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Winter Fun

Country of the Week: Japan / Roasted Seaweed and Mochi

This is the face of someone who has tried roasted seaweed only to discover that it tastes like fish. And not the kind of fish that’s been slow roasted on a cedar plank with a nice ginger glaze. Nope, this was like scooping a fish out of the creek and licking it. But I give Lily and Lexie props for at least trying Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snacks. Andrew and Will took a sniff of the snacks and ran for the hills.

Apparently the snacks are wildly popular and Trader Joe’s can’t keep them on the shelves. I wanted us to like them because they’re probably super healthy, but we just couldn’t do it. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s had plenty of other options for Japan Week.

Lexie, who is obsessed with all things Japanese, was ecstatic when she spotted Mochi at Trader Joe’s. These little balls of ice cream are wrapped in what seems to be a kind of dough. So they’re kind of chewy, which you don’t expect when you’re eating ice cream. And they’re covered in a flour-like substance that gets all over your mouth when you eat them. Which is actually pretty funny. Lexie and Tim liked the green tea flavor, but the rest of us preferred chocolate.

We also gave Trader Joe’s tempura chicken and fried rice (more seaweed!) a try. Tim was the only one who really liked the fried rice, but we all liked the chicken (light on the sauce).

I asked the crew if they would rather make homemade sushi or homemade ramen and they chose ramen—no big surprise! So we’ll give that a try tomorrow and let you know how it turns out. But here’s a great California Roll how-to if you’d like to give homemade sushi a try.

There are some really good Japanese restaurants in the Twin Cities, but we blew this month’s eating-out budget at our China Reunion in Wisconsin Dells last weekend. So we will be content with Trader Joe’s frozen offerings and our homemade ramen—and eat out at Ichiban or Saji Ya another time.

We use Little Passports as a kick-off for our Country of the Week series. Check them out!



  1. Michelle says:

    Oh my gosh, I read this post to my husband and we are laughing our heads off. We finally got the opportunity to visit Trader Joe’s and one of the things we tossed into the cart was the roasted seaweed. When we got home, we made a big deal of trying something so totally cool. It was even Shark Week on Discovery Channel, so the stars were all aligned! 🙂 It was DISGUSTING!! 🙂 Your baby girl’s face and your description are right on!

  2. Shannon says:

    So it wasn’t just us?!? The woman at Trader Joe’s was so excited for us to try the seaweed that I thought it must be amazing. Lexie tried so hard to like it but she just couldn’t do it.

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