SM 0

In Japan, rice balls can be flavored with almost anything, so we decided to make some from the most exclusive seasoning of all: salt made from Mr. Sato’s sweat!

If you want to, you can get pretty fancy when making rice balls, called musubi or onigiri in Japanese. Gourmet ingredient choices include unagi (freshwater eel) or ikura (salmon roe), both widely considered delicacies in Japan.

On the other end of the spectrum, though, you’ll find more pedestrian fillings such as salmon or bonito flakes. The most basic rice balls of all, though, are shio musubi, which are just rice balls with a dash of salt.

Simple as they may be, shio musubi can actually be quite refreshing and tasty, especially when made with high-end salt. So in taking the local food movement to its ultimate extreme, we made our own salt, sourced from the sweat of RocketNews24’s intrepid Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato.

SM 1

Step one, of course, was to obtain a sufficiently sized sweat Sato sweat sample. While we could have just cranked up the heat in the office, we instead sent Mr. Sato over to Shinjuku’s Kabukicho, one of Tokyo’s largest bar districts which, like all night life centers in Japan, has a number of saunas. After stripping off his clothes, our reporter spent 10 minutes sitting in the sauna, wiping himself off with a towel as he sweat away. He then stepped out for a two-minute rest before going back in for another 10-minute stint, eventually doing six cycles and thus spending a cumulative hour in the sauna.

He then stuck the towel he’d been using the whole time in a Ziploc bag, brought it back to the office, and wrung it out into a bowl.

SM 2

SM 3

SM 4

Having never made salt from human sweat before, we weren’t entirely sure if we had enough raw material to work with, but we poured what we had into a frying pan, then switched on the burner to cook off the moisture.

SM 5

SM 6

The liquid soon began to bubble, and before long it evaporated, leaving behind a pale powder that had to be salt! Well, we suppose there’s also the chance that there were some granular dirt and other random particles mixed in, but setting aside purity levels, we now had a batch of Sato-sourced sodium.

SM 7

SM 8

After waiting for the pan to cool down, but before making the rice balls themselves, Mr. Sato decided to try his signature seasoning. Since it came from him, it must be perfectly suited to his palate’s natural preferences, right?

So he put a little on his fingertip…

SM 9

…took a lick…

SM 10

…and found out that it had an even stronger salty taste than he’d expected! Mr. Sato described the effect as “condensed salt,” with a concentrated effect similar to condensed milk.

SM 11

Oh, and it also stank like a sweaty Mr. Sato, which maybe we should have expected.

SM 12

But of course, some seasonings only reveal their true deliciousness when they’re used to accent the taste of other foods. So the next order of business was to scrape the salt out of the pan.

SM 13

▼ It was only then that we realized that Sato Salt isn’t white, but a troubling yellow in color.

SM 14

Then, Mr. Sato got to work shaping two rice balls, which was really the only part of this day in the kitchen that wasn’t gross.

SM 15

SM 16

SM 17

Once that was done, Mr. Sato took a pinch of Sato Salt and sprinkled it across the top of his two triangles of rice.

SM 18

Then, it was time for the moment of truth.

SM 19

And the truth was terrible.

SM 20

For a brief split-second of the first bite, the Sato Salt shio musubi tasted like an ordinary salt-seasoned rice ball. The salty tones are punishingly strong, though, and then there’s the smell, and taste, of sweat. And no, you don’t get used to it as the meal goes on. In fact, the more you eat,the harder it becomes to block out the fact that you’re eating crystalized perspiration.

Just to make sure Mr. Sato’s negative reaction wasn’t the result of some subconscious self-preservation mechanism that prevents people from thinking their own body would taste good, Seiji, the bravest of our Japanese-language reporters in the office that day, also agreed to try a lick of Sato Salt in a taste test we recorded.

SM 21

SM 22

SM 23

So in conclusion, yes, you can make salt from your sweat, and yes, you can use it to season musubi. That doesn’t mean you should, though, even if you’re Mr. Sato.

Images: ©RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]