Japanese food is one of the healthiest in Asia as it is mostly comprised of fish, seafood and vegetables.
Yakult is the beverage that started the probiotic drink craze.
Dr. Minoru Shirota invented Yakult in order to promote good digestive health. He added billions of good bacteria in a fermented skim milk solution.
The beverage was first introduced in 1935 at Fukuoka, Japan.
It was first sold in glass bottle but were replaced by plastic bottles in 1968.
Despite being a very sugary drink, Yakult is marketed as a health drink as it contains billions of Lactobacillus casei.
It is one of the most successful beverages in the world as it is marketed in thirty-nine countries and sells more than thirty million bottles a day.
It is sold in traditional outlets such as supermarkets and grocery stores as well as by the iconic ambulant Yakult Ladies who push a cart full of the delicious beverage.
Yakult has also made its way as a flavoring for such things as cake and ice cream.
Yan yan in Japanese mean "two swallow birds" or "elegant."
It is also a popular biscuit snack in Japan produced by Meiji Seika.
The snacks come in sealed paper cups with a compartment for the biscuit sticks and another compartment for the dip.
The biscuit ingredients are not that unusual as you would see stuff like wheat flour, milk powder, baking soda and salt in there. However,
what makes the biscuits taste different is the addition of roasted sesame seeds that enhance the taste and smell of the biscuits.
The dip can either be chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, stawberry or mango.
Yan Yan was launched by Meiji in 1979 as the company tried to diversify its product line.
Nissin Crispy Choco Pie
Nissin Crispy Choco Pie is something you would get if you turned Kellogg's Chocolate Frosted Flakes into a pie.
The small pie is split into eight slices and looks like a small chocolate pizza.
The pie may not look like much but the corn flakes are very crisp and the milk chocolate in each slice is very rich and satisfying.
The key ingredient in this snack is cornflakes, sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made out of mochigome or glutinous rice.
The mochigome combined with water, sugar, and cornstarch to make the popular desert.
There is a ceremony called a mochitsuki where these treats are made. It involves pounding the glutinous mixture of ingredients before they
are shaped into small blobs.
In order to enhance the taste of the mochi, fruits and flavorings are added.
Fruits such as oranges, strawberries, kiwis, mangoes and bananas can be used.
As for flavorings, you can infuse various flavorings in the mochi such as green tea, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and mint.
Hi-Chew Fruit Chews
Hi-Chews were created by Taichiro Morinaga to have the fruity flavor of bubble gum but with the chewiness and edibility of caramel.
Back then it was considered as impolite to be taking food out of one's mouth.
It was a more culturally acceptable version of bubble gum.
Making this type of candy was doable as Morinaga already manufactured caramel.
It was initially introduced as Chewlets back in 1956 and later on rebranded as Hi-Chew in 1975.
The candy became the top chewy candy in all of Japan and also became popular in many parts of the world.
Since its inception, Hi-Chew has been produced in more than 170 flavors.
Among its flavors are orange, grape, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and watermelon.
It is the favorite candy of businessman, motivational speaker and author Grant Cardone.
Yakisoba is Japanese stir fry noodles dish that uses pork and vegetables.
It is not exclusive to pork, however, as you can also use beef, chicken, shrimps, scallops, squid or cuttlefish.
You can use various types of vegetables in your yakisoba such as carrots, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, scallions and onions.
What gives the yakisoba its distinct flavor is its sweet and savory sauce.
The special sauce is made from sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.
Kushiyaki refers to skewered beef.
Beef cutlets are skewered on a bamboo stick and cooked over a charcoal fire.
The beef is bathed in a special marinade for two to four hours.
The marinade consists of sugar, soy sauce, sake (Japanese rice wine), ginger, garlic, sesame seeds and scallions.
These candies have been manufactured for over a century.
They started production way back in 1908.
Despite the changes in candy packing over the decades, Sakuma Drops still come in their iconic tin can packing.
The tin can actually serves a purposes as it prevents the candies from melting when the temperatures become too high.
The candies themselves are made of real fruit juice and covered in sugar dust.
They come in pineapple, orange, strawberry, lemon, grape and apple flavors.
Tamagoyaki is a Japanese sweetened omelette that resembles a cake roll.
It is normally part of a breakfast or bento box.
Tamagoyaki is seasoned with dashi (Japanese soup stock), sugar, soy sauce, mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) and salt.
You can also add nori (seaweed) in order to further enhance its flavor.
While it takes practice to roll the egg layers properly, there are tamagoyaki pans that are made to make things easier.
Meiji Apollo Chocolates
Meiji Apollos chocolates are a cone shaped treat that resembles the most famous mountain in all of Japan - Mount Fuji.
Each piece has a milk chocolate base with a strawberry flavored white chocolate peak.
The packaging is a cardboard flip top box.
Apollo chocolates has since been used for sweet treats such as milk shakes, milk teas, ice cream and cakes.
© 2021 Jan Michael Ong