Onigiri YA, Amsterdam


Picture from Onigiri YA facebook

Cheese and I recently moved house, which means we get to try out all these new places in our new hood!

Years ago, I came across the wonders of onigiri in a Japanese supermarket in Beijing, China. I would often buy an onigiri as an on-the-go snack or lunch, since it was just so convenient and tasty. Unfortunately, I didn’t come across anything like it in Holland for years, until recently. As I said, I was having a walk in our new neighbourhood when I stumbled across Onigiri YA. In this tiny shop on the Ferdinand Bolstraat, you can buy handmade onigiri and other Japanese products. It is always a pleasure stopping by and seeing the onigiri of the day. I opted for four different onigiri to bring home for Cheese and I to try.

Apparently, it is a common misconception that onigiri is a type of sushi. This is WRONG! Onigiri is made with plain rice, while sushi is flavored with rice vinegar, sugar and salt. The rice ball can be filled and then wrapped with seaweed (nori). In my experience, there was also way more rice in an onigiri than in the typical sushi roll – so you sure have to be rice lover! Regardless, its triangular shape is super convenient and allows you to munch on a healthy snack on the go. I’m all for an Asian snack instead of sandwich, any time of day!

We tried the yakitori chicken and salmon onigiri, which was packed in a handy takeaway box along with a few edamame beans and Japanese omelette (a steal for 5.50 euros). The two other onigiri (2.50 each) were recommended to us by the owner, as they were not as well known on this side of the world, but hugely popular in Japan. One was filled with kombu, a sort of black, pickled seaweed: this was our most favorite! The other was filled with kampyo (a type of Japanese gourd) which was also delicious.

All in all, we loved our onigiri and will definitely be coming back for more (in fact, in the mean time we already did, multiple times). A large part of why I loved this place so much is because you can see how passionate the owner is about his product, and for that reason I believe it will become a great success. All there is left to say is that I hope every single one of you will go and stop by whenever you are in the neighbourhood, because for just 2.50 (or less) you could have perhaps the best snack of your life!






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