Haven’t posted in a while… Thus, in honor of the currently airing third season of Shokugeki no Soma and end of the match for Megumi in the manga have a recipe!
This is the second dish that Megumi Takadoro is involved. The first being “Boeuf Bourguignon” prepared together with Soma in Roland Chapel’s class. Said dish highlighted Soma’s best cooking trait – quick innovation and also showed Megumi’s weakness – her tendency to panic and lack of self-esteem.
Thus, it is then fitting that the second dish Megumi is involved in and the one she made wholly on her own “3 Types of Onigiri” shows hints of her strength as a cook. After all, to a Japanese nothing screams comfort food like onigiri. This is important because at this stage of the series, even among the Polar Star Residents, Megumi seems to be the runt of the litter and destined to play the damsel of distress to Soma’s hero. But, in this dish, we see a brief glimpse of Megumi’s potential if she managed to overcome her flaws.
Finally, I consider it also apt that this dish is presented not in a shokugeki or an examination but as a comfort dish to the Polar Dorm Resident after work; it neatly shows Megumi’s training as a cook in a ryokan and her focus in “hospitality” where her strength as a chef lies.
As for the recipe itself, the pork belly with garlic and honey filling is a classic. The twist in Megumi’s recipe and the secret ingredient for the first type of riceball is the “sake” which gives the dish an alcoholic twist.
Shio Kombu is another famous filling for onigiri. It is one of my favorite rice seasonings, in fact. Shio kombu is made from seaweed and tastes a little bit caramel-sweet and a little bit soy sauce salty. Megumi’s recipe combines it with cheese. A bit of advice, do yourself a favor and choose a mild cheese if you ever attempt this one. Sharp cheeses fight the shio kombu and while cheese filled onigiri still taste delicious, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the unique complex flavor that shio-kombu adds to the recipe.
Anyway, Onigiri is one of Japan’s staple food. There are a variety of different flavor and fillings that you could try. To make the one made in the show, I would like to point out several people who have done so:
3 Kind of Onigiri by Vena HX – Very good instructional video. Vena explains the step by step process of making the onigiri really well.
Fiction recreation of 3 Kind of Onigiri by whimsicalzoo – for those who don’t want video. Jeanne documented her attempt in making this recipe on her blog.
For those who want to try other type of onigiri or just curious about this food phenomenon from Japan, here are several links:
Onigiri on parade guide – a brief overview of different types of onigiri
5 New Types of Onigiri by Tabieats – several unusual kinds of onigiri that you might want to try out.