Aji Ichiban! It’s synonymous with snacks! At least in Hong Kong it is. In the U.S., it’s synonymous with, “I don’t know what anything in this store is, can we leave now?” Sparing me that experience, my friend K.N.L. purchased me a packet of candied beef jerky. She even told the cashier that “her friend would review it for his meat blog.” The cashier looked confused, smiled and said “you have a nice day, too.” Hooray for foreign relations.
So, what did it taste like? Beef Jerky marinated in grape jelly. Let me tell you, I wasn’t opposed. Sweet and salty have met with fabulous results in every culture since time immemorial. And whatever they did made the beef less chewy and more tender, something a lot of American brands lack. I didn’t eat the whole packet, though, and I washed it down with some Four Roses Kentucky Bourbon just to be safe.
If you want to chew your own, Aji Ichiban can be found in the shadier corners of New York City, Chicago, Richardson, TX, San Gabriel, CA and Rockville, Maryland. Next time I’m trying the dried crabs.