Have you ever wondered what LeBron James would look like as a rice ball? Neither have we. Still, when a Japanese chef turned a handful of famous NBA players into onigiri, it was pretty wonderful. Yujia Hu, sushi chef of a Japanese restaurant in Italy, has taken a bunch of your favorite pop culture figures and basketball players and recreated them in onigiri (rice ball) form. With onigiri of everyone from Snoop Dogg to Demarcus Cousins, this restaurant is pretty much nailing it in the celebrity shaped food arena.
Yujia Hu's wonderful sushi creations are made for Sakana Sushi, an Asian fusion restaurant in Milan, Italy. So, for those of us keeping track, you've got American basketball players and pop culture figures created out of a Japanese medium, served in a restaurant in Italy, alongside Vietnamese and Chinese foods.
Somewhat surprisingly, Yujia Hu's most popular creation isn't his LeBron James onigiri or his Pulp Fiction onigiri, and his Drake onigiri doesn't even compare as far as Instagram likes. Instead, the clear standout is Klaygiri Thompson, the Klay Thompson rice ball. Even the Jokergiri (a colorful rice ball depicting the Joker) and the instantly recognizable Pokéball rice ball didn't stack up.
Yujia Hu began making these onigiri creations just over a year ago, with a surprisingly identifiable Jack Sparrow onigiri. For a while, it was all just pop culture figures: Deadpool, Khal Drogo and a Stormtrooper were among the first. It wasn't until the Marco Belinelli onigiri that the NBA player onigiri became a thing. It's a good thing it did, though. What's not to love about getting to eat a tiny Tim Duncan?