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Japanese rice balls take on new flavors in Southeast Asia

Localized varieties of 'onigiri' are getting popular in Singapore and Malaysia

Localized versions of the Japanese rice ball are sold at a 7-Eleven outlet in Singapore.

SINGAPORE -- Japan's onigiri rice balls are making inroads in Singapore and Malaysia as the quick-bite staple snack is gradually being accepted as a casual alternative to the traditional Japanese dishes that people experienced at only restaurants until now.

7-Eleven, the leading convenience store chain in Singapore, began selling onigiri products at some of its outlets in November 2015. Its tuna and grilled salmon rice balls became popular, and the chain expanded the lineup and number of outlets carrying onigiri products.

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