It’s no surprise that Japanese snacks reign supreme when it comes to flavor, variety, and convenience. So it’s a no brainer that otsumami (Japanese bar snacks) fall under the same ranking. Otsumami can be snacks or small plates that are served alongside alcoholic drinks. Most bars and izakayas throughout Japan serve a wide range of otsumami that have distinct flavors and are easily consumed with sake, beer, and shochu. Besides creating a nice pairing, eating otsumami while drinking slows down the digestion of alcohol.
Common otsumami dishes include edamame, tsukemono (pickled vegetables), and dressed tofu. These snacks can be raw, cooked, deep fried, and more – the varieties are endless, which adds to the pleasure of having otsumami. Classics like fried chicken karaage or nankotsu (chicken cartilage) and tamagoyaki are also popular otsumami throughout Japan. Depending on the region, an otsumami menu might also feature local vegetable tempura, freshly grated wasabi with salt, and even pork okonomiyaki.
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