Spicy Fried Rice and Pork Onigiri

Brand: Family Mart

Cost: 195 yen

Found At: Family Mart

This onigiri talks a big game. It’s from the Family Mart’s “man food” line – a randomly curated collection of ready-meals that seem to assume that women do not like meat. This one seems to have made the cut because of its extreme spiciness – a fact that is warned about in two languages and the international language of three cute, but insistent, chilis depicted on the packaging. With the red and black caution tape motif and the word ‘HOT!’ stamped all over the wrapping in capital letters, there is no way for a delicate young flower of womanhood like myself to accidentally pick up this onigiri while shopping for white rice, vanilla ice cream, and white bread.

But don’t be fooled by the Family Mart marketing department. To say that this is spicy is to stretch the word to its absolute limit. Clearly, a chili was involved somewhere along the line – perhaps waved in the vicinity of the sauce or referenced in a very loud voice in the test kitchen – but it is not, as the packaging may have you believe, a central player in the overall flavor. That being said, the marinated pork in the center of this onigiri is really delicious. Kimchi bacon is the best way I can describe it, and that does not give enough credit to the sweet and salty and tomato-y flavor that makes this onigiri unique to the onigiri I’ve had in Japan. If it was marketed as “really delicious kimchi-like pork onigiri” I’d be completely on board. As it’s marketed as “spicy,” I have to call bullcrap.

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