Onigiri can be pretty simple but I lacked one important ingredient. No, don't worry I have plenty of rice. The ingredient I need is a pickled plum called umeboshi. It's not a requirement for onigiri but it almost seemed like one when I was a kid because that's usually the kind we had. My mouth waters a little just writing about it.
There are several Asian grocery stores in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. Going to a new store can be exciting but it can be disappointing. I've come to appreciate some Thai, Viet, Korean and Chinese cooking but I am usually looking for something Japanese. Unfortunately, the Japanese section of an Asian grocery store can be quite small.
I am happy to report that isn't the case with Oriental Food and Gifts. I was actually very impressed with what they had. They had everything that I had hoped to find and more. They had all kinds of sauces, noodles, rices, flours, canned vegetables, dumplings, frozen fish (including sushi grade tuna and salmon), mochi and there was even a whole aisle of sea vegetables (I call it that not because I dislike the term seaweed but because it might sound more appetizing to my Western-palated readers). They also had some dishes, cookware and a small selection of clothing.
Pictured is what we came away with. Clockwise from top left: nori (the kind of sea