"Benkei-meshi" is one of the traditional dishes of the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture. It is made by dipping the surface of a rounded rice ball in miso paste, wrapping it around a leaf of pickled seisai (a type of takana), and lightly grilling it on both sides on a grill. The savory flavor of the miso and seisai is irresistible and appetizing.

Benkei-meshi as a taste of hometown is also like a snack that you quickly make and eat when you are hungry, and it is irresistible to have a small handful of it to eat after coming home from elementary school until dinner. Miso grilled rice balls without seisai wrapped around the rice are also called benkei-meshi.

There are various theories as to the origin of the name, but the most common is that the round rice ball wrapped with greens looks like Musashibo Benkei with his face covered by a kesa (robe). Departing from Kadode Hachimangu Shrine in Kyoto, located near the Imadegawa Showroom, Minamoto no Yoshitsune and his party took a route through the Shonai region of present-day Yamagata Prefecture to reach Oshu Hiraizumi. In the Shonai area, there are many historical sites and traditions related to Yoshitsune and Benkei. This Benkei-meshi may be one of them.

Rikucho Ogasawara's Onigiri Iron Plate
Honma Kazuo Shoten's Straw Pot Stand M
Kurikyu's Magewappa Lunch Box (Unpainted) Koban Slim
Imadegawa Showroom
Kadode Hachiman Shrine