Onigiri is a triangular rice ball made from Japanese rice and wrapped in seaweed.
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Finger-eating onigiri has landed in Finland as well.
The merchant from Citymarket in Järvenpää who once started the sushi boom in Finland Markku Hautala says that it is now everywhere in Japan.
– I was in Japan in the summer a year ago and I wondered what was happening here. There were onigiri for sale everywhere and onigiri factories were built there, says Hautala.
Onigiri is one of Japan’s most popular snacks because it’s easy to take with you.
Finns have also noticed the same, because Raito, the sushi kiosk that opened at the Helsinki Central Station at the end of August, sells the most onigiri.
– In this place, onigiri are sold more than basic sushi, Hautala continues.
Raito sushi is a collaboration between Järvenpää Citymarket and restaurant industry group Restel. The sushi is made by the staff of Järvenpää Citymarket and from the ingredients of Järvenpää Citymarket. All sushi is made in Raito’s own kitchen.
The offer is a reduced version of Järvenpää Citymarket’s sushi selection.
– These are our secret recipes. They are not taught to anyone. It took us seven years to do this, Hautala laughs.
A goodwill ambassador for Japanese food Norio Tomidan says at Raito’s press conference that the most important ingredient in sushi is rice.
Just like wines, sushi rice doesn’t taste the same if it’s grown outside of Japan. Japanese rice varieties are cultivated in Italy and Spain, among others.
– The soil greatly affects the taste of the rice, Tomidan states.
In addition to rice, soy is an important part of sushi. Good and bad soy can be recognized by the fact that bad soy tastes like salt. Instead, the taste of fermented soy is roundly soft.
By the way, rice should not be dipped in soy. Because “rice is the soul of sushi” and that would be an insult to rice. Rice is an important raw material and making it is laborious, so its taste should not be covered. Soy also softens and breaks down the rice, says Tomidan.
He consoles that sushi can also be eaten with clean fingers. Sometimes turning the sushi with chopsticks so that the rice does not hit the soybeans is difficult.
Onigiri are filled with many different fillings. Raito’s most popular filling is tuna, but salmon, shrimp or Wakame seaweed salad can be an alternative.