As someone who grew up in an Asian household, I have definitely eaten my fair share of rice – to this day, no meal feels totally complete without it! So imagine my surprise to see so many different variations on rice treats in August’s Snakku box!
Snakku has two subscription styles:
The Signature Box ~ available for $38.95/month including free international shipping (and in 3 and 6 month prepaid plans with a slight discount).
The Tasting Box ~ available for $15.75/month including shipping, but only in the US.
Can you believe it’s
August September already!? Not that you can really tell – it’s been 80% – 90% humidity here in Maryland for the last week. I’m ready for autumn already, and by that I mean those three days of perfect fall weather that we get before it drops into gloomy cold winter days.
So, rice. Rice is a huge staple to every meal in many Asian countries, and Japan is no exception. They even have their own specific term for cooked rice – gohan (Dragonball Z, anyone?), which has also come to mean “meal” in general. This month, Snakku is showing all the different ways that rice can be enjoyed in Japanese snacks – savory, sweet, and everything in between.
Snakku’s information card gives interesting information about each snack, as well as a brief ingredients list – important for anyone with food allergies!
THESE. I will never be able to get enough of these. These little rice and corn puffs are available only in Sapporo Ohdori Park, and are lightly glazed with soy sauce for a salty flavor that plays well with the sweetness from the rice and corn. Honestly if I had to give up western chips (or any chips, really) for these, I would probably not complain. It really is like a little corn puff, flavored with only salt for a simple but satisfying taste.
Sapporo Curry Senbei
This little rice cracker is flavored with Japanese curry and comes from a famous curry shop in Sapporo. The curry flavor is strong but not overwhelming, with a rich spice flavor that is more salty than hot. My only complaint is about the texture of this rice cracker: senbei have a variety of textures, some more crunchy than others, and this one has less of a crisp snap and more of a bendy snap, which I don’t really like. That’s just a personal preference though!
“Menbei” is a combination of “mentaiko” (spiced cod roe), and “senbei”, meaning this rice cracker has a bit of a salty sea flavor to it. It comes from a 100 year old shop in a merchant town, where the creator of this menbei was originally an oil merchant who then opened a snack shop specializing in local treats. I quite like this variation on senbei, as I prefer salty and seafood tastes anyway, so I can see why this one has such a long history!
“Yuba” are tofu skins that are popular in Japanese cuisine, particularly amongst vegetarian Buddhist monks. These senbei are made with yuba from Tochigi, a rural prefecture. I couldn’t taste too much of a difference – they’re just as crisp and snap-y as regular senbei, but if it’s a healthier version with no discernible difference, I’m not complaining.
Shiro Ebi Sen
Remember how I said I like seafood flavors? This senbei is made with shiro ebi, or baby white shrimp, that come from the super clear waters of Toyama. The clean water gives the shrimp a fresher, sweeter flavor that comes through in the salty senbei. The cracker itself is also made with organic local rice, so I really appreciate the quality of ingredients in this one.
Wow, these were interesting! They’re sort of like a rice cake that has been baked to a crisp so that it has a smoky-salty flavor. If you’ve ever gone to a Korean restaurant and had a rice dish in a hot stone bowl, and the edges of the rice that touch the bowl are burnt and chewy, it’s kind of like that. Snakku included a variety of flavors, including soy sauce, green seaweed, kombu, and bonito. I’m not too sure but I believe I got soy sauce and maybe dried bonito, but I couldn’t discern too much of a difference (mostly just salty/savory and crispy puff).
These little biscuits are filled with chocolate and red bean for a sweet, smooth cream. What I found interesting was the biscuit itself: normally when treats come in a box like this, the outside is more like a cookie, whereas with these the biscuit was so soft and moist it was almost more like bread!
Milk Tea Candy
These little hard candies really do taste like a sweet milk tea! It’s great for holding off a boba tea craving, actually. They’re a little weaker than regular milk tea would taste (probably owing to the sugar – it is a hard candy), but the flavor is definitely there.
These are little slices of pie crust that have been baked and topped with salted raisins. They’re flaky and messy but so so delicious, and the salted raisins add the perfect amount of salt that only enhances (rather than interrupts) the sweet flavor of the pie crust.
Caramel Coconut Sable
For a long time, I was very anti-coconut, and now that the flavor has started trending everywhere (coconut oil, coconut water, coconut everything!), it’s slowly starting to grow on me. Fortunately, I can’t actually taste it in these buttery cookies, so no complaints! I mostly just get the sweet milk caramel flavor, with a hint of sea salt.
Overall, I liked most of the snacks in August’s box! My top favorites were probably the saku saku and the yakitoukibi (can you tell I prefer savory snacks?), and I hope those will make another appearance in future boxes. There were a couple snacks that I felt weren’t really on theme: the sable cookies and the choco anpan aren’t too rice-related, but I didn’t mind since the majority of treats stuck with it. Excited to see what’s in store for September!
PR sample. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received for this review. This post may contain affiliate links.