I fancy a little something…



I’m starting to think that our diet has changed since we moved to Japan – in particular when it comes to snack time. In England, our kids’ snacks usually consisted of vegetable sticks, houmous, cheese strings, and perhaps meatballs, frankfurters and nuts. In case you are wondering why our our snack time was (and is) so protein and fat heavy it might be useful to remind you that my daughter has Type 1 diabetes (sorry to repeat this for those that know already), which means that to achieve better blood sugar control we try to limit her intake of carbs while favouring protein and fat. As the photos below illustrate, our houmous and cheese string days are long gone (partly because we can’t find houmous and cheese strings in Japan).

Below are our typical snacks in our household here in Japan. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think our 4-year old’s snacks are typical for 4-year old British or Finnish kids. I think when we return to England, we need to find a reliable source of raw and preserved octopus tentacles, bucket loads of fish roe, and dried fish.

What do you or your kids have as a snack? This is what we have:



By the way, the abstract art that my daughter is making while devouring the octopus looks a little bit like a Rorschach test picture. Or do her scribblings just look like bugs…




Whitebait (baby fish)

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Niboshi (i.e. dried fish)



A bowl of fish eggs



Butaman (Chinese pork bun).




Takoyaki (Japanese style octopus dumplings)

I think instead of a snack, this could be considered a meal. But we’re no sparrows!




Edamame (soy beans)

We eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner pretty much every day, largely because (a) we all love them, and (b) the fact that they are low in carbs and high in protein means that they, like the above fish snacks, suit my Type 1 diabetic daughter’s diet well.

My students can’t contain themselves when in between lectures they see me heat up some frozen edamame at work. You see, edamame is a snack typically associated with beer-fuelled drinking sessions in the local bar. I think my students expect me to pull out a can of beer instead of cup of coffee with my mid-lecture break (sometimes I am tempted but I haven’t done it yet).

IMG_7181 IMG_6789



And finally,  please find a photo of my favourite snack below.

Pablo custard tarts

Those of you who think there is no pastry or cakes in Japan… think again. Even though most households in Japan do not have an oven, bakeries here are amazing! I know I should stick to the edamame but let’s face it that’s never going to happen.


8 thoughts on “I fancy a little something…

  1. I love seeing what different cultures eat and I am a huge fan of Edamame beans and veggie sushi (cucumber & avon rolls). Such a great post – thanks for sharing

    Laura x

  2. Your daughter is such a cutie pie, M! Even when she’s stuffing her face with octopus! Which, to be honest, just grosses me out… so do the other fishies on her menu (I will eat meat and fish but I really prefer it in squares or rectangle-like shapes…, no limbs attached and no eyes looking at me). I would love to just eat sushi ALL day and I’m sure the sushi I get in Chicago is only a poor approximation of the real deal. My son loves edamame (and I do too) but at two-and-a half he’s not so good at getting them out of the pods, which is cute. Do you eat all these things too? And how do you prepare octopus?

    • Thanks Eileen 🙂

      My favourite is butaman (pork bun) and edamame, but I also eat some of the things my daughter loves – Octopus is nice deep fried, and in octopus dumplings, but I wouldn’t have a whole tentacle just boiled (like my son) or preserved (like my daughter). I’m also not a big fan of fish eggs. I’ve had them before and they taste ok, but I don’t really like the thought of eating them, or the texture. So, I’m disappointed when I order a pizza, and it’s covered with fish eggs, or buy an onigiri (rice ball) to discover fish eggs in it.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      I hope you are well.

      I like octopus in things like pizza, sushi or takoyaki (octopus dumplings) but big (boiled) tentacles can be a little bit too chewy for my liking. T jr on the other hand loves them 🙂

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