This Japanese YouTuber is making rice balls as you’ve never seen them before. In the shapes of cats, aliens, and seals, this artist’s incredibly cute-looking balls of rice are going viral. His channel is called ‘Onigiri Gekijou‘, which translates as ‘Onigiri (Rice Ball) Theater.’ Basically, Onigiri is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of small balls (or triangles) of rice stuffed with a salty or sour filling and usually wrapped in dried seaweed. Onigiri is widely popular in Japan and the majority of convenience stores are stocked with onigiri with various fillings and different flavors. The dish is popular inside and outside of Japan, as it has become a popular staple in Japanese restaurants all over the globe.

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This YouTuber makes the cutest rice balls ever

Image credits: Onigiri Gekijou

To make this adorable onigiri, apart from rice, iwa nori, katsuobushi and kurosurigoma were used. Iwa nori is a type of seaweed that grows in rock crevices along the shore and katsuobushi is dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna, while kurosurigoma is black ground sesame.

The creations are inspired by Japanese folklore

Image credits: Onigiri Gekijou

Pictured above is a rice ball made to look like traditional Japanese Otafuku masks. Otafuku is a widely popular figure in Japanese folklore—often depicted as a woman with chubby cheeks and a cheerful smile, Otafuku translates as “much good fortune” or “plenty of happiness.”

As well as popular culture

Image credits: Onigiri Gekijou

While the YouTuber shares the tutorials in Japanese, they are easy to follow and don’t require knowledge of the language. Tutorials include videos of how to make cat-shaped, alien-shaped rice balls and even onigiri that are shaped like gas masks, as inspired by… coronavirus.

The author of the YouTube channel offers step by step instructions on how to make onigiri

Image credits: Onigiri Gekijou

Making these cute onigiri requires no special skill as they are fairly easy to craft. Firstly, the boiled rice should be laid out on a sheet of plastic wrap and kneaded into a ball. Once the rice comes together in the shape that you want it to be, you can start adding contours made from different types of seaweed, the good old fancy sauce made of ketchup and mayonnaise, dried bonito flakes, and fine-ground black sesame.

Which are entertaining and easy to follow

Image credits: Onigiri Gekijou

While Rice Ball Theater doesn’t have a huge audience just yet, we believe that these cute onigiri deserve much more attention. So head on over to the Rice Ball Theater YouTube channel and subscribe!

See the video tutorials below for making these offbeat rice balls

Image credits: Onigiri Gekijou

And subscribe if you’d like to see more of them in the future

Image credits: Onigiri Gekijou

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