Onigiri Wrapped in Marinated Meat Makes for a Great Snack

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Sorano Uemi

In this column, I will introduce you to a local specialty cuisine of Miyazaki Prefecture called nikumaki onigiri, which is a rice ball wrapped with slices of raw pork that is then grilled in an oven.

The pork slices are soaked in a soy sauce-based marinade. The taste complements the rice very well and is so delicious.

I heard this dish was initially made as a meal for employees at an izakaya Japanese-style pub in Miyazaki City.

Nikumaki onigiri are sold not only in stores, but also from food trucks.

There are many different variations, and I like the cheese-flavored one best, which should be no surprise as I recommended cheese-topped, hot-style noodles called karamen that I introduced before.

When I’m a little bit hungry, I eat a whole one as a snack. I remember eating nikumaki onigiri on Aoshima Island in Miyazaki Prefecture as I basked in the winds blowing from the sea.

Because this morsel is good for eating while walking, I want people to tuck into one as they enjoy the Miyazaki air when they visit the prefecture.