We find out if gyoza onigiri is the match made in heaven everyone is expecting.

Rice balls (onigiri) are a tried-and-true fixture in the Japanese snack and lunchtime scene. With so many varieties to choose from, such as salmon and fish butts, you sometimes feel as though you’ve seen them all.

But them are fightin’ words to Japan’s convenience stores who continue to push the envelope so hard you’d think it was a commuter boarding a rush hour train in Tokyo. Monstrosities such as bacon cheeseburger rice balls and full bento rice balls have shocked the eyes and delighted the tasted buds, and our newest contender is none other than Gyoza Rice!

Gyoza rice is brilliant in its simplicity, consisting of gyoza crammed in with a ball of fried rice. What more do you need really?

When news of this innovative snack was released, rice balls fans went wild.

“It is impossible to get more delicious than Gyoza Rice.”
“This stirs feelings deep inside. I love you Gyoza Rice.”
“The moment I saw it, it looked delicious.”
“I want to try it.”
“There isn’t a Ministop near me…”

Indeed, as Ministop is a middle-tier convenience store in Japan, it isn’t quite as prevalent as the big three. As a result I had to walk for 15 minutes before I could get to one, passing about a dozen Lawsons, Family Marts, and 7-Elevens on the way, which should give you some indication of how densely packed urban areas are with convenience stores these days.

Thankfully, the Ministop I found wasn’t hit by the ravenous netizens quoted above yet and I managed to grab a pair of Gyoza Rice for 160 yen (US$1.51) each.

After getting them home and microwaving for about a minute I unwrapped the first one. It had a handy peel-away strip separating the plastic wrapper into two. Although often overlooked on other onigiri, this is an important feature on the Gyoza Rice because as you can imagine it’s quite greasy.

However, you’ve probably spotted a major design flaw with the Gyoza Rice. It separates legnthwise across the gyoza. Unless you’re one of the 0.01 percent of the population who likes to eat gyoza that way, it’s rather uncomfortable. Also, it’s hard not to have it squeeze out of the package altogether, leaving you with a wad of plain old fried rice.

In the next one I decided to go commando, but of course my fingers became glistening with oil. The grease didn’t do the structural integrity of the rice ball any favors either, and it quickly degraded into a regular serving of fried rice and gyoza which I ate with my hands like some kind of bonobo.

Design issues aside, the Gyoza Rice tasted fantastic. Granted, it’s pretty hard to screw up fried rice and gyoza but they clearly put thought into the flavoring. The soy-sauce is richer than usual, which would get tiring on a regular dish of fried rice, but in the smaller rice-ball format it works really well.

The thicker seasoning also helped it to piggyback the garlicky taste of the gyoza very well.

So, while Ministop’s Gyoza Rice gets an A+ for flavor, simply turning it 90 degrees in the package would do wonders for its manageability. In the meantime, be careful eating one of these grease-balls while using your hands – it’ll make it impossible to perform heart surgery or type up a food rev-a;e(iw

Source: Narinari.com, My Game News Flash
Photos: SoraNews24