5 Japanese Snacks That Sound Disgusting But Are Actually Lovely

Including wasp crackers. Yes, wasp crackers.
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Jibachi Senbei


Looking at the picture, you knew what this was straight away. Wasp bloody crackers. They’re actually more akin to biscuits, but you’re probably not bothered about that; you just want to know what the fuck is going on. Well, they’re amazingly nutritious and add a unique taste to a classic snack. Most would describe the sensation as crunchy honeycomb. I can’t be sure this is going to sell it to you, but for the more adventurous sorts out there, give it a go. You might like it, or you might regret it, should someone leave the stinger intact.



From afar it looks like oddly shaped KFC. But what you’re looking at aren’t breasts and legs, they’re cooked intestines. This stuff doesn’t really phase me, thankfully, so I got involved. The chef looked surprised when I requested a plate of it, but was soon beaming when I gave him the thumbs up. Supposedly it’s packed with protein; or at least that’s what I gathered from the chef pointing at it and flexing his muscles. I’m not going to try and dissect the taste too much because, cliche as it might be, chicken was all I could get from it.



Cold noodles traditionally dipped in cold sauce. I was served this for breakfast one morning by our host. She was a great cook but I was apprehensive at this point. I’m open minded when it comes to trying new food, but unless it’s cereal, I like my breakfast warm. I began the dipping process and threw the slippery noodles down my throat. The flavour was subtle but enjoyable. I finished my bowl in about two minutes and, feeling like Oliver Twist, politely asked for more. My second helping was on the table in a flash.



Red bean paste inside chewy rice dough - a classic sweet Japanese snack. This one isn’t so much disgusting sounding as simply odd. I think most people get put off by the ‘red bean’ part. Britons especially will conjure up images of some Heinz beans being used as sweets, and frankly, that sounds fucking awful. Luckily, these aren’t baked beans. The texture is the selling point on this one though. It’s amazingly chewy; a mix between Haribo and a marshmallow, maybe. Doesn’t sound so bad anymore, eh?



Seafood pancakes covered in mayonnaise. You can actually put all sorts of things into this dish, but octopus, shrimp and squid are common place. I still sort of gag thinking about this meal, and I remember my anxious face as I stared at my friend in the restaurant, silently hoping he’d suggest going elsewhere. But then, before I could protest, the chef began to cook them in front of us. It was going fine until he squirted shit loads of mayonnaise right on top of it. I like mayonnaise, on chips, in moderation. This was the total opposite but I couldn’t deny taking a liking to it. Warm, filling and an all round taste sensation. Just don’t accept the chef’s invitation to flip your own pancake - mine ended up on my legs.