Bokksu is two years old this May! This month’s box is an anniversary celebration and contains the most popular snacks from the last two years of delicious gourmet Japanese foods.
This month’s double fold-out menu is huge!
I really like the map of Japan showing where the various snacks come from.
Hoshu Tea. This premium green tea was in the January 2018 box. It has a beautiful smooth flavour, and requires careful steeping in hot, not boiling, water.
Okinawa Chinsuko. These brown sugar cookies are a traditional cookie from Okinawa, and a very popular souvenir. The brown sugar is called kokuto, made in only seven of the inhabited Okinawa islands. The bag contains several individually wrapped cookies, which makes it slightly easier to resist eating them all a once! These originally appeared in the July 2017 box.
Sweet Potato Langue de Chat. These are sandwich cookies with a white chocolate filling. The cookie part resembles the traditional French Langue de Chat in lightness and texture, but the square shape and filling are all Japanese! The sweet potato flavour is subtle and delicious.
Edamame Senbei. Senbei (rice crackers) are a traditional Japanese snack, and these are made with green soybeans and edamame pieces. They are also dusted with kinako (roasted soybean flour) which gives them a delicious nutty taste and depth of flavour. From August 2017.
Olive Oil Salt Senbei Herb & Vinegar Flavour. These senbei are wonderfully savory, with the smooth taste of olive oil, and then the tang of herbs and vinegar. They were included in the November 2017 Tea Time box, but I think they go beautifully with red wine!
Okinawa Soba. Soba noodles are Japanese buckwheat noodles, commonly enjoyed in a soup or broth base. Okinawa soba uses thick noodles with koregusu, which is rice liquor-infused chilis. This snack version is deep fried noodles with a savory coating, which includes Okinawan red pepper. They are crunchy and perfectly spicy. From July 2017.
Matcha + White Chocolate Covered Adzuki Beans. Adzuki beans are the source of the famous Japanese red bean paste, used in many confections and dishes. Here, they are whole, and covered with white chocolate and matcha powder, which adds a lovely bitter edge to the sweetness of the chocolate. These tasty little mouthfuls were in the December 2017 box.
Fruit Pound Cake. I’ve never associated fruit cake or pound cake with Japan, but fruit cakes are ubiquitous in Japanese holidays. This particular version contains syrup-soaked autumnal fruits of raisins, oranges, cranberries, and figs, and originally appeared in October 2017. Incidentally, despite coming all the way from Japan, presliced and packaged, this cake was moist, fresh, and absolutely delicious. Whatever method is used to keep this cake in such perfect condition is clearly some kind of witchcraft.
Takoyaki Corn Puffs. Takoyaki is fried octopus balls with sauce, mayonnaise, and various toppings, and is a classic street food in Osaka. These corn puffs, which appeared in the April 2017 box, apparently have the same rich umami flavour. *See note below.*
Hokkaido White Raspberry. These light and crunchy cookies are created by the Michelin-starred chef Chikara Sono. They are made from rye, with a coating of white chocolate and crushed raspberries. The white chocolate is actually made with Hokkido sweetcorn, though you wouldn’t know from the flavour! This is a sweet cookie, but the sharpness of the raspberries adds a welcome tartness. They appeared in the September 2017 box.
Kinako Mochi. These delicious airy mochi originally showed up in the January 2018 box, and my god, they are good. My daughter and I called them ‘cloud cookies’ because they are so incredibly light. They are coated with kinako powder, which gives them the most beautiful nutty, savor-sweet flavour. One of the best and most unusual things I’ve ever eaten.
Before I conclude, a note (rant?) regarding the Takoyaki Corn Puffs:
Bokksu have an allergen list on their menu, which is usually excellent. I’m allergic to shellfish, so I always check, as the odd thing in previous boxes has contained shrimp etc. It’s usually obvious from the packaging, but better safe than sorry. According to the allergen list for this item, it only contains wheat, milk, and soy. Now, I’m aware that Japanese seafood snacks generally contain the actual food, rather than just flavoring. (Think about British Prawn Cocktail crisps; they’ve never been near a crustacean.) This made me suspicious that there might be some octopus lurking in there. Incidentally, octopus are actually shellfish (it means water-dwelling creatures, not things with shells) of the cephalopod variety. Not all people will be allergic to all types of shellfish, just like not being allergic to all nuts. But nuts are always labelled as an allergen, regardless of the type.
Anyway, I looked up the ingredients of this particular snack. Fortunately this was easy as they are made by Frito-Lay. You guessed it, they contain octopus. As I didn’t want to have to whip out my Epipen and take a trip to the hospital, I was extremely relieved to have checked.
My point is, Bokksu need to up their allergy list game and double-check ingredients.
Anyway, back to the regular programming.
While I’ve tried a few of the snacks this month, it’s lovely to have lots of new things! I’m so happy to have the cloud cookies again, and the sweet potato langue de chat are particularly delicious. Four of the snacks were savory, which please me. I love savory snacks, and Japan does fantastic ones.
I think it’s a fun idea to bring back popular snacks, especially as over the past two years there have been an awful lot to choose from! It also suggests good things about their customer engagement. I think I’d certainly choose all of these snacks (except the octopus balls of course) so the selection is excellent.
Apart from a brief dice with death before being saved by google, I think this is a lovely selection.
Happy Birthday Bokksu!
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Here’s some blurb for you:
Bokksu is unlike any other Japanese snack box. We are totally in love with Japanese snacks, which is why it is our mission to craft authentic Japanese gourmet experiences for our Members around the world. We source directly from artisanal producers in Japan, so you won’t find our delicious snacks and teas anywhere else.
Classic Bokksu will take you on a gourmet journey through Japan each month. From Hokkaido white chocolate butter cookies to Kyoto handground matcha to Kyushu mango chiffon cakes, get the experience of tasting authentic Japanese snacks delivered right to your door. Each box comes with:
- 20-25 delicious Japanese snacks and a tea pairing curated around a cultural theme
- Our Tasting Guide that explains the story and flavors of each product in your box
- The option to pause or cancel anytime
- Free shipping worldwide
Payment is made upfront for the subscription period. The price starts at $39 (around £29) for a month-to-month subscription, and the monthly cost is reduced the longer the subscription! You can find more details here.
A different version of this review was first published on allsubscriptionboxes.co.uk.