Try All the Umaibo Flavors!
Umaibo is a flavorful and fun Japanese corn snack from Yaokin and Riska! Known as the king of Dagashi (cheap Japanese candies and snacks), Umaibo is a brightly colored treat that showcases the cute alien cat, Umaemon. This cylindrical corn puff has been loved for ages for its taste and its wide variety of flavors. Ranging from savory to sweet, Umaibo offers more than 60 flavors for Japanese snack enthusiasts to enjoy!
Made by grinding corn into flour which transformed into dough that’s puffed under high heat, Umaibo has a light airy texture that goes well with a lot of seasonings. Some of the most popular flavors like Cheese, Corn Potage, and Takoyaki are not that hard to find. Others are a bit strange like Natto and Beef Tongue.
There are also other flavors like Monja, Honey, and Mentaiko that you’ll only find in specific parts of Japan! Today we’ll be talking about all the different flavors of Umaibo that you can find (and the ones that can no longer be found). Let’s get right to it!
These are the Umaibo flavors that you can currently find in Japan! While some are more popular than others with the top 3 Japanese flavors (based on Yaokin’s official ranking) being Corn Potage, Cheese, and Mentaiko, the other flavors are also pretty delicious and worth a try.
This Umaibo tries its best to recreate the taste of spicy mentaiko or Japanese pollock roe ( a dish often served with onigiri and eaten with sake). Snackers often describe it to be savory and filled with umami!
In Japan, Corn Potage is also known as Japanese corn soup. It’s made from potatoes, corn, onions, milk, and lots and lots of cream. This Umaibo has the same creamy, delicios flavor of Corn Potage. That’s why it’s a fan favorite!
Nothing beats good old cheese! As a flavor, cheese is always a classic. Sweet and sour and cheesy all at the same time, this Umaibo flavor is highly addictive.
Grilled skewered chicken or yakitori is a staple izakaya or bar snack. Yakitori Umaibo has a delicious smoked chickeny taste!
Another savory flavor, Salami Umaibo is great for snackers who just love meat. Coated with sausage seasoning, it’s a great treat for snack time.
This flavor is great for vegetable lovers! Not only can you taste garlic, carrot, corn, and other vegetable flavors, but the corn puff itself imitates the texture of the bread crumbs in a salad. Vegetable salad is another popular Umaibo flavor.
A lot of people might already be familiar with Teriyaki as a flavor. Sweet and savory at the same time, it’s loved around the world. The only difference is that this flavor is mixed with a bit of sake to give it a bit of sharper taste.
Sweet Umaibo flavors aren’t that common, but Sugar Rusk is certainly a pleasant treat. Japanese Umaibo fans say it reminds them of caramel, butter, and a hint of salt. It’s great with sweet tooths!
Like the dish it tries to resemble, Natto Umaibo is often described as an “acquired taste.” Natto is a traditional dish made out of fermented soybeans. While foreigners aren’t too keen on natto, the Japanese love it for its taste and its health benefits.
Tonkatsu, or Japanese pork cutlet, always comes with a special sauce made from ketchup and Worcestershire sauce mixed together. Imitating this dip, Tonkatsu Sauce Umaibo is described to have a sweet, BBQ-like taste.
In Japanese, Nori means seaweed, while shio means salt. This Umaibo corn puff is coated in bits of seaweed and lightly seasoned with salt. It has a delicious umami-ness to it!
Dipped and covered in chocolate, this Umaibo is the only corn puff that isn’t coated in seasonings. It’s a delicious mix though! Who knew that corn puffs would go so well with chocolate-y goodness?
A popular dish in Japan, Chicken Curry has a delightful scent and flavor thanks to the use of aromatic spices. Using the same spices used in the actual dish, Umaibo Chicken Curry is just downright yummy.
A popular snack at Japanese festivals, takoyaki is a treat made from bits of octopus and dough formed into round balls. Takoyaki Umaibo has that distinctive taste of octopus and the pickled ginger that usually tops takoyaki balls!
Shrimp and Mayonnaise
Though it might not sound that appealing, shrimp and mayonnaise actually make a great combination. Mixing together shrimp powder and mayonnaise seasoning, this Umaibo flavor is also popular among Japanese snackers!
Chimaki / Zongzi
This Umaibo tries to replicate the sticky-sweet-savory taste of zongi, Chinese rice dumplings. In Japana, zongzi is also called chimaki, a delicacy that you can enjoy during festivals.
