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J, M at Hewes St.
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Onigiri, a.k.a. omusubi, or just plain rice balls, are traditional Japanese finger food made from seasoned white rice squeezed into triangular and oval shapes and wrapped in nori. In Korea, they call them samgak kimbap. Besides the fact that it’s the ultimate portable snack, the beauty of the rice ball is that, like the sandwich and the pizza, there is no limit to what you can shove into or place on top of one, the inevitable outcome of which is the specialty of this Korean-American snack shop: a chunk of rice stuffed with Cheddar, bits of bacon, and a runny quail egg, the whole package girdled with a sheet of nori and charred on the grill. Kichin’s rice balls also come with other fillings like avocado and edamame, spicy salmon, and crunchy nuggets of Korean fried chicken. There are rice bowls and salads, too. But if Kichin were to offer nothing but bacon-egg-and-cheese rice balls, it would still do brisk business.
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