3 Most Beloved Wasabi-Flavored Snacks in Japan
“Wasabi (わさび)” is a pungent condiment that is essential for Sashimi fresh raw fish slices and Sushi, which, in fact, can remove the fishy odor. Made by grinding ground rhizomes of Japanese horseradish, the green paste is usually sold in small tube containers in Japan.
Wasabi is not only an indispensable part of Japanese cuisine but in Japan, the spicy, pungent green paste is often used as a natural flavoring ingredient for snack foods as well. In fact, if you have a chance to go shopping at a supermarket in Japan, you will find a wide variety of wasabi-flavored snacks in the snack and candy section.
3 Long-Time Favorite Wasabi Snacks in Japan
Out of those, for wasabi snack beginners, today I will introduce 3 long-time favorite Japanese wasabi snacks that have been widely enjoyed by both adults and children in Japan for decades.
Kaki no Tane Wasabi Flavor (柿の種 わさび)
“Kaki no Tane (柿の種)” is one of the best-recognized rice crackers in Japan that was first created by “Naniwaya Seika (浪花屋製菓)” Confectionery in 1923. It is a savory snack made by baking rice dough without using oil, flavored with soy sauce and red chili pepper, and often comes with roasted peanuts.
Today, many Japanese food companies produce Kaki no Tane rice crackers in various flavors, like this and this. Among those, “Kameda Seika (亀田製菓)” Confectionery is especially famous for its Kaki no Tane products, and the wasabi flavor is one of the basics.
The crunchy wasabi-flavored rice cracker is not that spicy, if you eat only a few pieces at a time, and features an appetizing savory flavor that goes perfectly with beer.
Wasabi Mame (わさび豆)
As with Kaki no Tane, “Wasabi Mame (わさび豆)” is also one of the good and old wasabi snacks that have long been loved in Japan and that many Japanese food companies produce and sell.
As the word “Mame (豆)” means “bean” in Japanese, green peas and broad beans are typically used as the main ingredient of Wasabi Mame beans, and the pictured Wasabi Mame from Kasugai Seika loved by Japanese people for over 30 years is made by deep-frying green peas partially coated with wheat flour batter.
As for the taste, these deep-fried green peas have a salty, sweet, addicting pungent Wasabi flavor, accompanied by a pleasantly crispy texture.
Wasa-Beef Patato Chips (わさビーフ ポテトチップス)
“Wasa-Beef (わさビーフ)” is a long-selling wasabi-flavored potato chip that was introduced by the Japanese confectionery company, Yamayoshi Seika, in 1987.
As you can guess from the name, the Yamayoshi’s potato crisps are characterized by the addictive combination of the rich umami taste of beef and the refreshing aftertaste from wasabi.
Actually, this is one of my favorite potato snacks and I love to eat these as an “Otsumami (おつまみ)” for beer.