14 Favorite Childhood Asian Snacks You Have To Try
We might have grown up and now pay bills, but we all have wished for the chance to be a kid again for one reason or another. Seriously, who agreed that naps weren’t appropriate for adults? One thing we’re thankful we get to keep access to is all those yummy and fun snacks we loved in our childhood.
That’s what we’re bringing you today — all the best Asian snacks of our fondest childhood memories. We are breaking down all the items that you need to try, regardless of age. These might be the snacks of our childhood memories, but the best part about being an adult is having treats whenever we want!
Pocky might be one of the more enjoyable snacks on this list. Pocky is a “stick” biscuit covered in creamy melted candy. Chocolate and strawberry are the two old-school varieties, but they also come in other flavors like matcha.
If you want to keep it classic, try the chocolate first. Then go wild — chocolate almond is a good next step, but matcha Pocky is a fan favorite here at Umamicart!
They’re a great snack because the top three-quarters of the biscuit is covered in a creamy candy flavoring, and the bottom is plain. You’ll have somewhere to grab without getting messy and have a different flavor at the end!
Dried Squid Snack
Like beef jerky of the West, dried squid snack is made from dehydrated meat — cuttlefish. It’s chewy and packed with flavor.
Opening the bag can be intense, and the aromatics are pretty strong. But the flavor is everything your umami dreams are made of. The experience is a rich, salty, and sweet balance that delights the palette.
Yukimi daifuku is a brand of mochi that is filled with ice cream. This, along with other daifuku mochi, is a fond memory of childhood. The outside rice cake is thick and chewy with a neutral flavor. This is perfect for letting the sweet, robust flavors of the filling shine through.
Traditionally, Yukimi daifuku would be a thin layer of rice cake wrapped around a vanilla ice milk filling. It could either be plain or drenched in coconut milk before being packaged.
Seaweed Rice Crackers
We might have loved these as kids, but our parents were happy when we ate them. Why? They’re a plentiful two-gram serving of dietary fiber, an essential component of our daily diet that helps our bodies regulate blood sugar and keep cholesterol down. While these crackers have their benefits, we simply loved them for the flavors!
These seaweed rice crackers can be compared to a crispy and crunchy rice piece of tteok or rice cake. They are then coated in soy sauce and wrapped in seaweed. The end result is a salty and richly flavored umami cracker that kept us happy and healthy as children.
White Rabbit Candy
White Rabbit candy is similar to a tootsie pop in Western culture—small stumps of chewy deliciousness. In contrast to a tootsie roll, these are a milk and cream base, so the flavor is more of a rich vanilla.
What’s the best part? The wrapper is edible wafer paper! For a kid, this is definitely part of the fun.
A similar candy we think you should get a hold of Hi-Chew. The wrapper might not be edible, but these fruity and chewy candies are just too good to miss. It’s easy to eat a whole bag!
Senbei is another form of rice cracker filled with a ton of flavor. There’s the Shelly senbei variety, which is a savory cracker with a sweet coating. It’s the perfect snack for any kid who wants to satisfy salty and sugary cravings at the same time. There are other styles of rice crackers, too — we also recommend trying Sanko Yuki and Want Want Senbei. They each have a savory and sweet side but offer a sway in one direction depending on which one you buy.
Hello Panda is a brand of biscuit cookies that are filled with flavored cream. The classic flavors are chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. The biscuits and filling are delicious, but the best part for a lot of kids is the design. They’re in the shape of a little panda bear and have a panda caricature decorated on the outside. These are serious 90s nostalgia, and since the 90s are back in, this should be on your retro wishlist!
Bin-Bin Rice Crackers
These are a brand of oval-shaped rice crackers that are hard to put down. They’re soy sauce flavored, so expect a rich, salty profile. In contrast, the texture is light, crunchy, and delicate. It’s a nice balance of robust flavors on a light and airy cracker, so it’s a pleasing mouthfeel and flavor combo.
Pop-pan crackers are buttery with a scallion flavor. They’re fatty and soft but a little crisp for added texture. The butter comes through to give the crackers a rich decadence that is complemented well with the sweet herbaceous bite of the scallion flavor. These crackers are addicting and easy to eat a lot without realizing it.
Yan Yan is another biscuit cookie that we can’t help but remember with love and adoration. This style features candy flavoring on the side in the form of dip with buttercream consistency. Again, these came in three classic flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
You have to make sure that your icing to biscuit ratio is perfect. Too much up front, and you’re left with a ton of plain biscuits at the end. But if you get just enough for the first half of the biscuits, your last half of biscuits are packed with icing. It’s not an easy feat, but if our childhood selves can do it, so can our adult selves.
Shrimp Chips (Calbee)
There are a few varieties of shrimp chips or snacks, but our favorite from childhood is the Calbee shrimp chips.
The cool thing about them is they’re baked, not fried, despite the airy crunch the texture provides. As far as the flavor, the salty seafood aromatics will make your mouth water before the first bite. They were a typically shared snack, but as adults, we make the rules, and who says we can’t keep the bag to ourselves?
Haw flakes are a candy made from Chinese hawthorn fruit. They’re flat and round, and fit perfectly on the tongue to be enjoyed slowly. The flavors are sweet, tangy, and so satisfying.
An excellent fact for our adult enjoyment: hawthorn fruit is considered a digestif, which is a drink or food ideal for settling the tummy after a meal. So, we can eat these after dinner without any guilt, and it can help move things along, too. Win-win, right?
Kasugai Roasted Hot Peas
Kasugai roasted hot peas are crunchy fried peas coated in hard and crunchy wasabi. They also come in a traditional roasted pea variety for those out there who shy away from the heat of wasabi. They’re very crunchy, similar to chips but with a harder texture. Even the hot versions have a lot of salty notes, so they’re satisfying even when your nose is watering.
Kasugai is a brand that also makes a sweet treat we loved from childhood. It didn’t make the list, but you should try them out if you have a chance. Your best bet is to buy this variety pack so you can get them all at once. They’re so good that you’re not going to want to wait to try every flavor.
Wang Wang Snow Cookies
Wang wang snow cookies are very similar to the Senbei biscuits we talked about earlier. They’re savory and sweet, so you get a balance of palate-pleasing flavors. These snow cookies are a little different in that the savory biscuit is light, so the powdered sugar dusted over the top comes through more. From sea salt to chocolate, who doesn’t like a little salty crunch on their sweets?
These might be the best of the best in snacks from our childhood, but you are never too old to try these favorites. We love that our memories are filled with a fondness for these snacks, but we also love that they still exist.
Try them all at once or one at a time. Either way, you’ll be so happy you took our advice! Head to Umamicart for all your favorite childhood Asian snacks!