Try These Yummy Ibaraki Snacks For When You Just Can't Wait for Dinner | CoolJapan

It is 3PM and you got a rumbling in your tummy. This peckish feeling, familiar to many of us, is the time when you raid the pantry and reach out for a snack.

In Japan, an afternoon snack is called “Oyatsu”. Did you know it comes from the word “yatsudoki”, which refers to 3PM? Snacking is a part of Japanese traditions and its origins go way back to the Edo period (1603-1868). Farmers used to eat something light in between meals for sustained energy to work the fields. In modern times, oyatsu simply means a time to enjoy a short break and a snack.

Contrary to popular belief, snacking isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It helps to curb hunger and regulate your appetite during meal times. Of course, that does not mean stuffing your face with chips or sugar-laden pastries. Try these yummy and healthy snacks from Ibaraki to satisfy your mid-afternoon cravings!

Japanese Sweet Potato

Japanese Sweet Potato

Those who have tried Japanese sweet potato (satsumaimo in Japanese) will know that this is not your regular sweet potato. It is creamy, moist and fills your palate with an intense chestnut-like sweetness. For some of the best-tasting ones, get those that are grown in Ibaraki prefecture.

With an abundance of nutrient-rich soil and gently sloping fields, Ibaraki is an agricultural haven and the biggest gross agricultural output of sweet potato in Japan. Just think of all the delicious sweet potatoes you can eat! A simple way to enjoy it would be to bake it and just eat it on its own. These baked sweet potatoes actually taste like cake but a much healthier version.

Ibaraki Hoshi Imo
An excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, Ibaraki Hoshi Imo make quite the perfect sweet snack.

If fuss-free snacking is your style, you would love Hoshi Imo or dried sweet potatoes. Ibaraki’s Hoshi Imo is made using Beniharuka sweet potatoes, one of the most popular varieties that are known for their remarkable sweetness. Not only is it delicious, but these golden sweet potato strips are also incredibly nutritious too.



Natto topped with mustard and spring onions makes for a satisfying and healthy snack. (Photo: yoppy /CC BY 2.0)

A bowl of these umami-packed gooey beans will satiate your hunger easily and give you health benefits. For true natto lovers, head over to Mito city in Ibaraki, also known as the Natto capital. Here, you can find a traditional type of natto that is left to ferment in rice straw. It is a nostalgic and particularly delicious taste that has been enjoyed by the Japanese for more than 1000 years.

Of course, the slimy texture and strong smell aren’t what many people like to consider as a tasty snack. But, what if this super healthy fermented bean can be made into scrumptious crunchy nibbles?

Parintou Snack

Crispy natto in Wasabi flavour is sure to perk you up during tea time. Kanasago Foods in Ibaraki developed a Parintou Snack that is made from special Mamenoka natto beans. These beans go through a process of low-temperature vacuum frying, which reduces the slime and smell, yet preserves the nutty taste and health benefits. Goes great with a cup of tea!

Miso Peanut

Miso Peanut

(Photo: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan)

Since ancient times in Ibaraki, farmers made Miso Peanuts from imperfect peanuts that were not suitable for sale. As its name suggests, it is basically just roasted peanuts coated with miso paste. Although simple, the earthy flavours and the appetising crunch make for a delightful light bite that is still loved by the locals today.

Miso peanuts are a regular snack item in Ibaraki homes, with each family having their own unique recipe. If you are unable to find them at Japanese supermarkets, you can easily make some in your own kitchen. Nutritious and tasty, miso peanut can be stored in the fridge for a good amount of time so that you have a ready-to-eat snack to quell those hunger pangs.

You can learn to make Miso Peanuts with this easy recipe:

Japanese Strawberries

Thanks to its gentle climate, Ibaraki produces a wonderful variety of fruits all year round, such as amazingly sweet, plump and juicy strawberries. There are many strawberry varieties produced from this fertile land and some well-known ones include the Ibarakiss (especially sweet), Tochiotome, Hitachihime and Benihoppe. Grown with much patience and love, these famed Ibaraki strawberries are the perfect luxury teatime snack to enjoy with special guests.

Tsumugino Strawberry Milk

Savour the goodness of sweet Ibaraki strawberries with a glass of Tsumugino Strawberry Milk. Another easy way to fulfil the strawberry cravings is a yummy glass of strawberry milk made from fresh strawberry puree. Produced by Nomura Brewery in Ibaraki, Tsumugino Strawberry Milk Base is made from juicy strawberries grown in Ibaraki prefecture. It is probably the best glass of strawberry milk you've ever tasted. You can also add it to plain yoghurt for a refreshing metabolism boost!

Enjoy speciality products from Ibaraki. Get the Taste of Ibaraki Box before they all get snapped up!

In partnership with MoguShop, an online Japanese-focused grocer with a wide selection of popular and high-quality Japanese products at great prices. They seek to bring the best of Japan and beyond to the shores of food-loving Singapore!

Enjoying snacks from Ibaraki at home? Tag @mogushop on Instagram to share your spread!

A traveller and a dreamer, Kris loves black coffee and old movies. At times, she also has the occasional passion to express her thoughts about the world through the alchemy of words.
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