Bokksu “Tour of Japan” Review + Coupon – May 2019
Bokksu is a premium Japanese snack subscription service. Each box includes an assortment of authentic Japanese snacks as well as a tea pairing chosen to complement and enhance that month’s theme and flavors.
There are three subscription options:
- Classic Bokksu is $39.00/mo + free shipping for 20-25 Japanese snacks & tea pairing
- Tasting Bokksu is $25.00/mo + free shipping for 10-14 snacks & tea pairing
- Vegetarian Bokksu is $39.00/mo + free shipping 20-25 vegetarian Japanese snacks & tea pairing
All boxes are curated around a monthly cultural theme.
This is a review of the Classic Bokksu option.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review purposes. (Check out the review processes post to learn more about how we review boxes!)
The Subscription Box: Bokksu
The Cost: $39.00/mo + free shipping
The Products: 20-25 Japanese snacks & tea pairing curated around a monthly cultural theme
Ships to: Worldwide for free + free tracking to over 40 countries
Bokksu May 2019 “Tour of Japan” Review
Bokksu always starts out with a quick letter of introduction from their founder, Danny Guo. This month, we’re celebrating Bokksu’s third birthday!
This month, Bokksu’s taking us through a Tour of Japan, a curation of fan favorites from each different prefecture of Japan over the past years. It’s Bokksu’s 3rd birthday, which means there’s a bonus snack included! Thank you, and Happy Birthday o(*^▽^*)o
New anniversary, new booklet! Here’s the updated format of the Culture Guide that was expanded to give even more experience of Japanese culture to subscribers. The booklet is very informative, including the backgrounds of snacks, locations, and cultural explanations. This month focuses on the regional favorites of Japan.
Each snack is described in detail, such as the flavors, manufacturers, and dates, as well as common allergens which are always helpful to know.
We have some phrases to learn and a feature of the hidden prefecture gems of Japan!
All aboard Bokksu’s tour!
Bokksu X Daimonji Handmade Persimmon Candy – Retail Value $3.00
One of my favorite parts of the Bokksu subscription is the monthly exclusive snack! This time, they paired up with iconic family business candy creator Daimonji to create this persimmon candy. The limited seasonality of the fruit makes the persimmon a popular autumn flavor, loved for its honey-like sweet, rich flavor and vibrant orange color. These handmade hard candies are so delicate and beautiful, almost like glass marbles, capturing both the lovely color and subtle natural sweetness of the fruit. Eating these is such an experience.
Tokyo Apple Butter Financier – Buy 16 pcs for $32.00
A financier is a small French almond cake, flavored usually with brown butter with a crisp exterior and rich, soft inside. They are named for their resemblance to a bar of gold. These little apples of buttery goodness are flavored with… apple! Domestically grown Japanese apples are cooked to create an apple butter that replaces the traditional beurre noisette, or brown butter.
I loved the contrast of the crisp exterior and the buttery inside that just melted into a beautiful mess of apple and nutty brown butter taste!
Mini Red Bean Crackers
These crackers automatically reminded me of tea cookies, a huge favorite of my mom! These are layered with a tiny center of red bean flavored, crisp cookie that gives a slight, natural sweetness. I loved the crispiness—could have used a bit more red bean flavor, but the buttery thin crackers were delicious! A perfect blend of salty, sweet, and crunch (*^▽^*)
This cookie is called yakkoi sable, meaning “chewy sable” in Japanese. A sable is a French butter cookie with a nice crisp and light snap, created from its process of using cold butter to form dough particles. The addition of sweet apple caramel from Aomori, the highest apple-producing region in Japan (nicknamed the “Apple Prefecture!”), gives the cookie a soft and chewy texture.
It’s chewy and dense, with a heavy caramel scent and flavor with a beautifully deep caramel center and is the perfect mix of cookie, caramel, and apple. The buttery cookie that surrounds the caramel center isn’t too strong and melts into a warm mush of apple, butter, and sweet sugar cookie.
Black Sesame Kinako Chocolate Azuki Beans – Buy 9 pcks for $6.00
These tasty beans are so creamy, soft, and are little packages of delight! The kinako flavor is of roasted ground soybean flour, very similar to peanuts, and pair very well with the sweet syrupy azuki bean center and infused with white chocolate. The different textures and flavors melt layer by layer in your mouth, giving the taste buds a wonderfully nutty, creamy, and immensely enjoyable flavor experience.
