One of Japan’s most loved snack foods has got to be onigiri. Both a staple of mom’s home cooking and convenience store cuisine, these little balls of rice wrapped in seaweed come in enough flavors and styles to satisfy everyone. They’re even so delicious they have driven some people to armed robbery.

Personally during these summer months these rice balls are especially satisfying. They’re good because in this intense heat it can be hard to stomach greasier fare like cheeseburgers.

However, now Circle K Sunkus stores have stocked themselves with a Bakudan Musubi Bacon Cheese Hamburg (Pepper Mayo Included). Containing everything in the title and then some, I didn’t hesitate to grab one of these curiosities and try it out.


For those uninitiated with onigiri, they are usually palm sized clumps of rice filled with some delicious ingredients. These fillings can be anything like pickled plum, salmon, fried chicken, shrimp, tuna, kimchi, or a hardboiled egg to name only a few.

They’re usually wrapped in seaweed. To give a sense of scale for later, I also picked up one of my favorite Sunkus varieties of onigiri, the Negitoro Wasabi. It’s a spicy sauce blend with a little bit of chopped green onion.

A lot of convenience store onigiri like to keep the seaweed dried and crispy so they’re wrapped in such a way that the seaweed does not touch the rice until opening. This packaging can be daunting for a first time eater, but it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Just follow the numbers.

Other rice balls are wrapped with the seaweed touching the rice. This makes it soft, moist, and much more straight forward to open. The Bakudan Musubi is one such onigiri.

Bakudan Musubi Bacon Cheese Hamburg (Pepper Mayo Included)

The Bakudan Musubi is unique in a few ways. First it’s considerably more expensive. Generally an onigiri will run you between 100 and 130 yen (US$1 -$1.27), but this one will cost you 298 yen ($2.92). That being said you get about that much more in filling volume.

“Pepper Mayo, Sunny Side Up Style Egg, Cheese, Hamburger, Bacon”

Secondly, this bacon cheeseburger onigiri is microwaveable. Considering what’s inside this seems reasonable but a little odd for these snacks which are usually ready to eat upon purchase. The label above also advises heating for 45 seconds in a 500W microwave.

I heated it to the recommended time and it came out feeling comfortably toasty to the touch. Unfortunately, it probably could have used another five or ten seconds as the inside was a little clammy. Still the ingredients were pretty good all crammed inside the swollen ball of rice. The beef patty was probably the weakest part. It was a slightly gelatinous wad of meat that you might expect from a convenience store, but since this was an ensemble cast of fillings the beef played its supporting role well enough.

The real stars of this flavor packed show were the fried egg and pepper mayonnaise. The egg was cooked just right and nicely runny. The runny yolk ran throughout the rice without making a mess. It also melded with the peppery mayonnaise for a spicy, creamy, and sweet taste all accentuated with the salty seaweed wrapping. The egg and mayo truly elevated the Bakudan Musubi from a mediocre burger to a unique and pretty cool rice ball.

If I had one complaint it would be that the pepper mayo wasn’t evenly distributed inside my onigiri. I didn’t really get the full effect until the final few bites. Otherwise it was a good snack… or meal. I wasn’t really sure which it was meant to be. Although by itself the Bakudan Musubi looks and feels big, when put next to a regular onigiri, it’s actually not insanely large. If you’re planning to have one for a meal you may want to get two or perhaps a sizeable side dish.

Photos: RocketNews24