From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
A rice ball (Japanese: 御握り onigiri) is a common Japanese snack that appears in the Pokémon anime many times and, in the dub, under a variety of different names. Brock makes them fairly often and they are frequently used in gags.
To give the snack a name which non-Japanese children would be more familiar with, the dub has referred to them as sandwiches, cookies, onions, jelly donuts and popcorn balls. In a couple of Hoenn League episodes, the 4Kids dub replaced giant rice balls with large sandwiches, which was not received well by the fanbase. However, a few times in the anime, such as Pokémon Paparazzi and A Tail with a Twist, 4Kids referred to rice balls by their proper name, instead of something adjusted for foreign audiences. 4Kids continued to refer to them as sandwiches or cookies even after these episodes aired, such as in Less is Morrison.
Since The Pokémon Company International started dubbing the series, they have been consistently referred to as rice balls. Eventually, starting in the Diamond & Pearl series, rice balls appeared less often, more so in the Best Wishes series wherein the region is no longer based on a part of Japan. Some rice balls appeared in Hoopa — The Mischief Pokémon, where they were summoned by Hoopa in Arche Valley. In Real Life...Inquire Within!, Lana was seen eating a giant rice ball.
Brock emphasizing that the rice balls are, in fact, donuts
Rice ball caught in a Poké Ball
- Glalie bears a resemblance to these snacks, and its Japanese name (オニゴーリ Onigohri) sounds similar to the word onigiri.
- In Primeape Goes Bananas, Ash caught a rice ball in a Poké Ball.
- The infamous jelly donuts meme was mentioned in the "Explore Pokémon: Kanto Region" promotional video on the official Pokémon YouTube channel.