Kabayaki-San Taro: A Famous Fish Jerky Snack from Yaokin
When it comes to the Japanese snack genre, Dagashi (駄菓子) is one of the representatives comprised of cheap and unique snacks and candies, particularly for kids.
Dagashi comes in numerous varieties, and the ones made from fish paste or surimi have become a popular sub-genre, which might be unlike any other in the world.
Most Japanese surimi snacks are so cheap (10 to 50 yen/about 0.1 to 0.5 USD per piece) that they are popular with children only with little pocket money.
With that money, Japanese kids usually buy various kinds of fish-paste treats at a time, which typically include the Big Katsu that I introduced the other day.
Kabayaki-San Taro (蒲焼さん太郎) from Yaokin
And today, I picked up another famous surimi snack from Yaokin (ヤオキン) named Kabayaki-San Taro (蒲焼さん太郎) at a supermarket near my house.
As I used to eat this as a kid, I think several decades have passed since it debuted. What is more, the price of 10 yen has never changed since then.
Although the word Kabayaki (蒲焼) usually refers to grilled unagi eel, the main ingredient of this surimi snack is walleye (Alaska) pollack.
The Dagashi consists of a dough of minced walleye pollack, wheat flour, and squid powder that’s been thinly stretched and baked.
And the seasonings and flavorings mainly used for it are soy sauce, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), sugar, and Shichimi Togarashi.
Therefore, the surimi snack Kabayaki-San Taro is sweet and savory with a little spicy kick. It is thin, but the texture is so tough that it takes time to consume.
Instead, like jerky, the more you chew on it, the more the flavor and umami come out and the better it tastes.
Where to Buy
As the Dagashi Kabayaki-San Taro has been a long-time favorite among kids, the product is available at most supermarkets, convenience stores, and drug stores in Japan.