Are you a fan of onigiri? The popular Japanese rice balls are usually formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and wrapped in nori; however, there’s one food artist in Japan who is putting their own creative spin on the traditional snack. Simply known on Instagram as Onigiri Gekijō—meaning “rice ball theater”—the creative chef turns ordinary ingredients into all kinds of cute and funny characters.
From pop culture icons and anime characters to cats and dogs, each rice ball looks way too cute to eat. Each edible creation is carefully sculpted in white sticky rice, before details are rendered in sesame seeds, pickled plum, salted salmon, bonito flakes, and seaweed. In some cases, the rice is dyed using soy and other sauces, allowing each character to be the same color as its real-life counterpart.
Among Onigiri Gekijō’s delectable visual diary of food art, there’s an onigiri Shiba Inu, a rice koala, and a whole group of edible cats in different colors and patterns. The artist is particularly creative when it comes to representing humans as food. Her palatable portfolio includes onigiri versions of Ukiyo-e characters, Beethoven, and even Léon from Léon the Professional.
Check out some of Onigiri Gekijō’s culinary creations below and find more in Instagram.