PREMIUM UMAIBO FLAVORS
While Umaibo has been always sold as playful and comforting dagashi, Yaokin decided to create a few luxurious flavors for sophisticated snackers. These flavors include a premium version of Mentaiko, Mozzarella & Camembert, and Japanese-style steak with wasabi sauce flavor.
This Umaibo has a more refined Mentaiko taste with lots of umami and spiciness. It also comes in a more mature-looking packaging without a trace of Umaibo’s alien mascot, Umaemon!
Premium Mozzarella & Camembert
Made with two different cheeses, this Umaibo has a luxuriously cheesy taste! Every bite combines the saltiness of Camembert and the creaminess of Mozzarella.
Premium Japanese-Style Steak With Wasabi Sauce
Mixing together the meatiness of steak with wasabi sauce, this Umaibo is a unique flavor for snackers to enjoy. West meets East in one delicious corn puff stick!
In Japan, it’s common for people to give local souvenirs from the places they visit. These gotochi or local goodies can range from fruits, snacks, chocolates and candies! Hoping to have their own gotochi Umaibo for gift-givers, Yaokin created special flavors that can only be found in certain regions in Japan.
Apple Pie (Tokyo)
Another rare sweet Umaibo, this flavor can only be found in Tokyo. Snackers say that the scent of apple and cinnamon is pretty strong when you open the packaging of this corn puff. It’s another surprisingly popular flavor among Umaibo fans!
This Umaibo is made to taste like monjayaki, the less popular cousin of the Japanese savory pancake, okonomiyaki! It can only be found in Tokyo since the monjayaki has been said to originate from the Tsukishima district of the city.
A summer-limited flavor, Lemon Umaibo is refreshing and delicious! It’s made with lemons from the region of Setouchi. That’s why you can only buy these Umaibo corn snacks there!
Okonomiyaki Umaibo is a flavor that’s only available in South Kansai region! That’s because Okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake made from cabbage, octopus, and dough), actually originates from Osaka, the largest city in Kansai. It’s a very delicious flavor!
Kiritanpo is a pounded rice treat shaped like a cylinder that looks a lot like a white Umaibo. It’s often used in hotpots! Kiritanpo Umaibo can only be found in the region of Akita in Japan.
Salted Beef Tongue (Tohoku)
A Tohoku region-only Umaibo corn puff, this treat is made to taste like salted beef tongue. It’s savory and salty at the same time with a hint of sourness to it!
Beef Tongue Salty Niku no Mansei (Store Only)
Niku No Mansei is a popular beef restaurant chain in Japan. It collaborated with Yaokin to create its own Salty Beef Tongue Umaibo that can only be found in its specialty stores.
Sugar Cane (Okinawa)
Sugar cane is one of Okinawa’s many specialties. This Okinawa-only Umaibo corn puff has a delicious sugar cane flavor that’s sweet and natural.
Umaibo Candy Azuki Milk (Okinawa)
Instead of a corn puff, this Umaibo is a candy bar! It tastes like azuki red beans mixed with milk. This treat can only be found in Okinawa.
Umaibo Candy Baked Corn (Okinawa)
This an Umaibo corn puff that’s turned into a candy bar with a delicious baked corn flavor. It can only be found in Okinawa.
Umaibo Candy Strawberry Milk (Okinawa)
An Okinawa-only Umaibo candy bar, this treat mixes together the flavor of Japanese strawberries and milk.
Umaibo Candy Coffee Milk (Okinawa)
Coffee and milk naturally go together, that’s why this Umaibo candy bar tastes good. It can only be found in Okinawa in Japan.
Umaibo Candy Blueberry Ice Cream (Okinawa)
Another unique candy bar version of Umaibo, this treat can only be found in Okinawa. It mixes together the taste of blueberry and vanilla ice cream.
Umaibo Candy Mango (Okinawa)
Only found in Okinawa, these delicious candy bars taste just like mango. This treat has a cute dialect text that says “You can eat it!”
Umaibo Candy Pineapple (Okinawa)
This Umaibo candy has packaging featuring singing pineapples conducted by Umaemon! It has a delicious Japanese pineapple flavor. You can only find this candy in Okinawa.
While these Umaibo flavors sound really, really appetizing, they didn’t do too well among Japanese snackers. That’s probably the reason why they’re no longer around in the market. Still, there’s nothing wrong with talking about flavors we could have tried! Who knows, Yaokin and Riska might decide to bring some of these flavors back!
Sweet flavors don’t do really well with Umaibo. Caramel actually came out the same time as Pizza. It was slightly more firm than other flavors, and it had a coating of caramel. Unfortunately, it didn’t really stick among fans.
