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Sanko onigiri

I often want a savory, healthy, cooked mid-day snack that's not too large if I get up too late so today I stumbled over to Sanko, the Japanese supermarket on Queen west and tried their freshly made onigiri. Onigiri is a mound of rice usually shaped in a triangle wrapped with seaweed and a filling of some sort.

It's very nicely wrapped and had a very fresh taste to it. I got the unagi one that was $3 but they had vegetable ones ($1.50) too. It was quite good: the rice was of nice consistency and there was a good lump of unagi in the typical teriyaki sauce that kept the whole thing from being too dry.

They also have these really cute small 'bento' boxes of vegetables, rice and chicken teriyaki for ~$4 and a Onigiri combo which was 2 onigiri and a drink for $5. It's pretty good pricing I think and healthy, cheap, and delicious.

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  1. I eat these all the time, I've been addicted since I lived in Japan. Such a healthy snack/meal.

    3 Replies
    1. re: childofthestorm

      I think PAT in Koreatown also has onigiri. I'm not sure how the quality compares, but since they're all about convenience, knowing more places that carry onigiri the better. It's been a while since I've had them, but I recall that the ones at PAT were tasty.

      I developed a fondness for them on a shoestring trip to Taiwan and Japan, buying my lunch at 7-Elevens. If only the 7-Elevens in Toronto were as good as they are there. Besides Sanko and PAT, the best equivalent I've come with so far are banh mi shops - I had the packaged chap chae for $2.99 at Nguyen Huong last week and that was a good deal.

      1. re: missmu

        Little Tokyo in Kensington Market also sell omusubi. On my last visit, there were brown rice ones available, too.

        1. re: happyfoodiegirl

          i found the sanko ones rather overpriced as the ones with any protein tend to be about $2.50. also, to my understanding they weren't made by the owners but made by another woman and brought in.

          i really like the little tokyo ones as they're all about $1.50 for each type and have a bit more filling than sanko. they make them themselves and the very enthusiastic young japanese man explained absolutely everything to me.

    2. ya...P.A.T. at K-town sells them too for $1.50...i find them alot tastier than the ones at Sanko...i guess it's the fillings they use plus their seaweed is seasoned

      Also if u ever go to J-town...they sell them there too along with bentos and croquettes

      2 Replies
      1. re: katostar

        P.A.T. has some really good ones. I'm Korean so maybe I am more biased. But I like one that is kimchi and tuna. Taste soooooo good. The rest are so so. And it's $1.50. :)

        1. re: juunbug25

          I agree - P.A.T has way better Onigiri than Sanko. Toronto Star recently reviewed Sanko and included mention of their onigiri, so I trekked out there to try some. They were more expensive and harder (I didn't know it was possible!) to open! I thought the pickled plum one was good because it was different, but otherwise nothing beats the tuna kimchi onigiri or beef onigiri from P.A.T. And I'm not Korean!

      2. i just learned of the existence of this place today...i'm thinking of going there to try some tomorrow

        1. I am also a fan of the onigiri from Sanko. I am not bothered that they don't make it themselves. (The family works hard enough.) The ume onigiri is perfect amount of rice to sour plum. I think the $5 deal is good value esp. since the iced tea on offer is from Japan - and it reminds me of my time in Japan.

          1. The T&T at Warden/Steeles also offers onigiri (two for $2.99) for those who live way, way, way uptown -- but only in one flavour -- salmon. I'm not sure it's prepared on the premises and is somewhat trashy in comparison to homemade, but it is tasty and perfectly portable.