Former Olympian Shares Super Relatable Problem With This Japanese Dish

In between events Anastasia Bucsis, the two-time Olympic competitor turned reporter for the Canadian news network CBC, tried to enjoy an onigiri. And she succeeded, sort of. The difficulty was, as Today reports, that the plastic packaging that separates the rice from the seaweed gets in the way. This means that if you don't open it in the correct way, you're going to be left with a sticky mess. The once competitive speed skater shared her difficulties in a Twitter video writing, "Ok, these are my favorite things in Japan." She then proceeds to pull on the top tab that says "pull." 

This part goes well, but when she turns her attention to pulling the rest of the packaging off, the barrier remains stuck to the rice and while it really doesn't look that bad, Bucsis declares herself as a hot mess. Twitter, however, came to help and even the social media team of Japan's 7-Eleven felt compelled to create an explanatory video. To unwrap an onigiri, you pull the top tab in one complete rotation around the middle of the onirigi. Next, tug the side tab labeled "2" and then, tab "3." The plastic should come away easily. All the support helped, as a few days later Bucsis uploaded a second video of her unwrapping her onigiri in a more masterful manner.

What exactly is an onigiri?

The snack that held the honor of being Bucsis's favorite things in Japan are a traditional Japanese convenience food. According to Okonomi Kitchen, they developed because the Japanese discovered that adding salt and pickled ingredients would preserve the rice for longer, a major concern in pre-refrigeration days. So, although the phrase "rice ball" calls to mind the basic image of rice with some seaweed, you could also add seafood with mayonnaise, pickled plums, bonito with soy sauce, and chicken karaage among others.

Aside from the taste and the relative ease in preparation, the appeal of onigiri is also that it lends itself to a variety of designs. After all, the issue Bucsis ran into was that the rice would stick to the barrier. For example, Bored Panda highlights the works of a YouTube creator that sculpts onigiri designs, like adorable looking cats. The felines also give a good display of the Japanese food aesthetic, carefully crafted and a cute design for a delicious and convenient food. No wonder it's Bucsis's favorite thing.