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11 Just-Right Japanese Snacks

11 Just-Right Japanese Snacks

How about adding to your Japanese snacks rotation? We’ve got 11 Japanese snack recipes for a bit of Asian food inspiration!

Join us as we eat our way through a glorious sprawl of Japanese snacks: from spicy umami things to dainty, sweet ones, it’s time you put those chopsticks to good use. 

Oh, crumbs: we’ve gotten rice in our sheets again.

That’s what we get for eating onigiri in bed. 

Onigiri —Japanese rice balls generously stuffed with your choice of filling (we’re partial to runny, molten egg yolks
ourselves) are our latest obsession.

And today, they’ve got competition. 

Join us as we eat our way through a glorious sprawl of Japanese snacks: from spicy umami things to dainty, sweet ones, it’s time you put those chopsticks to good use. 

What do you think of when you think of Japanese food? Rice? Miso? Seaweed? Raw fish? 

Perhaps you’re thinking of that weekend you whiled away at the Hibachi grill and your consequently distended belly
and singed eyebrows (worth it).

Granted, that is one facet of Japanese cuisine, but it’s far from being all there is to it.

There’s increasing attention being paid to Japanese comfort food, owing in no small part to the izakaya — the pub. 

All across Japan, diners pour into their favourite izakayas after work for cold beers and snacks: sunagimo (chicken gizzard skewers), tebasaki (twice fried chicken wings) and tsukemono (pickled vegetables). 

Forget the sushi chef’s professional exactitude — here’s 11 Japanese snacks that are big on flavor and comfort.

From lush candied sweet potatoes to creamy-crispy crab croquettes (what else is there to say about #4 but yum) to the soft and addictive mochi, there’s something for everyone.

These crunchy, addictive crackers are like a cross between Rice Krispies and popcorn — probably not destined for the cheeseboard but rather good on movie night. 

The texture of these wonderful little crackers is what makes them so good; snappy but not crumbly and delectably chewy on the inside. tip: Not that you needed another bad habit, but these are scrumptious with a little Cheez-Whiz.

These cheery, pretty little nibbles will have everyone Ooh-ing and Aah-ing.

They’re the perfect festive head turners for your next party. 

Molding them is a bit tricky the first time around, but then that’s all the more reason to practice with a new batch!

Our advice? Make more than you think you’ll need.

These tend to disappear as though by magic.

We love deep-fried croquettes. 

And these lightly-sweet, delicate little crispy cylinders of intensely savory crab are no different.

It’s customary these be inhaled at terminal velocity, and should you happen to burn your fingers in your pigged-out rush, well, wear your battle scars with pride. Serve alongside your favorite green salad as a starter or with some lemon-y mayonnaise and mustard as a snack.

We’d never pass up the opportunity to eat more mochi.

These glutinous, chewy pounded rice cakes are blessedly simple to make, and so darn cute it’s all we can do not to marvel at them all day. 

The best part is that you can fill mochi with whatever you like — Nutella mochi, anyone? 

No? — though red bean paste is what’s traditionally used.

We just had ube mochi for the first time recently and we are hooked.

When we last had takoyaki, it was being served to us by a street-side vendor in Osaka wearing a gigantic octopus hat and matching apron. 

And therein lies the problem with making our own — we’re never quite satisfied. 

Maybe we ought to invest in the gear (I think I’d look quite dashing in an octopus hat, thank you).

What you need to know is that these are very good indeed; perfectly crisp on the outside and pleasingly squidgy on the inside, with a generous lashing of BBQ sauce and a sprinkle of dried bonito tuna.

Our best Japanese snack idea yet.

Edamame are young soybeans traditionally boiled with salt and eaten cold as a snack at restaurants or izakayas.

They’re what the Japanese enjoy alongside a cold glass of beer instead of peanuts or Pub Mix.
Here, they’ve been sautéed with soy sauce and seasoning for a brightly crunchy snack that goes down just as easy with some ale or in a salad.

The basic aim, we think, with any spring roll is just to pack it with as much filling as is possible without it going to bits. 

The Japanese have got that down to an art.

Case in point, these enticingly golden, wonderfully crunchy little delicacies with a burst of sweetly spicy flavor.

Fundamental truth: in so far as sheer grease-powered happiness is concerned, fried chicken has long reigned supreme over the competition. 

This is Japan’s potato-starch battered take on a Southern classic.

Serve atop a bed of rice with cucumbers sliced razor-thin for a robustly satisfying meal that’s sure to hit the spot.

Our favorite homemade Japanese snack.

This is Hiroshima’s regional take on the classic Japanese cabbage fritter — okonomiyaki, meaning “what you like, grilled.” 

It’s infinitely adaptable. 

There’s a pancake bottom, a mandatory cabbage filling and obligatory garnishes – but otherwise, the remainder consists of whatever you’ve got on hand.

In Hiroshima, they use noodles in place of pancakes for okonomiyaki that’s altogether fattier and less doughy.

Let’s finish on a high note with what is quite possibly the best post-hangover meal since Taco Bell — don’t look at us like that, it’s been a long year.

Nothing soaks up the remnants of a night spent downing shot after shot at the bar like a helping of luscious, melt-in-your-mouth tender tonkatsu — it’s a masterclass in indulgent comfort.

The bottom line

At a time when everyone seems to be singing the virtues of ramen, let’s spare a thought for easy to make Japanese snacks — for if anything makes life worth living, it’s snacking.

An excellent, well-timed snack can turn a bad day into a good one and a truly awful-no-good-very-bad-day into an O.K. one.

Truly life-changing stuff. And now you’ve got a whole list to pick from. Don’t say we never spoilt you.

Itadakimasu (pronounced “eat the ducky moss” for us Yanks): Now we eat!

Want even more Japanese foodie inspiration? Check these out:

11 Japanese Snacks

11 Japanese Snacks

How about adding to your Japanese snacks rotation? We’ve got 11 Japanese snack recipes for a bit of Asian food inspiration!


  • Daigaku Imo: Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Age Okaki: Deep Fried Rice Crackers
  • Nerikiri Wagashi: Sweetened White Bean Paste Flower
  • Kani Korokke: Crab Croquettes
  • Red Bean Mochi
  • Takoyaki: Octopus Balls
  • Edamame With A Soy Sauce Glaze And Sesame Seeds
  • Harumaki: Japanese Spring Rolls
  • Karaage: Japanese Fried Chicken
  • Hiroshimayaki: Savory Japanese Pancake
  • Tonkatsu: Japanese Pork Cutlet


  1. Choose your favorite recipe from our list of 11 Japanese Snacks!
  2. Turn it into a fantastic home-cooked dish! 
  3. Leave a comment on our Facebook page and share your new dish.

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