It’s hard not to love onigiri, those handy little triangular parcels of rice and seaweed stuffed with tasty fillings ranging from plum to fish to chicken and more. Onigiri are a ubiquitous snack in Japan, available at every convenience store in a range of varieties for the cost of a few coins. But even though conbini onigiri are usually fresh and tasty, it’s also nice to run across smaller stands and stores selling hand-made onigiri sometimes. Unless you happen to stop by this establishment inside Shinagawa Station in Tokyo – because their onigiri leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to presentation. That is unless you like eating something with a big fish butt hanging out of it…

The onigiri shown in the photograph actually contains an entire mezashi, which are dried sardines strung onto a skewer by their eye sockets and cooked together. They’re actually quite healthy, as sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids and essential calcium. If you can get past the slightly gross way they’re cooked, that is.

▼ How mezashi are usually served.

If you’re not used to the Japanese custom of serving up a whole fish, then the concept of gobbling one down wrapped only in a bit of rice and seaweed might be a bit much. However, it seems that even Japanese netizens were grossed out by the unappetizing presentation of this fishy onigiri:

▲ “Mezashi onigiri from Shinagawa station. It’s a bit too avant-garde.”

▲ “They could have put a bit more effort into the presentation… Maybe they’re going for the ‘direct’ approach, but I still wouldn’t buy this.”

If you’re not sold on the cold fishy onigiri, apparently the store in question also sells some more appetizing wares:

▲ ”I can’t resist the allure of the tempura musubi they sell there. I wanna buy five and stuff my face with ’em.”

Other netizens pointed out the similarity to Korean dish Sukekiyo-don, which comprises several sardines face-down in a bowl of rice.

▼ Hmm, staring into a bowl of fish butts really works up an appetite…NOT

Whatever your thoughts on whole fish, it’s hard to deny that eating them butt-first is anything other than a little gross. Then again, would it really be any better if it was the head poking out to say hello? Somehow, we doubt it.

Source: Hamusoku
Images: Hamusoku, Wikimedia Commons (Kossy@FINEDAYS),