Dagashi: Umaibo Takoyaki Flavor Corn Puff Snack Bar
Known as one of the most beloved Dagashi treats in Japan, “Umaibo (うまい棒)” is a long-selling corn puff snack bar that is especially popular with children. It comes in many unique flavors and only costs 10 yen (0.1 USD), which is why Japanese children love the Dagashi snack.
According to the Umaibo’s official website, there are 19 regular flavors as of today, and some of them have a very Japanese taste like the Tonkatsu sauce flavor and Mentai flavor that I introduced a while ago.
Umaibo Takoyaki Flavor
And that also applies to the one I purchased this time “Takoyaki (たこ焼)” flavor. This Umaibo Takoyaki went on the market in 1987 and today has become one of the top 5 flavors.
On the outside, the corn puff has a dark brown color from its flavorings and looks like a burnt snack. But when you break the bar into two, you can see the puffed snack itself is yellow in color and plain. Actually, the snack bar is full of flavor like a Takoyaki sauce.
Takoyaki and Takoyaki Sauce
“Takoyaki (たこ焼き)” is often referred to as octopus balls in English. The wheat flour batter is mixed with Dashi soup stock and topped with a bit of octopus meat, together with other toppings like finely chopped Beni Shoga and green onions.
The mixture is cooked in a Takoyaki grill pan and the resulting balls are typically dressed with Takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise, and dusted with green seaweed powder called “Aonori (青のり)” and dried bonito shavings “Katsuobushi (鰹節)”.
These octopus balls are crispy on the outside and soft, moist on the inside, while the Takoyaki sauce is a sweet brown sauce made with lots of vegetables and fruits. It has a very similar taste to Okonomiyaki sauce but is not that spicy as compared to Tonkatsu sauce.
As I mentioned above, the Japanese corn puff snack Umaibo Takoyaki tastes kind of like Takoyaki sauce. It is very savory and somewhat sweet, and not spicy at all. Additionally, as with the actual octopus ball, Aonori and Beni Shoga (red pickled ginger) are also used in the snack.
Specifically, here is the ingredient list. According to this, the main ingredients in the Dagashi snack are corn (Non-GMO), vegetable fat and oil, sauce, sugar, wheat flour, skim milk powder, green seaweed, Beni Shoga (red pickled ginger), spices, yolk powder, shrimp powder, amino acids, acidifier, sucralose, and caramel pigment.