The Japanese words omusubi and onigiri are usually translated as “rice ball,” but there’s no rule that they have to be round. Walk into any convenience store or supermarket in Japan and you’ll find the shelves stocked with triangular versions, plus plenty that look closer to a soft-edged hockey puck than a perfectly spherical ball.
What we’re saying is that when it comes to omusubi design, your options are wide open, and with this kitty-shaped omusubi kit, they’re adorable as well.
You can thank kitchen tool maker Earnest for this clever product, called Omusubi Nyan (nyan being the sound of a cat meowing in Japanese).
The most important part of the multi-piece set is the cat-shaped rice mold, pictured on the far right above. Fill up a scoop of rice, press down to pack all of the grains together firmly, then drop out a perfectly shaped serving.
If you want to add additional fine feline features, you can use the included cutters on a sheet of dried nori seaweed to produce whiskers, smiles, and more.
Don’t worry about the leftover seaweed going to waste, either. You can also reverse the color scheme by wrapping the whole rice ball in the remaining nori after you remove the cutouts, giving you a charming kitty with dark hair and light detailing from the rice peeking out from beneath.
Need more color? Just add a dab of soy sauce to create a spotted coat.
Omusubi Nyan can be ordered here from Amazon Japan for 883 yen (US$7). That’s already an attractive price for cat lovers, and if you factor in how much cheaper it is to make your own omusubi than it is to buy them at the store for 120 yen or so a pop, it’ll actually pay for itself after about a week’s worth of lunches.
Source: Amazon Japan
Top image: Amazon Japan (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Amazon Japan