Mr. Sato eats seven onigiri without eating a single onigiri.

Previously on Japan’s Best Home Senbero, our Senbero God Mr. Sato traveled to the so-called “big three” convenience store chains: Lawson, 7-Eleven, and Family Mart. However, there are still many second-tier ones to be found, the most well-known of which is arguably Ministop.

One of this store’s strong points is its array of onigiri rice balls for only 100 yen ($0.87) each – much cheaper than the average convenience store. This could very well make for a really good meal of food and alcohol for about 1,000 yen ($8.75), known as a “senbereo” in Japanese. So let’s see how Mr. Sato fared with his purchases!

First, major retailer Aeon owns Ministop, so he was able to go back to their peculiar beer-flavored beverage, Barreal Rich Taste, for 124 yen ($1.08).

Then, he got a spicy cod roe onigiri for 100 yen ($0.87).

And then, he grabbed a pepper steak onigiri, also for 100 yen.

Next, he purchased a tuna (negitoro) onigiri, once again for 100 yen.

After that, he bought a kelp onigiri for – you guessed it – 100 yen.

Also, he picked up a dried ume onigiri, and wouldn’t you know it? That cost 100 yen too.

An onigiri party wouldn’t be complete without the classic salmon variety, and luckily that was 100 yen as well.

Last but not least, he chose a grilled pork onigiri for just 100 yen.

Mr. Sato also bought a pack of dry curry mix for 120 yen ($1.05), which seemed like an odd choice considering all the rice balls he bought.

He then selected a Big Katsu, which is a kind of children’s snack that is meant to resemble and taste like a breaded pork cutlet, but is actually made from highly processed fish meat and sells for 31 yen ($0.27).

And some of Mr. Sato’s best senbero have been capped off by those sticks of puffed corn called Umaibo for 10 yen ($0.09) each, so why not get some again?

Altogether, these 12 items came to 975 yen ($8.53) before tax.

And so, it was time to get this senbero underway. Now, it might appear as though Mr. Sato was overly excited to eat what looks like just a bunch of rice balls.

Mr. Sato: “OH YEAH!!!”

That’s because he…

Mr. Sato: “I have something really special planned!”

Yes, as I was saying…

Mr. Sato: “You aren’t going to believe what I’m about to do!”

Right, these rice balls were really just…

Mr. Sato: “It’s going to knoooooock your socks off!”


Mr. Sato: “…”

Thank you… So, even though it looked like he was about to eat a bunch of rice balls, Mr. Sato simply picked up each one…

…and peeled off the wrappers with expert skill.

Then, he peeled off the seaweed from each one.

Mr. Sato: “Tada!”

And so, he had a plate of seaweed and a plate of unwrapped rice balls.

Mr. Sato: “Have you ever seen such a thing?”

For his next trick, our Senbero God cut each rice ball in half.

This provided clear access to each one’s fillings…

…which he then carefully removed and placed into a separate dish.

It was a very time consuming process but one he assured us would pay off in the end.

Mr. Sato: “It’s finished!”

All of the onigiri fillings looked kind of measly in their dishes like that. This was hardly the hearty senbero Mr. Sato led us to believe he was working on.

Mr. Sato: “Hey, over here! I’m not done yet.”

The Senbero God next shoveled all the emptied out rice balls into a frying pan.

He appeared to be making some kind of stir-fry with it all, but to what end?

Mr. Sato: “Ha! You forgot about this, didn’t you?”

Mr. Sato tore open two packs of the dry curry mix and began dumping it into the frying rice. So that was his plan all along…

Mr. Sato: “Mwahahaha!”

Full of himself with his newfound resourcefulness, the Senbero God maniacally cooked up his dry curry rice.

Mr. Sato: “Stand back! Man at work here!”

The dry curry mix also came with some sauce to blend in for a fuller taste.

And Mr. Sato tossed in some salt for good measure, but mainly so he could do his Salt Bae impression again.

