Showing posts with label Senbei. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Senbei. Show all posts

Friday, May 13, 2016

Calbee Kappa Ebisen Lotteria Ebi Burger かっぱえびせん ロッテリア エビバーガー


The males in my household are big fans of ebi senbei and kappa ebisen in particular so I was excited to buy these from napaJapan to try!

This is a collaboration of Calbee with Lotteria and the flavour is based on their Ebi Burger (shrimp pattie burger).

I've never tried it but I assume it would be nice? (Please let me know if you have tried it in the comments!)

Upon opening the bag there is a strong smell of ebi and something that smells like tartare sauce. It makes sense as the picture on the front of the bag shows the burger with cabbage and a white sauce flecked with green.

Each senbei is flecked with red and green bits too, and they smell strongly of shrimp. They are very crunchy and moreish. 

The taste is quite different to the regular ebisen, in that the tartare sauce is strong in flavour as well as scent. It's amazing to me how much it tastes like what I imagine the burger to be like in real life!

Mr 5 who is a diehard ebi senbei freak didn't like these, but my husband and I are currently fighting over the bag. As is so often the case, I bought one to try and end up regretting not buying more of them. 

I definitely recommend these. If you've tried the burger, drop me a line and let me know how these rate against it! :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Skoshbox Review

I was delighted recently to find an email in my inbox asking me if I would like to receive a box of Japanese goodies from a new subscription service in the US called Skoshbox.

Skoshbox is a company founded by two close friends from childhood who have lived in both Japan and the US throughout their lives. Raised by Japanese mothers and brought up on Japanese snacks, video games, and comfort food, they noticed a severe lack of variety and accessibility to affordable Japanese items in the US. Out of this they created Skoshbox - a monthly subscription service that will deliver a variety of new and quircky snacks to your doorstep.

They hand pick every item that goes into the box, because it is important to them that each item reflects the Japan they know and love so much.

The subscription service is priced at $12 which includes shipping. At the moment it is available within the US only, but according to their Facebook page, they are working on bringing Skoshbox to the international community as well.

For my readers who live in the US I have a special promo code that you can use at checkout which will entitle you to a FREE mystery snack included in your box. Just type the code TASTYJP05.
The code is valid until July 15th 2013 which is the cut-off date for ordering the first box. (Unfortunately because I live in Australia, my parcel took quite a while to arrive so my readers will have less time to use the code.)

I've looked for information on the website and Facebook page as to why Skoshbox is named that. Where did the name come from? I can't find any info but I can only assume it comes from the Japanese word "sukoshi" - meaning "a little bit" because the parcel that came in the mail was filled with lots of little bits and pieces.

When I opened the box, I noticed that it was very professionally packed. There was a postcard that greeted me, which had all the snacks listed on the other side in English. The white tissue paper wrapped around the snacks was a nice touch and it made it feel like I was getting a gift.

Even though the parcel was quite small, it was filled to the brim with a variety of snacks which gave me the feeling of receiving a lot. I knew all the snacks in the box, they are my husband's childhood favourites.

The one thing I observed though is that if you can't read Japanese, then you wouldn't know what snack is which, just by reading the postcard alone. In my opinion, the postcard needs an image of the snack next to each listing. Otherwise, customers will have to find out purely by a process of elimination. 

There was a total of 14 items in the box. 13 of which were edible. When my Japanese husband saw what was in the box he exclaimed "natsukashii" (nostalgic) because these are the snacks he grew up eating, and some of them he still eats now, even though we are in Australia.

My husband and 2 year old son joined me for this review, purely because we all love Japanese snacks and they were hanging around watching me so I had to invite them to join. ;)

We started off with the Senbei (rice cracker) which was soy sauce flavour. There were two crackers in the pack and they are supposed to be "soft" senbei (easy to bite into), but they were quite hard. I thought maybe they were a bit stale. The soy sauce flavour was hard to detect, my husband and I first thought that it was salt or salad flavour because we could only smell the soy sauce. The cracker itself was quite salty. None of us were very big fans of this senbei sadly.

