Whenever I go into the food emoji page on my phone, I can’t help but wonder what some of the emojis actually are. Some of them, to be honest, don’t even look that much like food. I decided to do some research so I could at least figure out what they are if I ever need to use them. Here’s what I found.

Bento Box

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

Or, as Siri calls it, “lunch box”. A Bento Box is a portable Japanese meal that consists of rice, vegetables and meat or fish. It’s similar to America’s Lunchables, but a little bit fancier and a whole lot healthier. They look pretty cute, too.

Rice Ball

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

Literally, this is a ball of rice. Called onigiri in Japan, it consists of rice pressed into different shapes and wrapped in some seaweed.


Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

Senbei, or Japanese rice crackers, are simple snacks often served with green tea. They typically stick to the classic salt and soy sauce recipe, but sweet versions are popular in Japan as well.

Naruto Fish Cake

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

Naruto fish cake, or narutomaki, is sliced and cured fish surimi with a pink or red spiral. The spiral represents the Naruto whirpools in Japan, for which the food was named. Who knew that cute pink and white swirly thing was actually fish?

Oden Skewer

Photo courtesy of emojipedia.org

Oden is a Japanese dish made of boiled eggs, radish and fish cakes. Typically it’s a soy sauce-based soup, but in the emoji’s case, it’s a skewer.

Dango Skewer

Photo courtesy of emojipedia.org

This could be described as the sister-emoji to Oden. No one really knows what either are, but they look pretty similar. Dango is actually a Japanese dessert made of rice flour dumplings and served with green tea.

So there you have it. Next time you Instagram your senbei, you have just the emoji to put in the caption.

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