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Mochi Crunch Holiday Omiyage Basket

A mochi crunch “mega mix” consisting of every type of mochi crunch and senbei
from one gift basket.

Similar to the fundraiser drives that were recently pointed out, Hawaii folks share a unique variety of foods and snacks as a token of goodwill and giving during the holiday season.

Everything from boxes of hot Manapua from the favorite dim sum shop, Sunnyside Pies fresh from Wahiawa, to those absolutely mouthwatering chocolate-dipped Macadamia Nut shortbread cookies assortment gift boxes from Big Island Candies.

Then there’s them gift baskets of all sizes and varieties, with everything from an assortment of flavored Kona Coffee blends, to mixed-themed cookies, candies and snacks.

Just to name a few.

It’s no secret Japanese culture and cuisine has a major influence in Hawaii, especially during the holiday season, when one of the most endeared terms, “Omiyage”, meaning “gift” is taken to a whole new level.

That in mind, one of the favorite snack foods here from the homeland of Sony® and Sushi® is Arare™, which in its simplest translation can be called “Rice Cracker”. Yet us Hawaii folks most often (arguably) call it “Mochi Crunch™”; I personally call it both interchangeably.

That said, you can bet the arrival of this Mochi Crunch omiyage gift basket was the darling of our eyes when it was brought into our office…

A dozen long stem red roses ain’t got nothin’ on this as far as I’m concerned!

Ooooh! What get? What get? Let’s take a closer look at each package…

Looks oishii. Now let’s open it up and try it!…

Iso peanuts. Senbei. Arare. Wasabi peas. This one is my favorite. Best balance.


The contents…

Not bad, but no can touch da’ first one. The golden-colored coated peanut on the bottom right had a curry-like flavor to it, which was interesting in how it added an extra dimension of savoryness to this mix.


Notice it says “Premium” Mixed Arare, which I buy. To date, I still stand by Tomoe brand as my “Premium Choice”. Tomoe has just the right balance of shoyu, sugar and nori to my palate. Not to mention being fresh and cripsy, not stale. This Wholesale Unlimited, Inc. version certainly was in contention and deserving of the “Premium” title. Guaranz good fo’ make Hurricane Popcorn.


These look like Wasabi covered peas or nuts, which we all thought they were at first glance, yet upon close inspection of the ingredients, you see there’s no sign of Wasabi at all.

What they are is the same coated “Iso style” peanuts, except instead of sweetened shoyu glaze coating on the outside, it’s tinted green with just salt on the outside. And instead of a peanut, there’s a Pistachio in it…

What’s neat about these is that they’re individually packaged in portions of 4 “nuts”, as shown above. If you like Iso Peanuts, and you like Pistachio nuts even better than regular peanuts, than imagine taking the best of those worlds and making it one. There ya’ go. That’s how these taste. Light, yet cruncy and aromatic in a Pistachio bits ‘n pieces kinda’ way. Good stuff!

Finally there’s this Senbei…

These are lighter and fluffier than typical Arare, and also much, much larger…

They also have a similar sweetened shoyu-flavored coating, yet are less dense and crunchy; more airy and crispy. Not my favorite, yet still acceptably good.

Once again, my favorite in this gift basket are the Assorted (arare style) Peanut Crackers…

There was also these delicious dried and pickled ume snacks in this basket, but we all ate them quicker than I could get to it and take photos to share with you. I’ll buy some later and retrofit them here next time I go to Marukai or Don Quijote.

Goodness. When I see this much Mochi Crunch, I just can’t help but think of this and a good movie…

Hurricane Popcorn


14 thoughts on “Mochi Crunch Holiday Omiyage Basket

  • December 4, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Hey Pomai, I trying to create a recipe with li hung mui power with chex cereal. Do you have a recipe for it? Something that say Hawaii. Where do I find li hung mui power anyway? My Thankgiving not bad being Pake my house always have chow mein and fried wonton and eggrolls with other spreads.

  • December 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Boy, Li Hung Mui Powder on popcorn might be very interesting too. The things we could with Li Hung Mui Powder.

  • December 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Hey Steve , I know you and again you got to put on your reading glasses Dude. See you try to beat me in cooking class. Powder not Power well more power to Li Hung Mui lovers.

  • December 4, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Pomai, Those bloggers gave me an ideal too. Li Hing Mui powder on fried wonton wrapers to become chips. Oh boy, that pretty awesome to me. Not bad with deep fry chow mein noodle with it also.

  • December 4, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Steve, you can order Li Hing powder from this website:
    It’s $6 per 1/2 pound package, plus shipping

    Of course, a little Li Hing goes a long way, so that should work out for ya’.

    Our local grocery stores also carry these snack line products, including the Li Hing powder. I seen a big bag in the Aina Haina Foodland for about $5.

    I think I tried a chex mix with Li Hing in it once, but I can’t remember who or where it came from. Sorry. I do remember not really caring for it. Too “busy” if ya’ know what I mean.

    Amy, I’ve tried Li Hing Popcorn. It’s OK. Not my personal favorite, but edible, IMO.

    Kelike & Michale, check out the post I followed-up on this on Li Hing Apples.

  • December 5, 2008 at 4:55 am

    My fave has to be the Assorted Peanut Crackers too. I’m a big fan of nuts! And mmm Hurricane popcorn. I do enjoy the packets simply for that sweetened popcorn butter but I know that I can assemble and make it on my own.

  • December 5, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Hafa Pomai! where do you get the Hurricane popcorn so I can send my buddy over there to buy some and send it to me. We love that stuff! Also what is the Li Hing powder made of? Yummy pics as usual!

  • December 6, 2008 at 3:08 am

    I LOVE peanut crackers, too, but I don’t get it very often because I can’t stop at just one (or 10).

    Do you like the little dried fish that some places put into their banzai mix? I love the salty crunch of the fish and notice that the banzai mix in your gift basket didn’t have them.

  • December 7, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Jenny, yeah, the peanut crackers are the bomb. I never seen the one with dried fish in it, but if I did, wouldn’t be hesitant at all eating it! After all, you’re talking to someone who LOVES Iriko on rice!

    Hafa to you Susan! In Guam I’m guessing. Our Costco (and I think Sam’s Club) carries a bulk pack of the Hurricane Popcorn. Of course you’ll pay more for that compared to buying the micro’ popcorn, Furikake and Mochi Crunch ala carte, but it is convenient and the butter it comes with is sweetened just right. That really makes it.

    According to the site I linked earlier, the ingredients to Li Hing powder are: Plum extract, sugar, salt, licorice, aspartame, phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine

    Hi Dina, ditto on what you said.


  • December 7, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    My daughter doesn’t touch the arare anymore. Doesn’t let my grand daughter have any. She says she cannot trust anything that has the remote possibility of ingredients from China and also of the reports of Japanese manufaturers using Chinese stuff and falsely labeling products and origins of ingredients. That is a real problem now in Japan, with Japan importing 60% of the food they require.

  • February 12, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Yes i wanna try some other recipes for the Li Hung Mui Powder how will i make it happen with the Chex Cereal or anyting here in the States

  • July 3, 2012 at 4:28 am

    How do I order? We were in Hawaii in May to our son’s wedding and had the Pistachio Crunch. I can not find them anywhere, can you tell me how to order these and do they come packaged in larger than 4 to a package? Thanks for your help

    • January 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      janice orr, my company sells them. we’re in california and can ship. let me know if you’re still interested.


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