Wherever you find onigiri, the packs of seasoned rice and tasty pickled things take on many forms: cloaked in a sheet of dried seaweed-like forest-green gift wrap (or, like its emoji, mostly bare and covered with a Post-it-size strip), filled with salty cod roe or morsels of chicken karaage, studded with nutty sesame seeds throughout, or ordered at an izakaya—burnished and lightly griddled.
At two or three bucks a pop, onigiri have become such a food of convenience for me that I’d never considered making them at home. They are cheap, and there’s really nothing that should stand in the way of my grab-and-go habit. But making my own bare-bones onigiri was a low-lift project worth tackling. All I needed was a fistful of still-warm rice from my cooker and seasoning from my pantry.