The 15 best Umaibo Flavors you should try

The 15 best Umaibo Flavors you should try

Jun 12, 2023 Tags 

When it comes to Japanese snacks, there's just so much to talk about. Creativity and uniqueness are pinnacle traits of Japanese snacks and dishes. Umaibō is just one of Japan's amazing crunchy snacks that literally means “tasty stick”. While the name is quite literal, it is a tasty snack that is loved by many people.

Umaibō is a stick snack made from puffed corn. Initially created in 1979, as a snack for kids and adults with little money to spend. Umaibo would eventually gain popularity and be sold in not only candy shops but supermarkets and convenience stores. Today, Umaibō boasts multiple stable flavors and flavors restricted to certain prefectures in Japan. Be prepared to be dazzled as we go through the top 15 umaibo flavors. 


15. Chicken Curry Umaibo


Chicken Curry Umaibo


In Japan, curry sauce is popular because of its rich and fresh taste. At number 15, we have the chicken curry flavor. Taking a bite of this flavor is like munching on wafers infused with curry spices. Its sweet and spicy mix mimics the flavors of everything one would find in a Japanese curry. Although Curry is Japan's national dish, this wasn't enough to propel this flavor into first place.


14. Beef tongue/ Gyutan Umaibo


Beef tongue Gyutan Umaibo


We know you might be thinking, "No way in the world am I going to try this", but hear us out. Gyutan is a Japanese delicacy made from barbequed beef tongue. It tastes chewy and softer than other parts of beef. This Umaibō flavor captures the saltiness and rich barbeque smell the original dish has to offer.


13. Teriyaki Burger Umaibo


Teriyaki Burger Umaibo


A lot of people are familiar with Teriyaki sauce, but do you know the version you probably know is different from the original Japanese flavor? For one, the Japanese sauce is usually made with Sake (Japanese rice wine), giving it a sharper taste. Combine this with the meaty flavors on a corn-puffed stick, and you have a snack worth salivating.


12. Shrimp and Mayonnaise Umaibo


Shrimp and Mayonnaise Umaibo


Shrimp and mayonnaise flavor sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, but it is quite the opposite as people say the two flavors match perfectly. This corn puff combines shrimp powder and mayonnaise seasoning to create this genius combo. Combining the sourness and sweetness of mayonnaise with the salty taste of shrimp, this flavor achieves a unique yet palatable taste that would make anyone return for more.


11. Chocolate Umaibo


Chocolate Umaibo


Everyone loves chocolate (well, almost everyone), and though there are many other flavors, this brown-colored cornstick is still worthy of this list. Chocolate umaibo is basically regular umaibo dipped and covered in chocolate. A bite of this releases the sweet, slightly creamy taste of chocolate that melts slowly in the mouth. This flavor is an amazing experience for your taste buds.


10. Cinnamon Apple Pie Umaibo


Cinnamon Apple Pie Umaibo


Japan is one of the few places where you’ll find apple pie flavored anything. Because of how unique this flavor is, it is only found in Tokyo. The blend of cinnamon and apple hits the air upon unwrapping this snack, and its taste makes it all better.


9. Vegetable Salad Umaibo


Vegetable Salad Umaibo


This one is for our Vegan snackers. This flavor was created with every vegan’s favorite spices in mind. Every bite offers a mix of various flavors, from garlic to potatoes and even bread crumbs. The vegetable salad is not only a popular choice but a tasty one worth every bite.


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8. Sugar Rusk Umaibo


Sugar Rusk Umaibo


The sugar rusk flavor is popular amongst people with a sweet tooth. It has been described as caramel-like to some and buttery to others, with a hint of salt. Despite the difference of opinion, most would agree that it is delicious.



7. Salami Umaibo


Salami Umaibo


This pork and beef flavored Umaibō might not be attractive to vegetarians, but most meat eaters would find themselves quite at home with a stick of this tasty snack.


6. Pizza Umaibo


Pizza Umaibo


It's no surprise this Italian dish-flavored snack is amongst the top ten on this list. This pizza-flavored snack has the right amount of creamy cheese flavor and savory tomato. The packaging even pays homage to the Italian flag.


5. Natto Umaibo


Natto Umaibo


At number five, we have natto flavor - the Japanese meal that is yucky for some and a treat for others. Natto is a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybean. Though the traditional dish packs a strong odor and has been described by many as an "acquired taste", the Umaibō flavor is quite different, keeping all the tasty flavors and doing away with the unwanted traits.


4. Mentaiko Umaibo


Mentaiko Umaibo


Mentaiko is the fully formed egg-filled sacs of the Alaskan Pollock, a type of codfish that is found within the waters between Japan and North America (the Northern Pacific Ocean). Think caviar but marinated in red chilli broth. This Umaibō flavor is loved all around and always ranks high on every list of "best Umaibō flavors".


3. Takoyaki Umaibo


Takoyaki Umaibo


Takoyaki is a Japanese dish made from fried octopus shaped into little round balls. This flavor goes all in giving the very best Takoyaki has to offer. From the meaty octopus taste to the sour and hot taste of pickled ginger, this flavor is a must-have and loved by most customers.


2. Cheese Umaibo


Cheese Umaibo


You can't have corn puffs without a cheese flavor and it ranks number 2 for all the right reasons. Its beautiful texture, pleasant aroma, and of course, that distinct sour but sweet cheese taste is like a blessing to the taste buds.


1. Corn Pottage Umaibo


Corn Pottage Umaibo


And finally, the flavor we have all been waiting for. Corn pottage, also known as Japanese corn soup, is a soup made from potatoes, onions, milk, and lots of creams. It is very popular in Japan and has also been adapted into large food brands such as KFC. Its creaminess combined with the lovely texture of an Umaibō snack is welcoming to the palettes. It's no surprise this flavor is number one.


Umaibo Facts


  • Though not on the list, the first Umaibō flavor is the Tonkatsu sauce flavor.
  • Umaibō sticks are manufactured by a Japanese candy company called "Riska" but sold and marketed by another company known as "Yaokin".
  • Umaibō's mascot is a parody of the popular Japanese animated cat, "Doraemon". While Doraemon is a blue futuristic robot cat, Umaibō's mascot is a grey alien with an undecided name born on some distant star. It is sometimes referred to as Umaemon, Umai-boy, or Doyaemon.

Satisfy your cravings and experience the joy of authentic Japanese snacks. Don't miss out on this delectable adventure by buying a snack pack from Japan– start your ZenPop subscription today!

This article was originally written by our freelance writer Umm-Kulthum Abdulkareem and edited by us.