3 Classic Japanese Cheese Snacks You Should Try

Cheese goes well with a wide range of foods and almost always makes what it touches satisfying.

Because of that, snacks often come with cheese, and Japanese ones are no exception, as seen in my favorite Calbee Pizza Potato Chips.

Calbee Pizza Potato Mentaiko Mayo

3 Classic Japanese Cheese Snacks

I confidently recommend Calbee Pizza Potato, but I want Japanese snack beginners to know the classics first.

So here, let me introduce such treats as Cheese Tara (Chiitara), Cheese Kamaboko (Chiikama), and Cheese Kakidane.

Cheese Tara (Chiitara)

Cheese Tara

First, Cheese Tara or Chiitara is one of Japan’s favorite Otsumami, widely enjoyed with alcoholic drinks.

It consists of a stick of processed cheese sandwiched between two thin strips of dried codfish paste.

The outer crusts add a different texture to the cheese stick. They improve the chewiness and enhance the umami taste of the snack.

Cheese Kamaboko (Chiikama)

Cheese Kamaboko

With over 900 years of history, Kamaboko (かまぼこ) is a baked or steamed fish cake of whitefish surimi mixed with egg white, seasoned with sugar, salt, and mirin.

Cheese Kamaboko is a modern variety typically consumed as Otsumami. It is a firm fish cake with half-dried cheese bits embedded throughout it.

Cheese Kamaboko is as popular as Cheese Tara among drinkers, and they are available at most supermarkets and convenience stores.

Cheese Kakidane 

Cheese Kakidane

Cheese Kakidane is a variant of Kaki no Tane (柿の種) rice cracker coated in a layer of processed cheese.

Flavored with soy sauce and red chili pepper, Kaki no Tane itself is savory and a little bit spicy.

But combined with mild cheese, the spiciness/heat of the snack is almost offset. Instead, the resultant treats get a rich taste and can be a favorite of everyone.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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