If you’ve lived in Japan, you know that we Japanese love our rice balls, or omusubi as they’re called in Japanese. At every convenience store in Japan, you can find rice balls in every flavor imaginable, from the standard grilled salmon flake omusubi  to more quirky flavors like tempura shrimp or bacon and cheese. But the variety can sometimes make it difficult to choose a flavor from all the options. Well now, you won’t have to settle for just one flavor.

With the new “4 Flavor Rice Ball” – yonshu no omusubi in Japanese – now sold at convenience store chain Family Mart, you can be greedy and have four flavors in one rice ball! There are 2 different types of 4 flavor rice balls available. One type contains salmon from Hokkaido, tuna & mayonnaise, pickled mustard leaf (takana) and flavored seaweed, which would be considered some of the standard ingredients used in rice balls. The other type contains what may be regarded as more adventurous, meat-based ingredients preferred by younger customers – kalbi (korean-style barbecue) beef, char siu (chinese style barbecued pork) & mayonnaise, seasoned ground chicken (tori-soboro) and fried chicken.

The four ingredients are placed separately in different parts of the rice ball, so you actually move on from one flavor to another while you’re  eating the rice ball! That should make for an interesting eating experience.

The rice ball also stands out not just for its multiple flavors but for its size as well – it’s about 1.5 times the size of a regular omusubi, which isn’t surprising considering all the ingredients it contains. The standard type 4 flavor rice ball sells for 170yen (approx. $2.10), and the meat-based type is priced at 190yen ($2.35).

Unfortunately, the 4-flavor rice ball is currently only available at selected stores in Kyoto,Gifu and Osaka Prefectures, particularly in areas where there are high concentrations of university students. They are, however, considering eventually selling the omusubi on a larger scale in more areas across Japan. Hopefully, we’ll be able to try them all over the country. Until then, you may just have to think long and hard about what flavor rice ball to have for lunch.

Source: Mynavi news (Japanese)