Pickled plum onigiri is my fave.

We’re not getting into whether we love or hate pickles. I love them. I don’t hate on anyone who dislikes them. Each to their own! The first time I had pickled plum onigiri was maybe in my first time in Japan. Onigiri was one of my first Japanese foods, even before I tried sushi. I ate onigiri when I was in high school and my Japanese class had an excursion and participated in an onigiri-making class. Onigiri are rice balls, usually with a filling of meat or vegetables, and wrapped with a wide sheet of seaweed. 🍙

I came across pickled plum onigiri at a 7-Eleven (or some other convenience store—I don’t remember) on my first trip to Japan. Waiting in the airport with my ex-boyfriend, I was craving a snack and went for it. I could read hiragana and katakana, but I couldn’t quite figure out what the label on the onigiri packaging meant. When I tasted it, I still didn’t quite have any idea what it was until later on. But the slightly sweet, slightly salty taste was delicious.

I have soughed after pickled plum onigiri since. I don’t think it is very common in western countries. If it is out there, I haven’t spotted it yet. I see options for onigiri but the flavours are rarely pickled plum.

Today a couple of people from my team were in the office so we went to an onigiri cafe called Parami. They had pickled plum onigiri. 😁 They also had many other flavours. I chose salmon, and obviously chose pickled plum as well, and ordered a soy green tea latte. I think I will be coming back! 🤤 I have to admit that the pickled plum onigiri wasn’t as good as the salmon one—which was seasoned very nicely—and it wasn’t as good as other ones I’ve had, but I’d still have it again for sure.

A small table with neat paper bags with Japanese rice ball images on them, among some green tea drinks and a citrus drink served on the table.
A close-up of a rice ball with sesame seeds and small pieces of seaweed and plum, in the same setting as the previous photo
Ume means plum in Japanese

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thanks for introducing/reminding about how plum is such a central taste in Japanese and Chinese cuisine.

There are some great pickling methods and techniques and recipes out there.

My first and favourite Japanese food would be sukiyaki.

And we students did try to make sushi.

Seaweed in general is a favourite.

What made the salmon seasoning nice?

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I haven’t tried making my own pickles before but I agree—even kimchi, which I also love, is a pickled food!

I love most Japanese food, but I think my favourite is sushi and ramen. The salmon in the onigiri was salted in a very nice way—not too little and not too much. 👌🏻

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