japanese (115)
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T-Pops Tarako Salted cod roe popcorn: Purchased from Tokyo Fish Market, this small bag of popcorn from T-Pops contains dense miniature kernels with a seasoned but not easily identifiable flavoring. It doesn’t taste like seafood, which I expected because of the salted cod flavoring and it’s dressed with a noticeable amount of oil. Not particularly good popcorn, or unique flavor. 2.5/5.0

2.5 popcorn roe cod salted tpops japanese tokyofishmarket
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Inaba Irodori Mix: A mix of classic senbei glazed rice crackers, including irregularly-shaped, textured shoyu nuggets; glazed sweet and savory crunchy balls embedded with strips of nori, each surrounding a single peanut; airy crisps resembling puffed shrimp crackers; and a surprising addition of dried anchovies, providing a concentrated salinity that balances some of the sweeter bites. Contained five individual-sized packs portioned well to be satisfying snack for grown ups. Purchased from Tokyo Fish Market in... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 mix irodori inaba nuts ricecrackers tokyofishmarket japanese recommended
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Calbee Takoyaki Corn Puffs: Similar in size and texture to Utz cheese balls but tasting nothing like them, these octopus-flavored puffed corn snacks from Japanese snack brand Calbee actually hail from South Korea. They’re coated in a light brown powder tasting strongly of Worcestershire sauce, giving each bite an initial vinegary and savory hit but ending on an unexpectedly (and slightly overpowering) sweet note. They don’t have as strong of a seafood flavor as I would like, probably because the Worcestershire seasoni... (read more) 3.5/5.0

nijiya 3.5 puffs corn takoyaki calbee korean japanese octopus recommended
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Marukyo Black Sesame Funwariyaki Dorayaki: Dorayaki is a delicious filled pancake dessert from Japan that has no equivalent in American pastry (as far as I know). The closest likeness I can think of is the Whoopie Pie, though dorayaki has a bean paste filling rather than cream, and the ratio of cake to filling is slimmer. Berkeley Bowl sells an assortment of refrigerated cakes in their Asian grocery aisle, though I have normally been wary of these silica-packet-filled packaged snacks. I was intrigued, though, by this black sesame ... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 dorayaki funwariyaki sesame black marukyo blacksesame japanese berkeleybowl recommended
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Yaokin Takoyaki Umaibo: Continuing my quest to try every flavor of Umaibo (a challenge I don’t think will ever end), I tried the takoyaki flavored corn snack. For those who haven’t had takoyaki before, takoyaki is a Japanese street snack consisting of battered octopus balls topped with shaved bonito flakes and a kewpie mayo drizzle. This snack version of a snack had a very smoky seafood flavor, savory and sweet like a deep brown gravy (Worcestershire-like). It isn’t one of my favorite Umaibo as I found the flavor b... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 umaibo takoyaki yaokin japanese
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Minamoto Kitchoan Senbei: Crispy Japanese rice crackers from confectionary store Minamoto Kitchoan. First time I've ever had a snack that has a deep umami flavor but is not at all salty (some may even say underseasoned). An interesting one, but not a snack I would purchase. 3.0/5.0

3.0 senbei minamotokitchoan japanese ricecrackers