Strawberry Kirara Sandwich Cookie – Buy 18 pcs for $45.00
The outer sandwich cookie layers are crispy, buttery, and are infused with strawberry flavor. They’re not too thick or dense and have a nice, almost soft snap when you break them. Now the filling… it’s a fluffy pillow of goodness, basically. The thick cream layer is infused with freeze-dried Amaou strawberries exclusively produced in the Fukouka Prefecture. These strawberries are called “king of sweet” because of their incredible natural sweetness.
These highly-valued strawberries are dried and combined with corn puffs to give a perfect slight crunch in the cream. The strawberries are divine with the slightest tartness to offset the white cream, but wow, even the smell was lovely! The texture difference of the light cookie and creamy, crunchy filling was wonderful and so pleasing to eat.
Hokkaido Cheese Mochi Puffs – Buy 6 pcks for $12.00
These mochi puffs are a popular inclusion in many of the monthly curations—Hokkaido is renown for its dairy, the premier region for all of Japan’s dairy. These puffs are unbelievably light and airy, melting away like a cloud as soon as they touch your tongue, but leaving a strong, delicious cheesy flavor. Be warned, though, they are quite delicate and break easily!
Takoyaki is a ball-shaped snack made of pancake batter, filled with tempura scraps, octopus bits, pickled ginger, and onion, served hot on a special spherical iron mold. These doughballs are topped with a lovely sauce mixture of Worcestershire, ketchup, mirin, and sugar with nori (dried green laver) and bonito flakes.
These light corn puffs bring you to the streets of Osaka to taste the sweet and sour takoyaki sauce and light texture to recreate the popular treat! The flavor profile of these little balls cannot be underestimated—very deep, a mixture of all the senses, and are beautifully savory.
Kabukiage Rice Crackers in Shiquasa Salt
I was so excited when I saw this snack bag—I recognized the telltale red, black, and green striped patterns! Unlike other Japanese senbei, or rice crackers, kabukiage is deep fried and flavored with sweet soy sauce. It’s very high in fat, quite oil, and oh-so-delicious. This kind of kabukiage is flavored with shiquasa, or a citrus native to the Ryukyu Islands used for garnish or dressing juices, and salt. Combined with the sweet soy sauce, the rice cracker makes you almost pucker from the sourness and the salt, but it’s so fun to eat these~ The taste of lime is a huge flavor punch!
Seaweed is one of the best snacking inventions, ever. The combination of chewy laver and crunchy tempura that’s lightly salted is just SO satisfyingly yummy. Enriching the plain salty flavor is a wash of sudachi citrus fruit, packing a punch of the lime/lemon tang! The sudachi is a small green citrus native to Japan frequently used in place of a lemon or lime in cooking. The sweet/sour/salty taste is such a unique flavor out of all the snacks we’ve tried so far—who would’ve known, citrus and seaweed (≧▽≦)
Pure Gyokuro Tea – Retail Value $2.00
My favorite green tea! Gyokuro is the highest grade of Japanese green tea, meaning “jade dew” because of its stunning green color, handpicked from Kagoshima’s lush tea gardens. These leaves differ from standard sencha (classic unshaded green tea) because it’s grown under the shade.
The flavor of this tea is breathtakingly beautiful. There’s a distinct natural sweetness in the tea, along with a lovely mellow and delicate flavor the leaves get from growing in the shade.
Honey Butter Potato Sticks – Bonus Item!
We saw these back in March! This snack, in chip form, was the most popular snack in Korea a few years back. There was an immense promotion from many celebrities and were extremely popular with the student generation. These sticks were actually the first—there’s a cinnamon flavor that compliments the honey and butter so well. The potato stick form is also a lovely crunch, a contrast the to soft flavor. Thank you for the bonus snack \(^0^)/
Verdict: I have to say, I think this month’s Bokksu curation was the best so far (I know I say that every time). The flavor range this month was incredible, from subtle persimmon honey to a sour inclusion of a few crunchy snacks, paying homage to the iconic takoyaki street snacks, then wrapping everything with the most beautiful type of green tea selection. This tour was truly special, with selective items approved and enjoyed by the subscribers!
I believe Bokksu’s curation and attention to snacking experience is a large part of the value, but this is just my personal opinion ♡
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Unfortunately, no. You must order by the 25th of the month to receive the following month’s box. Order today to receive the June curation.
Value Breakdown: This box costs $39.00 + free shipping, which means that each of the 20 items in the box has an average cost of $1.95.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Bokksu’s tour? What was your favorite regional snack?