Convenience store’s giant demon balls show their softer side.

NewDays, the chain of convenience stores managed by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), knows a thing or two about envelope-pushing rice ball creations. Their Sugoi Oni-kun line which is a play on the Japanese words for “rice ball” (onigiri) and “demon-ogre” (oni), live up to their larger-than-life name and come absolutely stuffed with fillings. These balls are so huge, that they’ve teamed up with the Attack on Titan series on more than one occasion.

▼ Sugoi Oni-kun

It’s not all about violent, nightmarish monsters though. Sugoi Oni-kun also has a playful side, as evidenced by these two upcoming whimsical additions to the lineup: Enchanting Takoyaki Party and Enchanting Italian.

Takoyaki are little balls of batter with bits of octopus meat and other ingredients inside. They’re sometimes made at home in a special cooker where you pour the batter into little griddle cups and then toss in whatever food item you want. It’s so easy that sometimes groups of people will hold takoyaki parties in which they gather at someone’s home and makes scores of custom takoyaki creations.

▼ Here’s how they’re made

The magic of these gatherings has now been distilled in a single rice ball. Called the Enchanting Takopa for short, this rice ball has a ragtag team of tasty items to simulate the potluck nature of a takoyaki party. The rice itself is seasoned with takoyaki sauce, which is similar to BBQ sauce, and also contains red pickled ginger and dried flakes of bonito fish.

On the surface of this rice ball is a shrimp and sausage, along with some corn, kimchi, cheese, and of course, a whole takoyaki.

The Enchanting Italian rice ball is equally stuffed, but in this case all ingredients are slightly more tied together in the theme of Italian food. In this onigiri, the rice is said to have a basil and cheese risotto feeling.

Piled on top are hearty pieces of dried tomato, prosciutto, diced cheese, and half an olive. This is all sprinkled with more basil and plenty of parmesan cheese.

Whether it’s a down-home feeling of being with Japanese friends, or a sophisticated taste of the Mediterranean, NewDays has you covered with heaps of each. However, these great balls of food will only be sold from 26 July to 8 August, with the Enchanting Takopa priced at 240 yen (US$1.75) and the Enchanting Italian at 270, so get them while they’re weighing down racks at most NewDays locations in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, Nagano area, and Niigata Station.

Source, images: PR Times
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