Japan is known for a lot of things, but while manga and video games may receive varying degrees of affection depending on who you ask, there is nothing more universally appreciated than good food. And Japan has A LOT of good food.
Whether it’s ramen, sushi or donburi, Japanese cuisine has doubtlessly captivated foodies worldwide.
But how much do you know about Japanese treats? Here are ten delectable Japanese snacks that are guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Mochiis a rice cake dessert made from a special type of Japanese sticky rice called mochigome. Soft, gelatinous and chewy, mochi is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki and eaten around the time of Japanese New Year. The sweet treat comes in a range of shapes, sizes and fillings, with mochi ice cream being a particularly common modern variation.
Through a specially patented process, Japanese confectionery company Echigo Seika has figured out a way to turn the traditionally soft snack into one that’s crispy and puffy. These fluffy balls of mochi are then finished off with a layer of kinako, a powder made by roasting soybeans, giving it a sweet, nutty flavor and an airy texture.
For anyone looking for a snack that tastes great without it being too filling, Kinako Mochi is absolutely the best way to go.
You already know strawberries dipped in chocolate is a magical combination, but leave it to Japanese innovation to take it to the next level: introducing the world’s first chocolate-infused strawberries.
How does it taste, you ask? It literally tastes like someone took a strawberry, took all the water out, and replaced it with chocolate. Which coincidentally, is exactly how these snacks are made. They take fresh organic strawberries, freeze-dries them to remove the water, and then injects them with white chocolate, resulting in a perfect blend of creamy sweetness and fruity tartness. One bite and you’ll be instantly hooked on these white strawberries!
These cute little snacks — named for the Japanese red seabream (or tai) that it’s modeled after — is a variation of a popular Japanese food called taiyaki, a fish-shaped waffle batter cake jammed with red bean paste.
This bite-sized version comes with a lighter wafer coating, and is stuffed instead with a delicious chocolate mousse filling. However, make sure you eat with a plate or a small tray as it’s super easy for crumbs to fly everywhere as you’re eating it. Tai Chocolate pairs very well with tea.
Black Tea Donuts
Tea is one of the mostly widely consumed beverages worldwide, and is often drunk alongside an assortment of baked goods, whether it be a croissant or a bagel.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Japanese — being the masters of innovation (and tea-lovers!) that they are — were the ones to figure out how to make the process easier for everyone by simply putting the two together.
In this case, black tea leaves are infused in the batter, resulting in a tasty fluffy black tea donut with rich tea aromatics.
Takoyaki Corn Puffs
Takoyaki are balls of fried octopus (or tako) drizzled in sauce and peppered with seaweed, onions and bonito flakes (dried fish flakes).
First developed by a street vendor in Osaka, takoyaki has now spread to Japanese restaurants across the globe, and are available everywhere in Japan, from convenience stores to supermarkets to even specialty takoyaki restaurants.
But if that wasn’t enough, you can now carry them around in your bag everywhere you go with these corn puff recreations that perfectly capture their incredible umami flavor.