Cut Yocchan: A Classic Squid Surimi Dagashi Snack
Snacks made of “surimi (すり身)” or fish paste are very familiar to Japanese kids, and most of such treats belong to “Dagashi (駄菓子)“, a snack genre unique to Japan.
Dagashi is actually the generic name for cheap, relatively small, unique Japanese snacks and candies, and surimi snacks such as “Kabayaki-san Taro (蒲焼さん太郎)” are one of the representative types of Dagashi.
Kabayaki-san Taro is one of the most famous surimi Dagashi treats and what I introduce here “Cut Yocchan (カットよっちゃん)” is also among them.
Cut Yocchan (Yocchan Ika)
Cut Yocchan, also known as “Yocchan Ika (よっちゃんイカ)”, is a long-selling Japanese Dagashi snack that was introduced in 1977 by Yotchan Foods.
When I was a kid, I used to buy the Dagashi at a small Dagashiya candy shop near my house, and many of my friends also loved it.
Now (as of March 2021), the Dagashi snack Cut Yocchan can be bought at supermarkets and convenience stores around the country and is priced at 50 yen (about 0.5 USD).
One primary reason why the Dagashi Cut Yocchan was popular among us is that the product had a lottery in the corner of the packaging.
If the Japanese word meaning “You won the lottery”, “あたり” appears, you can get one more Cut Yocchan for free at the store where you purchased it.
But this time, I didn’t win the lottery because the word meaning “You lost the lottery”, “はずれ” appeared.
By the way, according to the official website of Cut Yocchan, unfortunately, the maker has decided to abolish the lottery at the end of May this year (2018).
As in the nickname of Yocchan Ika, “Ika (イカ)” means “squid” in Japanese, the main ingredients of the Dagashi Cut Yocchan are squid and fish.
The surimi snack made from fish and squid meat is bouncy yet tender like Soft Saki-Ika and is flavored with Sanbaizu, a traditional Japanese seasoning sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, and mirin or sugar.
So the Dagashi is somewhat vinegary but has umami and is easy to eat, yummy.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
Lastly, let’s see the ingredients and nutrition facts label. According to that, with 30 kcal and 0.6 g salt equivalents per bag (15 grams), the Dagashi snack Cut Yocchan is made from squid, brewed vinegar, fish, starch, salt, fermented seasoning, sugar, vegetable protein, vegetable oil, reduced starch syrup, protein hydrolysate, dextrin/sorbitol, seasoning (including amino acids), acidifier, colors, and sweetener (stevia).