Sure, you’ve tried the ubiquitous takoyaki and okonomiyaki. But have you sampled these more specialized Japanese snacks?
Tako tamago (octopus egg)
Skewers of baby octopi are marinated, candied, and topped with a quail egg to form “lollipops” of sorts. Sweet and savory at the same time and with an unexpected bite, these street snacks are simply irresistible.
Basashi (horse sashimi)
Basashi is essentially raw horse meat. Strictly for intrepid eaters, this local delicacy resembles beef carpaccio, but with a more gamey taste. It’s served cold to ward off bacteria growth, and is best eaten with soy sauce, scallions, horseradish and garlic paste.
These crepes are as cutesy and as colorful as the Tokyo district they’re named for. Stuffed with cream, custard, strawberries and a whole array of other toppings, they can be ordered at crêpe stands along Takeshita-dori in Harajuku.
Kare pan (curry bread)
This iconic snack — essentially a fried donut coated with breadcrumbs and filled with Japanese curry — is usually found in Japanese bakeries and convenience stores. It’s affordable, delicious and filling.
Dango (sweet dumplings)
Dango are sweet dumplings made with mochiko (rice flour), which gives them their sticky, chewy texture. There are many types of dango across Japan; flavors also depend on the seasonality of ingredients. While they are usually stuffed with sweet fillings like red bean and chestnut paste, there are also savory varieties like mitarashi dango, which is coated with a sweet-salty soy sauce glaze.
Kanniko (candied baby crabs)
These candied baby crabs are sweet and salty all at once, resulting in a deliciously umami treat. The sesame seeds coating these crustaceans further add a nice hint of nuttiness.
Yaki tomorokoshi (grilled corn)
At first glance, this snack may look just like your typical corn on the cob. However, what makes it extra-special is its miso butter glaze, which gives it a distinctively smoky flavor. Oishi!
Also read: Where to eat in Minami, Osaka