Kaki no Tane
There were two small packs of Kakipi, and my husband and I had one pack each since my son has a nut allergy. We both felt there were too many peanuts in the pack. Usually (and this is just personal preference) we like to eat 2 or 3 hot crackers with one peanut, but each pack seemed to have a high ratio of peanuts to crackers, meaning when we had finished the crackers there were still peanuts left. If we ate the crackers and peanuts together, then the spiciness of the crackers was mellowed out by the peanuts.

Marble Chocolate
The packaging was very cute and my son made a grab for it straight away. We all liked the crispy shell and the chocolate inside had a very strong cocoa flavour. Some of the chocolates had a picture of a cow on the outside so we felt lucky, because they are rare.


Koala's March
The outside of this packet is also very cute and shows pictures of Koala's that may show up in your pack indicating you are "lucky". Unfortunately I got no such characters, or if I did, I couldn't tell because the insides were broken. This happens sometimes and because it came such a long way, it can't be helped. We found that the shell was very crunchy and nice but the chocolate had an odd flavour, like it was old. My son made a swipe for this packet too!

Umaibo Cheese
Umaibo is a long tubular corn snack, similar to what Aussies would know of as a "Cheezel" but sweeter. This was broken into 4 pieces inside the pack but I have found them to be somewhat fragile in the past, so it's no wonder. It's probably not a good snack to send internationally because it is easy to break. The flavour was quite cheesy but it also had a sweetness that Western savoury snacks don't have. We all enjoyed this one!


 Umaibo Mentaiko (Fish Roe)
I have to admit, I am not a fan of seafood, but my husband loves mentaiko. I was not looking forward to trying it but was pleasantly surprised. There wasn't too much seafood smell or flavour and to me this could have been bbq for all I knew. We all liked it but preferred the cheese. My son chomped the last half of the stick all by himself!

Haichu Strawberry
How to split this candy three ways was our difficulty, however we managed and liked it. It was very mini indeed, I would have liked a couple of each flavour in the box. The strawberry flavour was very light. The candy was very chewy and stuck to my teeth.


Haichu Melon
This was green and white in colour and tasted like rock melon. The flavour was very strong and reminded us what we love about Japan. All three of us wanted more of melon Haichu. It was a very pleasant candy to eat.


Look Chocolate Matcha Azuki
We all like the combination of Matcha (green tea) and Azuki (red bean) so we expected great things from this chocolate. The matcha flavour was strong, rich and quite sweet, but we couldn't taste any azuki which is a real shame. I preferred this chocolate out of the two flavours.

Look Chocolate Matcha Milk
The "milk" inside this chocolate was clear and stringy, unlike the image on the box of a white creamy liquid. However, I could taste a creaminess which I imagined was the milk. The matcha in this chocolate was not as strong as with the azuki which I didn't like but my husband loved. My son devoured both chocolates and seemed to love them both equally...he would have had another box of them if he could!! ;)


Besides Tirol, Chocoball is my husbands favourite snack ever. He loves the combination of peanuts and chocolate. I expected him to love this as it's the original version of chocoball. However he told me that the flavour of this mini pack was different to the normal box of original Chocoball and he thinks that the layer of chocolate is thinner. I liked the crunchiness of the toffee and coating inside, and the flavour of the dark chocolate on the outside, but I too noticed something different but I couldn't work out what it was. The only thing I could say is that these small snacks seem like they come from a share-pack so they could have been modified a little bit for that purpose.


Orange Bubble Gum
Bubble gum is not something I eat a lot of, so I have no real expertise in this area. I am familiar with this gum mainly because I see it for sale at oriental supermarkets in my city. This was my first time trying it, and sadly will be my last. The orange flavour was strong and it burned my tongue. Both sides of my tongue were on fire while eating this and afterwards I had acid indigestion. I can only assume that whatever chemical used in this gum just doesn't agree with me. It is a cheap and nasty addition to Skoshbox and I would recommend they leave it out in future.

Milk Hardcandy
There was only one of these candies so I got to have it to myself. I was glad I did because it was so creamy and tasted very milky. It was really hard so it lasted a long time. I wished there were more of these candies in the box!!

