Seafood Snacks Are Perfect for Drinks and Meals! Introducing Five of Our Recommended Products

What do you enjoy having with your drinks? In Japan, where an abundance of seafood is available, snacks made with fish and seafood are popular choices to accompany alcoholic beverages. Additionally, seafood-flavored otsumami (finger food) that highlight the flavors of the sea are perfect as a side dish to accompany a meal.

In this blog post, we will introduce the appeal of seafood otsumami, perfect for pairing with drinks and meals, along with five of our recommended Japanese seafood snacks. If you're looking for delicious snacks to enjoy alongside your drinks or meals, be sure to take a look at our suggestions.

Seafood-flavored crackers

What are Japanese Seafood Snacks?

Japanese seafood snacks come in various forms, such as those flavored with powdered or extracted seafood, or using seafood as it is. They often boast the rich umami of seafood with savory flavor, making them perfect accompaniments for drinks and meals.

Otsumami seasoned with powdered or extracted seafood include snacks and rice crackers. They are flavored with a variety of seafood, with shrimp, squid, and crab being particularly popular choices.

One type of otsumami that uses seafood itself is “Kozakana Almond,” where small fish (dried anchovies) are seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce to create a sweet and salty flavor, packaged with almonds. These small anchovies are rich in calcium, making them popular as a children's snack.

Another traditional Japanese otsumami is “Nerimono” (fish cake) where fish meat is ground, then grilled, steamed, or fried to form solid pieces.

The Difference Between Sake-no-Sakana and Otsumami

In Japan, there is a word called “sake-no-sakana,” which has a similar meaning to “otsumami.” Although both terms are often used in similar situations, they carry subtle differences in their meanings.

Originally in Japan, dishes consumed while drinking alcohol were referred to as “sakana.” Later, the Chinese character “肴,” which represents “dishes to be served with alcohol," was used for the word “sakana." So the term “sake-no-sakana” encompasses a wide range of dishes enjoyed with alcoholic beverages.

On the other hand, “otsumami” refers to finger foods among sake-no-sakana, which can be enjoyed without using chopsticks. The appeal of otsumami is that it does not require cooking, making it a delightful companion to alcoholic beverages.

Beer with snack food (Kozakana Almond))

Recommended Ways to Enjoy Seafood Snacks

The appeal of seafood snacks lies in its easy consumption. There are various ways to enjoy it, but we especially recommend pairing it with alcoholic beverages for adults. The well-seasoned and savory seafood otsumami perfectly complements drinks. Since no heating or cooking is required, you can easily savor the flavors of seafood.

Since fish is rich in nutrients such as calcium, it is also recommended as snacks for children. Kozakana Almond is a healthy snack that combines calcium-rich small dried anchovies with almonds, known to enhance calcium absorption. This sweet and salty delight is loved by both adults and children, making it a staple in Japanese snacks.

Other ways to enjoy it include using it as a topping for dishes. For example, Zelico's Tempura Chips add a delightful crunchy texture when used as a topping on udon or soba noodles.

Kamaboko cheese

Five Seafood Snacks Recommendations

Now that you've learned about the appeal of Japanese seafood otsumami, we will introduce five of our recommended Japanese seafood snacks. We will also share the features of each product, so you can easily find out your favorites!

1. Japanese Seafood Cracker “Kaisen Okonomi”

If you want to enjoy various flavors, we recommend the assortment of seafood crackers. Zelico's “Kaisen Okonomi” offers a colorful variety, including shrimp, squid, seaweed, and green laver, providing a delightful tasting experience.
Japanese Seafood Cracker “Kaisen Okonomi

2. Japanese Tempura Squid Chips, Japanese Tempura Seaweed Chips 

These snacks are inspired by the popular Japanese cuisine, tempura, which is loved even overseas. “Ika-ten” made with squid comes in two flavors: original and mayonnaise, while “Nori-ten” offers original and wasabi flavors for you to choose from.

“Wasabi” is a Japanese spice that pairs perfectly with seafood, commonly used in sushi and other Japanese dishes. Its unique pungent spiciness has a tingling sensation in your nose and can be addictive to some. If you're a fan of spicy flavors, why not give it a try? 

Japanese Tempura Chips

3. Fish & Nuts, Fish & Sesame, Shrimp & Nuts

This healthy snack mentioned earlier, which combines Kozakana (small fish) and almonds is an efficient source of calcium. The small nuts-sized anchovy called “Katakuchi Iwashi” is coated with sesame and seasoned with a sweet and salty taste. It's a delicious and nutritious treat, perfect for children's snacks.

Fish & Nuts

4. Assorted Processed Seafood Cakes

This is an assortment of fish cake products such as kamaboko, chikuwa, and satsuma-age. Each one is made by grinding and solidifying fish meat, offering different textures and flavors uniquely influenced by the choice of ingredients and shapes used. Individually wrapped, they make a perfect snack for satisfying small cravings.

Assorted Seafood Cake

5. Hokkaido Flavored Seafood Rice Crackers MIX “Elegance and Colorful”

This is a snack set featuring various seafood-flavored crackers in small portions. With their individual portions, they are perfect as otsumami served with drinks or as children's snacks. The colorful rice crackers also add a delightful visual appeal to the product.
Hokkaido Flavored Seafood Rice Crackers MIX "Elegance and Colorful"


In this blog post, we introduced the appeal of seafood otsumami and shared five of our recommended Japanese seafood snacks. These otsumami are not only convenient and perfect with alcoholic beverages, but also great as snacks for children. With their rich seafood flavors, they can even be enjoyed as side dishes for your meal.

Zelico offers a wide variety of seafood snacks. Why not explore and find your favorite otsumami at Zelico?

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