3 Must-Try Classic Japanese Cheese Snacks

Cheese works well with a wide range of foods and is often used for snack foods sold in the snack and candy section of Japanese supermarkets.

Calbee Pizza Potato Mentaiko Mayo

In fact, there are a bunch of popular snacks with cheese in Japan. For example, my favorite potato chips, Calbee Pizza Potato features globs of cheese spotted on the surface.

3 Classic Unique Japanese Cheese Snacks

In addition, I love 3 classic Japanese snacks whose main ingredient is cheese, which are unique to Japan and loved by all generations, both children and adults. Today, let me introduce them.

Cheese Tara (Chiitara)

Cheese Tara

Cheese Tara, or Chiitara is a popular snack food widely known as an Otsumami in Japan.

By the way, the Japanese term “Otsumami (おつまみ)” refers to the finger foods and nibbles eaten with alcoholic beverages.

Cheese Tara is a classic Japanese snack consisting of a stick of process cheese sandwiched between two thin sheets of dried codfish paste.

The fish paste adds a touch of different texture to the cheese stick and improves chewing feeling as well as enhancing umami taste.

Cheese Tara is available at almost any supermarket and convenience store in Japan, and even on Amazon.com.

Cheese Kamaboko (Chiikama)

Cheese Kamaboko

“Kamaboko (かまぼこ)” is a traditional Japanese food with about 900 years of history, which is typically made by baking or steaming a paste of whitefishes (like cod, shark, and lizard fish), sugar, salt, mirin sweet cooking rice wine and egg white.

Cheese Kamaboko is a modern Kamaboko known as an Otsumami snack. As you can see in the photo above, it is a firm fish paste snack with half-dried process cheese bits embedded throughout.

Cheese Kamaboko is also available at most supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.

Cheese Kakidane 

Cheese Kakidane

Cheese Kakidane is a type of “Kaki no Tane (柿の種)” snack coated in processed cheese.

Kaki no Tane is a classic Japanese rice cracker known as Kameda Crisps in some countries, which is savory and a little bit spicy due to red chili pepper used in it.

However, when processed cheese and Kaki no Tane are combined, the spiciness of the rice snack is offset by the mild flavor of cheese, which results in a delicious snack loved by 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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