Air-in Eraser
I thought it was kind of strange to put an eraser in a box of candy from Japan. I know that Japan is popular with geeks and they must like using mechanical pens and erasers. But for the rest of us who aren't students, what will we do with an eraser? If it has to be an eraser, I would prefer something more "Japanese" such as one of those cute erasers that look like a bowl of ramen or a sushi roll. Otherwise I would have liked to see a cultural item such as some chocolate in the shape of 5 yen coins or a phone strap, or maybe even a sushi keyring.

I really like the idea of Skoshbox but I thought the contents were somewhat hit and miss. I guess being a seasoned snack reviewer and regular consumer of Japanese snacks, the contents of the box feel a bit "meh" to me, but to someone who is just getting to know Japan, this would be a great introduction.

It's also really good for those who like getting parcels every month, it feels a bit like getting a gift in the mail, especially because it is packaged so beautifully. Skoshbox is the kind of thing I would have liked when I was in high school and just starting to learn Japanese. I feel that it is marketed towards Japanophiles who have an avid interest in everything Japan. My husband said that if he was missing Japanese snacks and he couldn't buy them in his area then he would buy a Skoshbox every month. I guess for Japanese people away from home, this could even help cure homesickness.

On the Skoshbox website you can see what is in each month's box before it is delivered to you. I will be interested to see what comes out each month, and even more so when Skoshbox go international. Who knows? I might even buy one myself. :)

How you can find Skoshbox
- Website:
- Facebook:

Here are some other reviews of Skoshbox










**The Skoshbox reviewed here was shipped to me for free by Skoshbox and reviewed honestly and fairly. At the time of writing Skoshbox do not ship internationally but it seems like this might change in future.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Chuoken Hanairo Shion Senbei Set 中央軒 花色しおん せんべい

Recently when a Japanese friend got married I went to her wedding here in Perth and another friend also travelled over from Japan to attend. The friend gave us some premium Chuoken Senbei as a gift. I shared some on the day with Yasu and then quickly hid the rest away because they were so special. Its not every day you get given senbei from Ginza!

Each set contains an amount of Senbei, divided by two kinds in separate pink and purple packs. We had a set of 6 packages which means we had 3 each of pink and purple.

 Hanairo Pink

#1 - Soy sauce & Nori - with lots of crunch and some tiny sprinkles of nori (seweed)
#2 - Almond Arare - A very nice crunchy senbei with 3 small almond pieces on the top, very flavourful.
#3 - Hana - Tastes like Sakura and the texture is like little rice crips all glued together with sugar. Sweet senbei but very nice.
#4 - Aonori - Light, crisp senbei with a touch of nori and salt.
#5 - Kaifuri - Thin and crunchy, can taste soy sauce and dashi, and has sprinkles of nori on the outside for extra flavour.
#6 - Yuzu - A big hit of citrus on here, thin and crunchy with a lasting citrus taste.
#7 - Plum - Shaped like a Sakura petal, delicate crunch with plum flavoured sugar, has some sour notes as well as sweet.

My favourites out of here were the Plum and #1.

Hanairo Purple

#1 - Seaweed wrap - Thin and wrapped in nori, great crunchy texture and nice nori flavour.
#2 - Soy bean arare - Thick, crunchy and light toasted soy bean flavour, very interesting aftertaste of roasted beans.
#3 - Matcha arare - Green and thin, quite sweet and only light hints of green tea.
#4 - Soba Boro - Texture like a ginger nut biscuit, lots of smoky flavour, quite malty, has soba-esque hints.
#5 - White - Soy sauce flavour on a thin leaf-like senbei.
#6 - Rice arare - Like little rice crispies glued together, dashi and soy sauce flavour and a nice glossy sheen.
#7 - Ebi Senbei - Thick, crunchy and oily. Big prawn flavours.

My favourite of these were the Soba Boro and the Ebi Senbei.

In all, these Senbei were an exquisite snack, and Yasu and I both really enjoyed them and were very sad when they were all gone. If you happen to see these in Japan sometime, they make a great gift and an even better snack for yourself, and I thoroughly recommend them.

You can check out their website here. They also have an online shop.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

[200th Post!] Calbee Choco Kappa Ebisen かっぱえびせんチョコ


Hi and welcome to my 200th post! I have made it. If you are a regular reader, thank you for reading my blog!

