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Onigiri at Clover Bakery in San Jose

In an earlier discussion about the unfortunate product sold by Onigilly, david kaplan had described onigiri in Japan, carefully wrapped so that the nori does not touch the rice until you’re ready to eat it. Last week I found this type of onigiri at Clover Bakery in San Jose (near Mitsuwa).

I tried a salmon one. The special wrapping separates the moist white rice from the nori wrapper keeping it dry and crackly until ready to eat. The instructions for removing the wrapper were printed in English, so I’m wondering if these are available elsewhere too.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

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Clover Bakery
4342 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA

Mitsuwa
675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA

Onigilly
San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

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  1. MItsuwa should have them. Actually Nijiya in SF has been expanding their offerings. They used to just have the classics: ume, okaka (bonito flakes), and salmon. Now they have stuff like kombu, pork, chicken...

    I think Mitsuwa should sell individually wrapped seaweed so you can make your own rice balls.

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    Mitsuwa
    675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: sfbing

      Thanks. Now that I've figured out the directions to remove the plastic tabs, I should repeat to reinforce. :-)

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      Nijiya Market
      1737 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        The seaweed wrapping part is the easy part for me! Despite repeated lessons from Japanese friends, I can't make a triangular rice ball to save my life.

        1. re: sfbing

          You could use a snooker or pool table triangle rack for a supersize version :-)

    2. Sierra Deli in Oakland (on 3rd and Madison) used to carry these (complete with the baffling plastic tabs). I haven't been there in a year or so, though, so they might not have them anymore. I know that the Spam Musubi at Sierra came from Suruki's: maybe the Onigiri did too?

      I seem to remember that they were fine, but not quite as good as I wanted them to be.

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      Suruki
      911 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607

      Sierra Deli
      311 Oak St Ste C3, Oakland, CA 94607

      4 Replies
      1. re: Mola

        Thank you. I felt like I was scoring badly on an IQ test trying to follow those directions for unwrapping.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Don't feel bad! The way some of the onigiri is packaged in the supermarkets around here, the supermaket label covers the easy pull tabs (I'm looking at you, MV Nijiya!)

          Nijiya in Mountain View, Mitsuwa in Santa Clara and Marukai also sell onigiri in their takeout/deli sections.

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          Mitsuwa
          675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA

          1. re: mhuang

            The onigiri sold at 7-Eleven stores here in Tokyo come in packaging that keeps the nori crisp, and opening it up is a very simple 3-step process.

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            I've never figured out how to properly unwrap the nori (I think if you do it correctly you don't touch the rice at all), and I don't know if directions in English would be any better, but my 10 thumb method still gets me a nice, crisp piece of nori to wrap (not that elegantly) around the rice and my preferred filling, sake, so I'm happy.

            I've always wished they were as ubiquitous here as they are in Japan, or even Honolulu. They're the perfect answer when you want a savory, but light, snack. I tried Onigilly at an event once, and it was okay, but it had a strange, almost pre-fab effect.

            In the Japanese markets here, you can actually buy the individually wrapped nori sheets to make your own. I always have plans to do that, but I'm not quite that person, yet.

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            Onigilly
            San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

        2. Tokyo Fish carries onigiri packaged in the same type of wrapper. They have salmon, ume, and sometimes tuna fish (the canned kind, mixed with mayo). I've also seen them at Berkeley Bowl West. I usually eat these once a week as a quick lunch/snack and still sometimes have trouble getting the wrapper off.

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          Tokyo Fish Market
          1220 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

          Berkeley Bowl West
          920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: potato or yam

            The onigiri at Tokyo Fish is from Musashi. I found the salmon quite tasty. I definitely had to touch the rice because I am a klutz, but quite good.

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            Musashi
            2126 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

          2. You can also find these at Marukai in Cupertino. If you live in this area Marukai, and Maxim for other Asian ingredients (Haw flakes for my son) both are worth a visit.

            1. Oh man, this takes me back to my trip to Japan. Those onigiri packaging was quite intelligent. The first couple of times, I got confused by the instructions, but after that, onigiri were cheap mini-meals I bought all the time when I was there...popular in Taiwan too.

              After I returned, I went on a big onigiri making binge. Making the triangle shape is tricky the first two attempts, but after that it's pretty easy. Just a matter of pressing and squeezing, almost like making a snowball.(your hands cup the rice in the same way).

              What other fillings does Clover have?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cary

                Other flavors are Spam teriyaki, beef and ginger, and takana/mentai.