I get plenty of weird looks every time I enter a supermarket because I literally trip over my own feet while skipping to the snack aisle. It gets a whole lot worse every time I enter an Asian supermarket. After dashing to the Asian snack aisle, I get glassy-eyed, saliva starts building up, and customers five aisles down start to hear my loud stomach grumbles. So kindly move aside, potato chips and beef jerky…let’s take a look at the top cutest treats from the East!
Even though there’s a myriad of Asian snacks in any Asian supermarket, certain snacks strike a chord within you and you end up being the ones that you always have cravings for. I compiled this list of top cute Asian snack foods with popularity and availability in mind, so even if you’re not Asian, you should still recognize some of these!
7) Yan Yan (Meiji Seika - Japan)
This Japanese snack comes in a cup-shaped container and includes biscuit sticks and flavored frosting for dipping. The ones I’ve tried have all been vanilla sticks with strawberry, vanilla, and/or chocolate dip, but apparently there’s also a version with tasty chocolate sticks and vanilla dip.
6) Koala’s March (Lotte - Korea) / Hello Panda (Meiji Seika - Japan)
These two snacks are too similar to me to get separate rankings. The concept is the same: flavored filling inside of a hollow cracker with a picture of either a koala or panda on it. I was always a bigger fan of Koala’s March merely because I grew up on its strawberry-filled koalas, but I’m sure both are similarly tasty!
5) Wasabi Peas (Japan)
Wasabi Peas are basically dried green peas with wasabi coating. If you’ve ever had wasabi with your sushi or anything else before, I’m sure you would agree that the feeling you get is like no other. Wasabi peas may be small and not look very intimidating, but these little green balls of fury can really give your tongue and nose a hard spicy kick.
4) Daifuku (Japan)
This confection consists of a small, round, and often colorful mochi (glutinous rice cake) with sweet filling inside. The most commonly used fillings are red bean paste and strawberries/strawberry paste, but I’ve had other sweet fillings before as well. Daifuku not only look cute, but they are also fun to eat and incredibly yummy!
3) Shrimp Chips (many parts of Asia) / Shrimp Cracker (Nong Shim - Korea)
Although many names are used for shrimp chips (including Krupuk and fried prawn crisps) depending on which country you’re talking about, the snack is the same: deep fried crisps made with starch. A very popular snack in many parts of East and Southeast Asia, shrimp chips melt in your mouth and taste very, very good. “Shrimp Cracker” on the other hand is a packaged snack from the company Nong Shim, and the “crackers” basically look like crinkle fries and taste like shrimp.
2) Orion Choco Pie (Korea) / Lotte Choco Pie (Japan)
The Orion Choco Pie is the original Choco Pie, but the Lotte Choco Pie has also become very popular. I’ve tried both, and I loved both (although I may have liked the Orion pie just a teensy bit more…). The Orion Choco Pie has a softer marshmallow center compared to the Lotte Choco Pie, and the Lotte Choco Pie has harder chocolate/pie layers than its Korean counterpart. Choco Pie is a great snack — I totally recommend it if you haven’t tried it yet.
1) Pocky (Ezaki Glico - Japan)
One thing is for sure when it comes to Pocky — it’s very hard to run out of new flavors to try. There are probably more types of Pocky available than the number of ants crawling in my backyard! I’ve seen everything from Men’s Pocky to Pocky Crush to Mousse Pocky, and then some. Once again, it always befuddles me how the idea behind Pocky is so simple and yet so ingenious. Who would have thought that sweet coatings on thin biscuit sticks would become one of the most popular and successful (perhaps the most popular and successful) Asian snacks to date? Anyhow, Pocky deserves the #1 spot on my list of top Asian snack foods due to its delightful coatings, satisfying “crunch” noise, its beyond-amusing commercials, and most importantly, the fact that it has become so dear to so many. (BTW, I definitely recommend Honey Pocky and Milk Pocky, in case you haven’t tried them yet!)
I hope most of you are salivating by now, because I certainly am after writing about these scrumptious snacks! Once again, I ranked these based on my own perceptions of their taste, popularity, and availability, so if you have your own list of top Asian treats in mind, feel free to share your thoughts!
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