Well for my 200th post I have a snack to review made up of two things you normally don't think would go together. That is prawn crackers, and chocolate. You don't tend to see fishy flavours mixed with chocolate do you?

I was surprised this snack exists, and thank you to the friend who sent it over for me to try! I'm always willing to try new things, as weird as they may be.

So... Kappa Ebisen, aka a prawn flavoured snack, which I love, and chocolate, which I also love, melded together to become one. The packaging really stands out. It's bright red with a red prawn on a white circle on the front. It looks interesting.

This pack is small and holds 23 grams. It held about 22 crackers. I expected the inside of the bag to smell like prawn but I couldn't smell anything but chocolate.


Each cracker has a light coating of milk chocolate over it, just enough to cover it but without totally covering the shape, so that the grooves of the cracker still show through. The chocolate is glossy, and makes the cracker look somewhat plastic.

The cracker is crunchy and airy, and immediately after biting it I could taste the prawn flavour followed by a creamy chocolate taste. The prawn flavour is fleeting, there is a hit and then the chocolate takes over. If you eat more than one though, the prawn flavour tends to build up.

I actually don't mind the taste of these, even though it's a little odd at first. I'm a fan of salty and sweet together, and the prawn crackers have just enough salt to get this combination going.

My husband who is a big fan of Kappa Ebisen said he hates these... I guess for some, chocolate and seafood just don't go together, end of story.

If you like snacks out of the ordinary then you should definitely give these a go! They're a talking point if anything! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Calbee Korean Seaweed かっぱえびせん カルビー 韓国のり風味


As I posted previously, my son loves ebi senbei. Today he has been sick with a virus he caught from one of his friends and has been having high temperatures, which means he has been refusing all food.

I was at my wit's end when I realised that I had this bag of Calbee squirreled away in a parcel from a friend...I pulled them out and opened them and my son instantly perked up and began munching away! Saved! :)

The bag is quite pretty and the top and bottom of the bag is decorated in traditional Korean colours. I'm not really sure what difference there is between Korean nori (seaweed) and Japanese Nori, and when I asked my husband he said they just call it Korean nori in he doesn't know either. Looking online I couldn't find mention of a particular type that comes from Korea, so I guess this is just seaweed originating from Korea flavour!

Inside, the pack really smelled strongly of seaweed, and each cracker had a rich taste of seaweed plus a small kick of what must be chili powder. These tasted quite salty too which made for a very moorish snack that I couldn't stop eating! I love how these snacks are so crunchy when you bite into them, it's the perfect savoury snack.

The other great thing about this pack is that unlike other savoury snacks where you get a small portion of snacks and the rest is air, the bag was full to the top of crackers. When my husband came home from work he had some too and gave them two thumbs up, so we three are all really happy with this snack from Calbee.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kinako Senbei 岩塚製菓 きなこ餅 "にほんの味”


I am a huge fan of Kinako, it's one of my all-time favourite Japanese flavours besides Azuki and Matcha. So when I found this pack of Kinako Senbei in a box of goodies from a friend in Japan, I was ecstatic.

This pack has 12 individually wrapped senbei. They are thin and light and as you can see on the photo have a patchy sampling of kinako. The pack states that this is more a "savoury" style of kinako as opposed to a really sweet version. I was a little bit disappointed at reading that.

However when I first bit into the senbei it wasn't bad at all. True to what the package says, it wasn't that sweet, but it definitely tasted like kinako, and I quite like the "savoury" version. It's also really crunchy and light, and there is a strong nutty flavour that I really like.

The only downer with this senbei is there is only 1 small senbei wrapped by itself, I could eat more at a time, I wish there were about 4 in one wrap. Maybe because they're so addictive, they limit the quantity to 1 individual serving, people could go crazy and eat the whole pack in one sitting otherwise!

I really recommend these if you like kinako. I still have half the pack left because I'm trying to save them...I'm so kinako deprived over here in Perth, Australia, that I have to really savour anything with kinako that I can get my hands on!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Befco Baka-Uke Shio Wasabi Snack ばかうけ 塩わさび味

Today Yasu and I were in the mood for a snack, and we remembered about the box of goodies that my lovely friend S had sent over so I opened it up and Yasu chose this pack of Bakauke by Befco. Shio Wasabi - Salty Wasabi.