A flavor intended for mature consumers, Cocoa Umaibo was slightly bitter and sweet. It had a distinct dark color that you don’t really see among regular Umaibo.
Cocoa with Cream
This corn puff actually had cocoa powder mixed with the dough! In the center was a bit of cream that really went well with the chocolate-flavored Umaibo. It’s such a shame that Cocoa Umaibo really didn’t work out.
Kabayaki is a delicious Japanese eel dish that’s coated in a sweet soy sauce marinade before getting grilled. This Umaibo tried to replicate that distinct sweet, eel flavor.
In Japan, Saki-ika is shredded dried squid that people love snacking on. This Umaibo tasted and smelled just like dried squid!
Crab is a delicious seafood flavor that we would have loved to taste. Unfortunately, Crab Chanko Umaibo was short-lived in Japan.
Omelette mixed with rice is called Omuraisu in Japan. This Umaibo tries to marry together the taste of egg and rice. Sadly, it didn’t really work as a flavor.
Steamed Japanese dumplings or gyoza are great to eat with ramen! Gyoza Umaibo had a delicious dumpling flavor with a nice garlic scent.
Combining chocolates and peanuts, this Umaibo corn puff was smaller than normal. It didn’t really work out with regular Chocolate Umaibo being more sought after.
Crab Dumpling Kanishumai
This is a Chinese-based flavor! Kani Shumai (crab dumplings) is a popular dish in China. Unfortunately, this Umaibo only had a faint crab flavor and it wasn’t that well received in Japan.
A super healthy Umaibo, this one was made with beans and seasoned with light soy sauce. Ahead of its time, it would have probably worked out during a more health-conscious snack era.
This was the original Takoyaki flavor for Umaibo. Unfortunately, a fire happened in the factory in 2008. Since the manufacturing process was complicated and could only be done by that factory, Yaokin decided to create a new version of Takoyaki instead.
Umeboshi or Japanese pickled plums are a beloved tsukemono (preserved treat) in Japan. They often go with other treats, like rice balls. Umeboshi Riceball Umaibo had a pretty nice balance of tartness as it was sprinkled with bits of freeze-dried plums
Another seafood flavor, Red Lobster Umeboshi was described to taste a little bit like shrimp. As luxurious as it was, it didn’t last that long.
Short-lived like all the other Umaibo in this section of the blog, Pork Kimchi Umaibo was made to taste meaty like pork and spicy like Korean Kimchi, a fermented vegetable side-dish.
Meant to ride on the health trend, this Umaibo had the sweetness and slight spiciness of red onions. As delicious as it was, it didn’t really last that long in the market.
Choikara punch was a popular spicy dish in Japan. Yaokin decided to try to recreate that spicy flavor with this short-lived Umaibo corn puff.
A rare Chinese flavor, this yummy corn puff treat had the distinct spicy-savory flavor of Mapo Tofu. Too bad it didn’t really do well to stay in Yaokin’s Umaibo lineup.
Like Coffee and Chocolate Umaibo, Brown Sugar Umaibo had a dark color that made it stand out. Its surface was coated in brown sugar.
Pumpkin Corn Potage
This Umaibo showcases Umaemon’s sister, Umai-chan and Kumamoto region’s mascot bear, Kumamon! It has a Pumpkin Corn Potage flavor because the soup is Kumamon’s favorite.
Combining creamy cheese and sweet tomato, Pizza Umaibo was once a crowd-favorite. You can even see the Italian flag on the packaging of this corn puff. Unfortunately, it seems like this tasty treat is no longer around to taste.
Part of the Deluxe Umaibo series, this corn puff is a bit longer than the regular Umaibo with cream inside. It tastes like the richer version of Umaibo Mentaiko. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available for Japanese snack enthusiasts.
Cheesy and delicious, this special Umaibo corn puff is filled with cream. The combination of cream and cheese actually works.
Like the other Umaibo corn puff sticks in the Deluxe series, this yummy crab-flavored treat is filled with cream.
Deluxe Teriyaki Beef
Teriyaki Beef and cream make an interesting combo! Filled with cream in its middle, this corn puff was pretty interesting to eat.
One might imagine actual hormones in this Umaibo, but the name actually comes from Horumonyaki, a Japanese meat dish made from beef offal. Snackers’ reviews say that this flavor was a little bit unpredictable.
So there you have it! These are all the different flavors of Umaibo that you can enjoy. Ranging from savory to sweet, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Which ones have you tried? Which ones would you like to try? Feel free to write your thoughts down in the comment section below.
If you’d like to learn more about the creation and history of Umaibo, you can read all about it in our blog Taste Umai with Umaibo!