中國零食 – Chinese snacks

As always my husband is helping me with my posts, but today he got a special place to pick and recommend you some of his favourite snacks. Why him not me? I have a sweet tooth and I can eat anything covered in chocolate so I’m not really picky, but he deep inside him is ‘very Chinese’. It’s nothing racist, he just enjoys Asian snacks much more than a Western one. I can bet with you than non if you would be able to convince him to eat a chocolate cake.

Of course you can give him Good Good Eat crackers or some seaweed but it won’t make him as happy as his childhood tastes. Screw almond croissants and petit fours – brace yourself, Chinese snacks are coming!

鳳爪 – chicken feet

Why eat chicken feet only on dim sum when you can eat them… all the time? Well, don’t ask me, but I must say I was quite surprisedchicken feet blogto know that they sell a packed chicken feet. Come in sour and spicy versions, already covered in sauce.

Sing: I love the texture, they are not gummy but bouncy. You have a choice of sour and spicy version, I personally prefer the spicy one. I enjoy holding them, holding bones with meat, just like people eat KFC chicken. Perfect snack for evening playing cards with friends.

Maybe KFC in China/Hong Kong should think of putting chicken feet into their menu. No need to thank KFC, just share profits from our great idea.

魷魚絲 – dry squid

I can say that’s probably the only ‘weird snack’ I love as well.dried squid My husband’s whole family loves it. Even our cat loves it. I think you might love it as well. First dry squid I tried was the one bought on sale in Hong Kong’s Aji Ichiban and I fell in love from the first bite. You can buy shredded squid in any Asian mall – Chinese, Korean, Japanese, everyone loves it.

Sing: Depends on what seasoning you use it can be salty or sweet, sweet and salty. Goes great with beer or Soju. It got popular in Hong Kong in the 70’s and I remember eating it in the evening with my parents and sister while watching TV. Very good memory with a very good taste. 

番薯乾 – dry sweet potato

Honestly by adding ‘sweet’ to dry potato doesn’t convince me to eating it.sweet dry potato I tried a sweet potato soup made by our landlord’s wife which prove me I was wrong, but eating it as a snack? In China sweet potatoes, typically of the yellow variety, are baked in a large iron drum, and sold as street food during winter. But also you can buy a packed, dry ones.

Sing: They go really good with a tea. You can drink soda or beer with them, but since they are so sweet I like to drink a bitter tea to balance the sweet taste and treat it like some kind of cake. The only problems with them is sometimes they can be a real jaw breaker, very hard to chew.

話梅 – dry sour plum

Huamei is a name for  Chinese plums pickled in sugar, salt, and herbs. There are two general varieties: a dried variety, and a wet (pickled) variety. If you take a look on the texture more dried skin more sour the plum is, if the skin is moisty you can be pretty Chinese_preserved_plum_snacksure plums you buy are more sweet. I ate them only once, we got them on a stand in Dragon Centre (西九龍中心) in Sham Shui Po – I liked them but they weren’t as sour as I imagined. Try chewing gum called Center Shock – THAT is sour and anyone in Poland can confirm that I’m telling you the truth.

Sing: I really find them extremely sour and I just love it. Besides that if the seeds are not drilled you can hold them in your mouth and the taste will stay with you for next few hours. And did you know that it’s very popular among pregnant ladies and traveling people? It helps you to cure nausea so if you have morning sickness or don’t really feel well on the trips have a pack of plums in your purse.

魚皮花生 – fish skin peanuts

I never really had a chance to try them but the first thing on my mind when I saw were Lorenz’s NicNac’s – crunchy snack fun and full-on peanut power in a handy snack pack! They were delicious, especially the barbecue one so I can be pretty sure this one might fish skin peanutssuit my taste. Even my mother-in-law got tricked while visiting Poland that NicNac’s and fish skin peanuts are the same thing!

Sing: It has all that snack needs – it’s crispy and crunchy, almost like a peanut chips. Also it has a shell and it makes me have more interaction with food. Laugh or no but anyone I know belive that having an interaction with your food makes it more tasty, that’s why we enjoy eating meat from the bones, breaking peanut’s shell, take a whole bite of fish and spit the bones out.

Well, that says a lot why I used to throw my mom’s food everywhere in the house, including sticking a sausage into a VHS recorder. Sorry, mom.

Have you ever tried any of them? What’s your favourite snack? Share your experience!

33 thoughts on “中國零食 – Chinese snacks

  1. I have tried the dried sweet potato before as well as dried sour plums. And I have to agree with your husband…dried sour plums are soooo delicious!! Many people in Taiwan eat them when they are pregnant to prevent morning sickness and some believe that they are good for stomach pain!


