Cheese Chikuwa : A Popular Japanese fish paste “Otsumami” snack cake
Mild cheese is often used as an ingredient for snacks in Japan. Speaking of modern Japanese snacks with cheese, Calbee Pizza Potato Chips (Amazon.com) is one of my most favorites, while as classic ones what come to mind are the 3 cheese snacks I introduced before.
These Japanese cheese snacks match perfectly with beer and other alcoholic drinks. Like these snacks, the finger foods and nibbles eaten along with alcoholic drinks are generally called “Otsumami (おつまみ)” in Japan.
Actually, the other day I bought another Japanese cheese snack well-known as an Otsumami snack at a 7 eleven convenience store near my house. The Otsumami snack is a fusion of mild cheese and a traditional Japanese food.
Cheese Chikuwa (チーズちくわ)
The Japanese snack food I purchased this time is “Cheese Chikuwa (チーズちくわ)”. As you might already know, “Chikuwa (ちくわ)” is a traditional Japanese food with several hundred years of history featuring its tube shape. It is a Japanese fish paste cake made from fish flesh, such as walleye pollock, sea bream, flying fish, or Atka mackerel, salt, sugar, starch, egg white and so on.
The traditional Japanese food, Chikuwa is hollow, so sometimes the hole is filled with some food to give the fish paste cake another texture and flavor.
For example, cucumber is a typical food used for filling in the hole of Chikuwa. Chikuwa is a mild and easy-to-eat fish paste with a firm chewy texture, whereas cucumber is refreshing and crisp in taste and texture. We Japanese usually eat the food combo dipping in soy sauce.
Now, let’s get back on track. Like the combination of Chikuwa and cucumber, as the food name indicates, the hole of Cheese Chikuwa is filled with mild cheese. I love this food combo and it goes really well with beer because the fish paste cake has a rich flavor of cheese that stimulates the appetite.
The inside processed cheese is made mainly with a mild cheddar cheese and creamy in texture.
Like Cheese Kamaboko, this fusion of mild cheese and the traditional Japanese food, Chikuwa, is really addictive. This Cheese Chikuwa is available at 7 eleven convenience stores in Japan. If you are interested and have a chance, I want you to enjoy the Japanese fish paste cake along with chilled beer.