Hmm... I'm not into "hot" or "spicy" foods but I thought I would be game and try.

Each cracker is long and curved, and has the consistency of a "soft" senbei.

When I bit into the cracker I immediately got a big hit of wasabi on the tip of my tongue and after swallowing, at the back of my throat, and the more I ate, the more it built up. Yasu really enjoyed these and I loved that they had such a crunchy texture.

I didn't notice any extra salt as per the "salty" wasabi tag, but maybe because my mouth was on fire. Though I did notice a sweetness from the inside of the cracker between bites.

The wasabi was a bit too strong for me but people who can take the heat would love these. :)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kameda Seika Curry Senbei 亀田製菓カレーせん


I've had such a big craving for senbei (a type of Japanese rice cracker) lately, but the only options in the Japanese supermarkets here seem to be either soy sauce or salt flavour. I'm not really into either of those flavours to be honest.

So I asked the help of a friend in Japan to send me some senbei over and she kindly obliged. She sent me a few different types, the bite size senbei that my son loves, these Curry Sen and some fancier Ebi Senbei which I hope to blog about soon.

These curry senbei are those which you might call "soft". They are big and round and when you bite into them they melt in the mouth. Hubby and I were really happy with these and ate the packet over two sittings but could have quite happily ate it in one if we wanted to be piggies!

So soft they broke up in transit.
The curry sen were coated back and front with lots of curry spice and on the packet it claims the flavour leans more towards Indian spices which I can attest to as at the end of each bite my tongue warmed up with the heat of the spices.

As you can probably tell we really loved these and were sad when our senbei love affair was over. I'd definitely recommend these if you want something a bit different from the usual rice cracker.

Each pack has 18 crackers and the company's website is here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Echigo Seika Bite Size Prawn Crackers 越後製菓 味の追求 ひとくち 海老せん


I am a big fan of prawn crackers and usually when we have Chinese Take-away I get a big bag of them.

Ebi Senbei are a lot like prawn crackers except they are usually round, thicker and harder. I got a friend to send some senbei (Japanese rice cracker) over for me and in the box she included this pack of bite size ebi senbei with my 11 month old son in mind.

I wasn't sure if he would like them but they were a massive hit and quickly became "his" senbei, in fact he ate the whole pack by himself except for one or two that we sneaked so we could try.

I know why they were so popular, they are the perfect size for his little hands, they have lots of flavour, and a satisfying crunch.

These are adults senbei, not marketed towards children but they seem perfect for the whole family.

The packet contains 60g worth of senbei which is probably around 30 pieces and a packet contains 474 calories.

I'm definitely going to buy more of these, they are just so worth it!!

The manufacturers website is

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Riska Shittori White Choc リスカ しっとりホワイトチョコ


I'm a fan of white chocolate and when I happened upon this bag of Riska White Chocolate crunch I decided to grab them. They were only $1.40 for an 80 gram bag which is surprisingly good value for a Japanese snack.

When I opened the bag, a very sweet smell wafted up that reminded me of a cross between condensed milk and white chocolate. Yum!

The only weird thing about this snack is that the biscuits themselves are really ugly. When I first tipped them out my first thought was "smoker's lungs" - because they reminded me of the advertising campaigns a few years back when they would squeeze the tar out of smokers lungs and the results would be something like a dark grey holey sponge. Sorry for the analogy!

Each biscuit is about 2cm in diameter and 1cm high and is really crunchy. On the pack it says there is Xylitol in the ingredients but the white chocolate is sweet enough to cover up any xylitol flavour that might have been. I can't taste any. The white chocolate coating on the outside is delicious and really does taste like condensed milk. It's sooo yum. The delicious crunch when you bite into these is so addictive!! I could seriously eat the whole bag by myself.

I must point out that white chocolate can sometimes be overpoweringly sweet, but in this case it's not like that, it's very well balanced with the biscuit, so you don't feel that need to drink 10 glasses of water afterwards.

I've got to go back and get some more of these! I definitely recommend them! I wonder what the milk chocolate version is like? Hmm. I found a review of them here. Sadly no-one seems to have reviewed the white version.

