Tofugu’s “Best Japanese Junk Food of 2012”

It’s like Tofugu read my mind.

One of my favorite Japanese culture and popculture blogs, Tofugu wrote a post on the best Japanese junk foods of 2012. Well. I couldn’t argue one way or another on the credibility of the list … but it all looks good. Japanese junk food satisfies the strangest of my addictions.

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Japanese snacks

やおきん キャベツ 太郎 (YAOKIN Cabbage Taro)



Savory little puffs. One bag easily goes down in a matter of minutes. They are a little smokey and sweet, almost like a BBQ flavor. I’m a repeat fan of this snack.

TAKUMA SHOKUHIN Tamagogani Meisaku (Roasted Crab ‘Meisaku’)



(meisaku = masterpiece?)
These are so yummy, one of my all time favorite Japanese snacks. They are whole crabs coated with a sugar – corn syrup glaze and sesame seeds and roasted. You can eat them whole, they’re like sweet crab-flavored chips.
These are so hard to find in Japanese stores. I couldn’t even find them in the Takuma Foods website catalog. The package doesn’t have the name of the product or manufacturer labeled anywhere. It says stuff like “Let’s Party!” … is not the name of the product. But a party indeed it is.

明治 ラッキースティック (MEIJI Lucky Stick Cappuccino)



M<eiji Lucky Stick is the competitor of GLICO's Pocky. Like Pocky, Meiji has a broad variety of these convenient little snacks, from savory to sweet.
This Cappuccino version is a breadstick covered in a thin coating of cappuccino-flavored chocolate. Very good, but not my favorite breadstick flavor.

NESTLE キットカット パンプキンルリン味 (KitKat Pumpkin Pudding flavor)



I love snack series; one base snack that has many versions and permutations. Japan has taken KitKat to a cult level, releasing a variety of flavors, some specific to select regions of Japan. For Halloween this year, Nestle released a “pumpin pudding” KitKat version. The pumpkin flavor is barely noticeable.
This bag contains 13 individually wrapped KitKat bars, each mini package has two short bars.

Japanese Snacks

I have a weakness for Japanese and Hawaiian snacks. Anytime friends or family go to Japan or Hawai’i, they ask me what kind of omiyage I want. “Don’t get me anything … just snacks,” is my response.

My friend just came back from a trip, not to Japan, but a shopping trip in LA. He came back with $450 worth of food alone (he’s got a three-person household).

He brought back some ラー油 (raayu, spicy oil seasoning), ふりかけ (furikake, rice seasoning), and Japanese snacks! The snacks were SANKOU Zeitaku Kakimochi, IWATSUKA Kuromame Senbei. and IWATSUKA Onihibi Shoyu-Aji.

SANKOU Zeitaku Kakimochi

Crackers with almonds and kuromame (black beans).

IWATSUKA Kuromame Senbei

Senbei with black beans.

IWATSUKA Onihibi Shoyu-Aji

Crouton-sized puffs. The packaging has fire on it. I thought it would be spicy, but I think the fire was supposed to illustrate the roasty flavor.

Senbei and kakimochi are the best combination of sweet, salty, and roastiness. I killed all three packeds of snacks in four days or so.

Bleh. I’m making myself hungry again.