Mr. Sato: “Salt!”

Mr. Sato: “Bae!”

When it was all done, he put his concoction onto a serving dish.

Then he pulled out the Big Katsu. This was all beginning to make sense in a Japan’s Best Home Senbero sort of way.

He started slicing the children’s treat into strips.

However, not being actual pork, it proved much harder than he expected.

Mr. Sato: “The knife’s stuck…”

Mr. Sato: “Seriously, who knew these things were so hard? I guess that’s why people usually don’t cut them up.”

With a little elbow grease, our reporter finally cut through his snack and placed the strips on top of his rice. Mr. Sato’s dry curry katsu was complete!

You have to give him credit; this was pretty creative. It looks like these past months of intense senbero training have really paid off.

Even the toppings didn’t look so bad anymore. On the contrary, they made for a nice assortment of side dishes to go with his main course.

Mr. Sato: “Let’s do this!”

Our reporter took a triumphant swig of his beer-like beverage.

He then picked up a spoonful of dry curry katsu.

Mr. Sato: “Down the hatch!”

However, again the Big Katsu made it very apparent that it wasn’t a real pork cutlet. Even eaten with some fluffy rice, it was very tough and difficult to chew. It was more of an obstruction than a topping.

There was only one thing to do about that…

With renewed courage from his simulated beer, Mr. Sato tried different ways of eating his dish.

Perhaps making it into a kind of dry curry katsu sushi roll might make it more palatable.

Mr. Sato: *gulp*

Mr. Sato: “Ahhh… Why is it so hard?”

Mr. Sato: “…”

Even the onigiri fillings were too small to provide any sort of meaningful solace.

It was a good idea though, and no one can take that away from our Senbero God. At least he had his trustworthy Umaibo to fall back on.

The fact that these things were reliably delicious and around 10 yen, made them an indispensable weapon in the senbero arsenal.

And so, as this senbero came to a close, we should all…

Mr. Sato: “Hey wait a minute. Aren’t we forgetting something?”

I thought I told you not to interr…

Mr. Sato: “Shut up for a second. No, this isn’t right at all… Isn’t this when someone comes in and does something weird?”

I don’t think so. I haven’t seen your little brother since you left him out of your melon party last week.

Mr. Sato: “There he is!”

Mr. Sato: “He’s leaving?”

Mr. Sato: “Wait! I’m sorry! Come back!”

Mr. Sato: “Hey! Don’t you walk out on me! I’m the big brother here.”

Mr. Sato: “It’s time we have a long talk about melons and friendship and what that all means.”

Mr. Sato: “Hey!”

Mr. Sato: “You see, when a man loves another man, he buys a melon and cuts…”

Mr. Sato: “Hey, look at me when I’m talking to you!”

Mr. Sato: “What?! You’re not my brother!”

????: “Häh?”

????: “Mistä sinä puhut? Tuoksut väärennetylle oluttuotteelle.”

Mr. Sato: “Who…are…you? And what have you done to my brother?”

Did some bizarre fate befall Mr. Sato’s brother Masanuki? Or was this just a case of mistaken identity with one of the many other grown men walking around Tokyo in ill-fitting clothes and back-mounted water guns?

Find out next time on Japan’s Best Home Senbero, where the fun never Ministops!

Catch up on all our “Japan’s Best Home Senbero” articles here:
Episode #1 – Lawson Store 100
Episode #2 – Don Quijote
Episode #3 – Costco
Episode #4 – IKEA
Episode #5 – ABS Wholesale Center
Episode #6 – Aeon
Episode #7 – Kaldi
Episode #8 – 7-Eleven
Episode #9 – Milk and Cake for Dogs
Episode #10 – Hanamasa Meat
Episode #11 – Life
Episode #12 – Shokuhinkan Aoba
Episode #13 – Seiyu
Episode #14 – Amika
Episode #15 – Lopia
Episode #16 – OK
Episdoe #17 – Family Mart
Episode #18 – Manbero

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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