Japan does a lot of things better than anywhere else in the world. For example, Japan has vending machines that dispense hot coffee when it's cold outside, and the best fried chicken (karaage) on sticks. Sitting at the cutting edge of food and technology, the snack game in Japan is top-notch. Japan has a lot of snack foods that you should try if you're ever visiting the country—or even if you're not! If you look for them, you may be able to find these snacks at your local Asian or Japanese supermarket. These authentic Japanese snacks are so good that they'll make your mouth water just by looking at them.
Check out this list of some of my favorite Japanese snack foods; you definitely don’t want to miss out! I’m more of a savory snack person myself, but Japan’s snacks offer such amazing flavors (not too sweet), even I can’t resist!
Mochi is a Japanese food made from sticky rice and/or sweet potato. It can be made into a variety of shapes and sizes, in both sweet and savory varieties. In Japan, mochi is eaten during the New Year's holiday as an omen of good luck in the year ahead. Mochi is also popular at events such as weddings, where they're used to make decorations or gifts for guests.
Mochi also comes in many sweet flavors that are always a favorite snack amongst the masses. You can find sweet mochi in flavors like green tea, chocolate, strawberry, orange and more! Make sure you try as many as you can and eat them quickly, as they’re best enjoyed fresh.
Langue de Chat
Langue de chat literally means "Cat's Tongue" in French and gets its namesake from its original shape that resembles the tongue of a cat. In Japan, however, it is commonly baked into a rectangular butter cookie with a chocolate filling. These langue de chat cookies are always a favorite of children and adults alike! They are delicate, sweet, crunchy, and delicious and come in all assorted flavors, so you can surely find one that is your favorite.
The next time you’re in the market for a treat, consider checking out some Japanese sweets! Japan has an extensive array of delicately made hard candies that have so many sophisticated flavors that are surely a step up from your childhood memories of hard candies! These hard candies can be found in flavors like Yuzu Sake, Persimmon, Sakura, and more.
Rice crackers, or senbei, are a popular snack throughout Japan. They are usually made with rice flour and have a crisp texture that makes them easy to eat on the go. The most common flavor is soy sauce flavored, but there are tons of other savory flavors like curry and uni (sea urchin), but you can also find some sweet rice cracker treats flavored with sugar or honey. Rice crackers make the perfect snack in between meals and even on-the-go!
Don’t let the name scare you from trying one of Japan’s most delicious savory snacks! Seaweed tempura chips are sheets of nori seaweed that are lightly battered and then fried tempura style. These little snacks can really pack a punch full of flavor, umami, and crunch, and are definitely going to make seaweed tempura one of your new favorite authentic Japanese snacks soon!
Chips? I know it sounds pretty simple and self-explanatory, but Japanese chips feature a whole host of other flavors and varieties you might not have had a chance to try yet. Japanese chips are crispy, thin, and fully packed with super amazing umami flavors. You can find chips beyond just your standard, bbq, jalapeno, salt & vinegar options. Japanese chips offer unique, delicious flavors like curry, tangy tonkatsu sauce, plum ume, Hokkaido butter, sesame oil, grilled corn, wasabi and more!
There are so many delicious Japanese snacks to try. It can be overwhelming at first because there are so many options, but be adventurous and take your taste buds on a trip across the ocean to Japan! We hope this list has given you some ideas and helped make your next trip to Japan or the Japanese grocery store more enjoyable!
If reading about authentic Japanese candy, sweets, and snacks has made you a little hungry, Bokksu's Japanese subscription box brings a monthly curated collection of the best Japanese snacks sourced directly from local snack makers from Japan.
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