  2. I do not like chicken feet, but it is my mom favorite. She doesn’t buy them. She makes them every year. When I was a kid, I ate dry sour plum, 香港の味[Hong Kong], crystallized ginger slices, Ting Ting Ginger Chews/Candy, shrimp crackers, Ka Po Preserved Mandarin, dry squid, pocky, white rabbit candy, Haw Flakes, and dry sweet potato. I stop eating white rabbit candy after I lost too many teeth.


  3. Packaged chicken feet? I will never eat it – although I love chicken feet for dim sum in the restaurants. I worry about the preservatives. I used to like dry sour plums too – but after reading about the preservatives, I’m totally off them! 😦


  4. I like the dried squid OK. My family is crazy about it and they always pick up bags of it at the Japanese supermarket. Definitely better with some kind of alcoholic beverage.


  5. This is great. I remember the first time my friend offered me the “dry sour plum” and I popped it in my mouth…immediately popped it out and looked at her as if it was a joke (I really thought it was…). Never before had I tasted such a mix of flavors. Since then, I have really learned to love those plums (my favorites). Chicken feet…not so much 🙂


  6. Of all of these I think I could only get myself to try the dried plums. Could have added the dried sweet potato to the list as well… Until I read your husbands comment about potential jaw breakers 🙂


  7. I’m familiar with all of these (since childhood), and I can honestly say that I can and will live a full life without seeing any of these ever again. 😉 Snacks? Dude, I’ve never met a doughnut I didn’t like.

    Mmmmmm, doooonuts …


  8. Such interesting snacks! I’ve heard of dried squid before but not of the other ones you mentioned. I’ve had dried fish jerky before (called Juippo) with my Korean friends before and I thought it was delicious especially with an ice cold beer so I imagine the squid should be just as good.

    Great post, really enjoyed the read! ^.^ x


  9. This is entertaining and an accurate description of snacks I have encountered. Been a while, though. Hope I make it back to China, but will have to keep “Chinatown” on my itinerary until then.


  10. yummmmyyyy.. well some of them 😀 haha .. i love dried sweet potato, the first time i tried it, it tasted a little weird but after a while i started to love it ~~ haha, all of the ones you posted are Ok tasting, some better than others.. but I have to admit – chicken feet is never going to be a winner with me! haah, 😛 although the thing i found the most interesting about this post is that… when i read “sing” after each description i was like.. “hmmm.. there’s a song for each snack?! and i was like humming trying to make up a melody for each of those”.. >.< took me a while to realize what you meant……. HAHAHA. i feel so stupid hahah


    1. I laugh from his Cantonese name so don’t worry 😀 you know some people in Hong Kong pick really stupid English names like Oreo, Iceland etc. so Sing wouldn’t be so crazy 😀 but actually Sing is Cantonese version of Sheng 勝 (or simplified as 胜) and means ‘victory’ – I must say Sheng is much sexier than Sing, and it really blows my mind when we order a pizza and he says… Jason 😀 cause white people like to change that simple ‘sing’ 😀 so don’t worry, I let you laugh too 😀


  11. Love, love, love dried plums.
    Always keep some at home, in several colors.
    I usually use them for cooking or beverage-making. 😀


  12. Sour plums are alright for me same as the squid stuff BUT chicken feet, hell no. I will never get used to it. It is just too weird for me, the taste, the look, just everything. Everytime I see chicken feet I run 🙂


  13. actually I don’t think your hubby is cantonese given his snack choices. Personally don’t care for the chicken feet as a snack, nor the sweet potato… But others are legit snacks althrough I shy awy from sour plums/fruits…

    you ever tried chinese jerkies, very tasty if made fresh. other snacks include pork ‘floss’ , cuttlefish snacks (vs. squid) these days you can have various flavoured (shell) peanuts with anchovies and marinated tofu as well as other snacks.


  14. Rather partial to sweetened nutmeg strips, ginger and “maybe” something else. Probably something sour. Otherwise, I (figuratively) cry in despair when I walk into a Chinese convenience store, and (figuratively) cry with digestive appreciation when I go into a Japanese convenience store.


  15. I like dry sour plum which I had as a kid here in Canada. I think some of these snacks are urban, more modern snacks. I know my parents who immigrated to Canada in 1950’s from rural village 300 km. north of HK, wouldn’t relate to this stuff, except for chicken feet.


  16. The dried plums are not too bad. Oh, my son was just so grossed out by pickled chicken feet. Nom Nom Nom. He never did try it. I did get him to try the fried chicken feet. He didn’t say he did not like it but complained that there was no meat. Ok, perhaps he didn’t know what he was eating 😉


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