Friday, November 13, 2009

Japanese Treats

The Hello Japan! mini-challenges
hosted by In Spring It Is The Dawn
November mini-challenge
Eat Japanese food


I usually have sushi for lunch at least once a month from the nearby Safeway market. Yes, Safeway. Hey, don't knock it 'til you try it. They have sushi chefs who do a really good job of making fresh sushi everyday.

Above is lunch with my current Japanese read, Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto.

As for sushi restaurants, our current favorite in San Francisco is Oyagi restaurant. When we lived in Southern California, San Clemente, Nobu Sushi was the best hole in the wall located in a strip mall. And, when we lived in Connecticut, the place we frequented was Matsu Sushi in Westport.

I started my love of sushi when I went beyond the California Roll and tried other rolls during my college years. The soft-shell crab hand-roll is the bestest! Such flavors and textures delight!

For the challenge, I wanted to try something new along with the . I took a trip to Japantown over the weekend to check out the sweets and confections at Nippon-ya.

Based on the wrapping and interesting descriptions, I picked out two treats. When I got home I brewed some green tea and shared my goodies with the hubby, daughter and daughter's playdate.

Yummy-ness all-around.

Something savory:
The first treat was a box wrapped with a bunny image on the cover. The name of the product is in Japanese which I do not know. Let me know if you can translate it.

The box housed little bunnies made of a pastry mix with a sweet cheesy flavor. Inside the bunny shell was a subtle sweet white bean paste.

Something sweet:
The green wrapped box named Hokkaido Higumi contained cookies shaped as bear paws with a peanut buttery filling.

Amusing blurb on the wrapper:
Appear and Disappear Care!

Blogosphere bit:
Apparently, the boxed treats I got are known as omiyage which are regional Japanese edible snacks, in nice pretty wrappers given as gifts or sourvenirs.

*thanks Tanabata for the translation of the bunny treats
The writing on the bunny box says 'marui usagi' which translates as 'round rabbit'.


  1. Yay Japan! I wish I loved Japanese food, but I just don't. I do love almost everything else about Japan, though. I love Banana Yoshimoto!

  2. I get sushi from my local grocery store (Publix), too. It's not quite as good as a restaurant, but still good.

    I lived in San Francisco for a summer and that's where I first fell in love with sushi. I'm jealous of all the wonderful restaurants you have.

  3. I love sushi and Japanese treats! My favorite is the spicy tuna rainbow roll. Mmmmmm....

  4. Great mini-challenge post! I'm hoping to complete this next week (and have some yummy food). I'm a fiend for tuna sashimi.

  5. I was first introduced to sushi back in college. Boy, was I missing out. Now, if only I can afford to have sushi on a regular basis...

  6. Thanks for participating in the challenge! And how fun that you decided to try something new as well. The writing on the bunny box says 'marui usagi' which translates as 'round rabbit'. A pretty straightforward name given the shape. :)

    I'm wondering if the flavour of the bear paws is 'kinako' as it's the closest to a peanut butter flavour that Japan has, and is quite common in sweets.

  7. Oh, I'm really jealoous now! I absolutely LOVE the usagi sweets -- wrapped, boxed or taken out of their wrapping, they'll all do fine :)

    I am not having much luck with this challenge yet... On Friday I went to the market for some fish-shaped pastry filled with red bean paste that I had been tipped about... but the sushi shop was not there! Because of the windy weather? Wintertime? Or didn't it survive the financial crisis? :-o

  8. Soft-shell crab hand roll sounds yummy! I like that you tried the Japanese traditional sweets as it's quite intimidating if you don't know what it is! Well done!

  9. Wow - I wish I could get sushi (veggie) around here.
    I'm off to Manchester tomorrow, so hope to buy some sushi to eat on the way home on the train.
    I reviewed a Japanese cook book here:


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