Dagashi: Umaibo Takoyaki Flavor Corn Puff Stick
Known as one of the most loved Dagashi treats in Japan, “Umaibo (うまい棒)” is a long-selling puffed corn snack especially popular with children.
It comes in many unique flavors and only costs 10 yen (about 0.1 USD), which is why many Japanese children love the Dagashi snack.
Umaibo Takoyaki Flavor
And that also applies to what I purchased this time, the “Takoyaki (たこ焼)” flavor. The Umaibo Takoyaki went on the market in 1987 and today has become one of the top 5 most popular flavors.
On the outside, the corn puff stick of Umaibo Takoyaki is dark brown because of the flavorings applied and looks like a burnt snack.
But when you break the stick into two, you can see the puffcorn itself is yellow and plain. Nonetheless, due to the coating, the snack is full of flavor associated with the 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 chunk of octopus meat and ingredients 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, dusted with “Aonori (青のり)” green seaweed powder and “Katsuobushi (鰹節)” bonito shavings.
These octopus balls are crispy on the outside and soft, moist on the inside, while the brown sauce made with lots of vegetables and fruits is rich and sweet.
As I mentioned above, the Umaibo Takoyaki tastes kind of like Takoyaki sauce. It is very savory and somewhat sweet, but not spicy at all. As with the actual octopus ball, Aonori and Beni Shoga (red pickled ginger) are used in the snack.
The main ingredients in the Umaibo Takoyaki stick are non-GMO corn, vegetable oil, sauce, sugar, wheat flour, skim milk powder, Aonori (green seaweed), Beni Shoga (red pickled ginger), spices, yolk powder, shrimp powder, amino acid seasoning, acidifier, sucralose, and caramel pigment.