiri, okonomiyaki or in noodle dishes like udon. They add flavour and texture, you shouldn't waste them and now you have a perfect use for them!
You can buy bags of tenkasu on Amazon.
Aonori is fine powdered version of the nori you'd usually see wrapped around an onigiri. If you don't have any in your cupboard, it's actually very easy to make yourself.
Just pop one sheet of nori in a food processor and blend it up, you'll end up with nori powder which is great for adding flavour to rice.
If you'd rather buy it already made, it's available here on Amazon.
Tsuyu is a concentrated sauce made of the following things:
- Dashi stock
- Soy sauce
As you can see, it doesn't require many ingredients and it's pretty easy to make it too. See our recipe here for the full written article.
Tsuyu helps add extra umami to Japanese cooking so don't leave it out!
Other Onigiri Recipes
If you love onigiri, check out our other recipes too!
- Salted Onigiri
- Salmon and Spring Onion Onigiri
- Tuna Mayo Onigiri
- Soboro Chicken Mince Onigiri
- Yaki Onigiri
- Okaka Onigiri