Ishigaki Island has a few well known specialty foods such as Ishigaki beef and Yaeyama soba noodle, but aside from these delicacies a little-known snack food has been making waves across the nation. They call it onisasa.

Onisasa should be mistaken for some gimmicky new flavor the city of Ishigaki has concocted just to drum up tourism. This little hidden gem had been around for a long time in the region before getting the attention of greater Japan. So just what is onisasa?

It’s quite simple actually. All you need is a chicken tender (sasami furai) sandwiched between two rice balls (onigiri) and wrapped in seaweed. Looking at the Japanese names for the main ingredients, you can see where the name onisasa comes from.

The chicken tender is generally not seasoned. Although you’ll come across some variations they still keep the flavoring as light as possible leaving the main tastes to be chicken, batter, rice, and seaweed.

That being said, onisasa are made and sold all over Ishigaki at lunch counters and supermarkets with each one adding their own unique taste. The one pictured above has a little flavoring added to the rice and the one’s made with cheese are quite delicious.

Perhaps one day onisasa will catch on all over the country and maybe even the world. However, until then if you happen to get out to Ishigaki, be sure to try as many of these awesome snacks as possible.

Original Article by Yuimaru Yui

[ Read in Japanese ]