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.


Photo Courtesy: That Food Cray !!!

One thought on “Otsumami: The Best Kind of Snack

  1. […] At RŌNIN, we pride ourselves on following the Japanese tradition of eating fresh and seasonally. Every morning our Chefs go to the market to pick up ingredients for the daily menu and our seafood is either local or flown in from Japan. We’re meticulous with our fish preparation and passionate about understanding their flavor profiles and where they come from. Learn more about the fish that we serve in our series, Fish Files. Freshwater Crab Sawagani (さわ ·がに) (淡水蟹) – There are over two hundred freshwater crab species in Asia, with two of those species living in Japan. The sawagani river crab river crab dwells in very clear waters and can be found all over Japan and off the coastal waters of the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan.  Fully grown, the sawagani crab can be three to six centimeters wide. They give birth to fully developed young, and their color ranges from purple and blue to bright red and orange. Korean Fried Crabs, Sawagani Crab, Yuzu, Sesame served at RŌNIN Hong Kong. The sawagani crabs must be served fully cooked to avoid parasites and are usually served slightly fried (su-age) so that they can be eaten whole. They can be flash-fried or as served karaage to keep the entire body intact and make great otsumami. […]

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