Brand: Riska
Calories per box: 2343

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Calbee Kappa Ebisen Kishu Plum かっぱえびせん 紀州の梅


On a rainy day during last week I pulled out this bag of Kappa Ebisen Kishu Plum! I'm not a big fan of plum and my husband hates it all together, so I didn't know if we would like this one at all. Kishu is a place in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan and is famous for its plums, which are also made into Kishu Plum Wine.

The bag had a very tangy aroma when I opened it, and each long senbei stick had sprinkles of red all over. On the back of the bag it stated that it was red shiso. I'm not a shiso fan, in fact I try to stay away from it.

This snack however, was really yummy. The red shiso seems to have a different flavour entirely from the normal green shiso, and there was notes of tangy plum present when I crunched down into the senbei. The prawn flavour was still evident underneath and combined, all three flavours made a melody in my mouth.

After the first handful of these we were both pretty much addicted and ate the whole bag in no time! I think these would be great as a beer snack too.

The design on the bag was really pretty - a shame to throw it out really. Unfortunately I did throw the bag out and also forgot to write down the nutritional information so for my readers that usually want to know those details - I will resume in my next post.

Get yourself some of these! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amanoya Kabuki Age Curry Flavour 天乃屋歌舞伎揚カレー味


I chose this little bag of senbei from my local Japanese supermarket because the pieces shown on the packet resemble Age Ichiban but smaller. It was only 50 cents for the bag which I thought was very reasonable! Sometimes Japanese products tend to be very expensive, even when they are small, so this was a nice surprise.

I've never come across the brand - Amanoya - before, but a quick search of google reveals that they do have a website, although I'm not familiar with any of the products. They don't have Kabuki Age listed on their site, so whether or not it was just a temporary line, I don't know.

The packet itself is pocket or palm sized. It's quite small. The senbei are also small, but there are quite a few in the pack.

The pack really smells like curry inside, this beautiful aroma wafted out when I opened it. The senbei are really crunchy and there is a lot of spices on the outside that bring the curry flavour to life in my mouth. It's not a super hot curry flavour, mild but also with sweet notes at the end. It does leave a hotness in my mouth afterwards. If you eat the whole pack at once the hotness builds up so it's that much hotter too.

The best thing about these is the crunch. They are just so satisfyingly crunchy. Yumm. I'm just sorry I didn't buy a few more packs!!

I definitely recommend these if you see them around - a great snack to fill a hole or to munch and walk. :)

Brand: Amanoya
Calories per pack: 83

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kameda Seika Age Ichiban Senbei 亀田製菓揚げ一番せんべい


I've been looking around for some senbei (rice crackers) in the Japanese supermarkets around me, but mostly the flavours are all the same. Either soy sauce, plain salt, seaweed, or sesame. Absolutely no prawn flavour, or other interesting flavours, only the usual fare.

So when I went into Maruyu yesterday and discovered Age Ichiban I had to buy some! Kameda Seika make my favourite senbei of all time - Kotsubukko. Age Ichiban is very similar to Kotsubukko in that the texture and idea is the same, it's still Age (fried), but they are small round balls of fried soy sauce goodness. Age Ichiban is fried soy sauce goodness in a larger size (6cm diameter) and individually wrapped in the packet.

I paid $3.99 for this pack of 155 grams. There are 25 individually wrapped senbei total. Not bad.

I love these because when you open the wrapping you can smell the soy sauce immediately and it also has a lovely sweet smell that goes along with it, sort of like the sweetness in Teriyaki.

The senbei is quite hard and there is a loud crunch when you bite into it, and I wouldn't recommend these for people with sensitive or weak teeth. But anyway, if you love a good crunch these are great.

The flavour is really present without being overwhelming. Despite being deep fried they are not too oily. It's kind of hard for me to explain the flavour other than that its really soy sauce in the beginning then becomes quite sweet soy sauce at the end.

Just like kotsubukko I can't stop eating these, and one is not enough. I've already eaten four during this review. Stop Kelly stop!!

Thankfully, Yasu doesn't like these so I have the whole pack to myself. Good times. :) I guess you know the answer, YES I would definitely buy this again.