Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki: 8 Rice Cracker Flavors with Ingredients from the Sea
Okaki, as explained in the article on rice crackers, is a rice snack made of sticky mochi rice. Mochi (rice cake) is cut into small pieces, dried, and then baked until the surface becomes a golden brown. It has a crunchy light texture that has been loved in Japan since long ago along with senbei, another type of rice cracker.
This time, we will be introducing a regional type of okaki, the “Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki”. Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki is a popular okaki in Hokkaido. Photo by flickr
About the Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki
Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki is popular among Hokkaido residents and tourists. It uses carefully selected fine mochi rice grown in Hokkaido, Hokkaido salt that is made from 100% sea water that has been filtered in the seabed of the rich northern sea and has been particular about choosing quality ingredients. From the process of washing the rice to seasoning is completed in the traditional method, which is by hand, in a period of 7 days. As it takes 7 days or “nanoka” to make, this okaki is sometimes called “Nanoka Okaki”.
Additionally the flavorful okaki that lavishly uses the bounty of Hokkaido’s seas has 8 different flavors based on the localities of each ingredient. Thus you can enjoy the flavors of the different regions in the okaki. It may be a characteristic of Japan to have many different flavors for one item, as seen in Kit Kats. The price of the snack is 410 yen for a 170 gram package for any flavor.
1. Erimo Konbu (Sea Kelp) Flavor
This is the original Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki. It is packed with the flavors of sophisticated konbu soy sauce and konbu of Erimo which is rich in minerals.
2. Shibetsu Aki Shake (Autumn Salmon) Flavor
This is an okaki that uses Autumn Salmon from Shibetsu, one of the top localities for salmon fishing. It includes “otsumami” or a little treat of toasty Autumn Salmon meat.
3. Esashi Hotate (Scallop) Flavor
It has a strong sweetness and is full of flavor. It is an okaki that uses scallop from Esashi, a particularly exquisite scallop even compared to other scallop of Hokkaido.
4. Mashike Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp) Flavor
It is an okaki that is rich in flavor using the sweet shrimp (also called northern shrimp) of Mashike which is regarded the “Highest Class of Sweet Shrimp” even throughout Japan.
5. Shiranuka Yanagidako (Octopus) Flavor
The more you chew, the more flavorful it becomes. It is a harmonious mixture of okaki and the Yanagidako (octopus) which is a specialty of Shiranuka, only to be caught in the harsh cold climate between December and April.
6. Shiraoi Kojohama Tarako (Cod roe) Flavor
It is an okaki with rich flavors using the specialty cod roe of Kojohama, “Kojohama Tarako” which is slowly aged during a period of 7 days.
7. Matsumae Ika (Squid) Flavor
It uses their prized squid from Matsumae City, one of the top localities of the common squid. The squid caught in the wild waves of Matsumae City is firm, tender and fleshy.
8. Notsuke Hokkai Shimaebi (Hokkai Shrimp) Flavor
The sweet rich flavors of the rare “Hokkai Shimaebi” caught in the Notsuke Peninsula of the Okhotsk Sea have been recreated in this okaki (Available seasonally).
“Kitakaro Otaru Main Building” located in Otaru, Hokkaido, Photo by flickr
The Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki we introduced this time is a product of the snack food producer “Kitakaro”. Along with the Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki the cream puffs called “Kita no Yume Dome (Dome of the Northern Dream)” and baumkuchen are popular snacks from Kitakaro.
Other than the main branch in Sunagawa, there are shops located in various department stores in central Sapporo area, the “Kitakaro Sapporo Main Building” that opened in 2016, the “Otaru Main Building” located in Otaru Sakaimachi Dori, and a directly operated shop within the New Chitose Airport. Information: Map
1. Sapporo Main Building
Photo by flickr
The Sapporo Main Building pened in March of 2016 in central Sapporo, quite close to the Former Hokkaido Government Office. It was a historical building built in 1926, renovated according to the architectural plan of the famous architect Tadao Ando. It is a store that expresses a coexistence of history and modernity with a sturdy appearance, themed on the concept of a “salon”.
You can of course enjoy snacks here, but also the sophisticated and modern atmosphere of the building as well as events like concerts and snack related festivals held in the multi-purpose space on the 2nd floor. Information: Map
2. New Chitose Airport shop
The Popular “Kita no Yume Dome” Cream Puff, Photo by flickr
The airway entrance to Hokkaido is the New Chitose Airport. The New Chitose Airport Branch is located in the 2nd floor Sweets Avenue of the domestic terminal building of this New Chitose Airport. This is a recommended area for shopping before your homebound departure. It should be useful for souvenir shopping.
Within the store, they have the full assortment of Hokkaido Okaki as well as an eat-in area. Before your departure, do try the very popular large cream puff “Kita no Yume Dome” or the cream puff in a cup the “Yume Fusen” exclusive to the New Chitose Airport.
Related Articles: New Chitose Airport
The Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki is a specialty that is filled with the hopes of Kitakaro to “Deliver truly delicious snacks that are conscious of safety, wellness and health from Hokkaido to people all over Japan”. How about a tour of the flavors of Hokkaido enjoyed through okaki packed with goodness of sea ingredients from various part of Hokkaido? Go ahead and try them to accompany your tea or beer.
Of course other then Hokkaido, regional okaki that uses the flavors of various localities exist in Japan. We look forward to taking another opportunity some time to introduce those as well.