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Feature

September 2, 2021
18 Asian Snacks On Umamicart That Are Better Than What You Find At Trader Joe’s
Everything from hot pot-flavored chips and boba cakes to shredded squid and rice crackers.
JL
Written by
Justine Lee

When I hear someone say they don’t really snack, I’m convinced they either don’t know what “snacking” means or simply haven’t tried any of the options from Asia. If it’s due to the latter, I’ll give them a pass. Maybe they haven’t been able to travel abroad in the past few years or lack access to a brick-and-mortar grocer like 99 Ranch, H Mart, or Mitsuwa. That’s where Umamicart, an online shop dedicated to delivering premium quality Asian grocery items, can come to the rescue.

Like the fresh produce, meat, and pantry staples on offer, the sky’s the limit on the snacks you can snag on Umamicart (for great prices). To get you started, here are the 18 best snacks — chips, crackers, candy, cakes, and other things that don’t begin with the letter “c” — available on the site.

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Feature:

The Best Snacks, According To Snacking Experts (Us)

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Nongshim Onion Rings

Let onion rings and Funyuns take the backseat the next time you’re peckish, and fuel up with these slightly lighter, mega-savory onion ring crackers from Nongshim.

Get Nongshim Onion Rings ($1.59) →

Calbee Shrimp Chips

Shrimp chips are huge in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. They’re packed with umami and crunch to the nth degree, and — while I’m not the biggest fan of regular shrimp — these chips don’t aggressively smack of shrimpyness. There’s something about them that just hits different.

Get Calbee Shrimp Chips ($2.69) →

Lay's Potato Chips Spicy Hot Pot Flavor

At first, I was hesitant to try Lay’s range of experimental and international flavors thinking they may taste too artificial or lackluster. But, to my surprise, all the ones I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a ton) have done nothing but hit distinct flavor profiles to a tee. The Spicy Hot Pot flavor tastes ingeniously of tingly Sichuan peppercorn and punchy, heat-packed broth.

Get Lay’s Potato Chips Spicy Hot Pot Flavor ($2.55) →

Haruya Vegetable Snack

Because eating veggie chips is the same as eating a salad, right? Maybe. Regardless, Haruya’s cracker clusters are infused with actual carrots, spinach, pumpkin, and potato — so this a pretty virtuous food to munch on.

Get Haruya Vegetable Snack ($2.79) →

Nongshim Banana Kick Chips

Take the sweet, malty milkiness of a banana shake, combine it with the melt-in-your-mouth airy texture of a cheese puff, and what do you get? These super scrumptious banana chips.

Get Nongshim Banana Kick Chips ($1.65) →

Samyang Chang Gu Snack

Take inspiration from the mischievous character gracing this bag, and channel your inner kid with this honey and sesame-coated corn snack. Here’s how you do it: First, pop one corn ring on each of your fingers. Next, pull a corn ring off with your teeth, and chomp away. I wish I could take credit for this method, but it’s a well-established practice among Chang Gu Snack lovers.

Get Samyang Chang Gu Snack ($3.29) →

Haw Flakes

There’s a lot to love about Haw Flakes. Made from hawthorn, a small red berry native to China, they’re as fun to eat as they are to unravel from the package and pull apart. They melt like a caramel, are tangy like a Sour Patch Kids, and feel as smooth as fruit leather. Put all of this together, and it’s a brilliant candy equation. Added bonus: in traditional Chinese medicine, Haw Flakes are utilized as a digestive aid.

Get Haw Flakes ($1.25) →

Kasugai Gummy, Grape

You haven’t experienced pure joy until you’ve had a pack of Kasugai Gummy Candies. They truly ruined all other moist, jammy fruit snacks for me. If you’re hooked on the juicy sweetness from grapes or any grape-flavored products, then you’re in for a treat.

Get Kasugai Gummy, Grape ($2.89) →

Lotte Yogurt Jelly

Are you a fan of Yakult (the cute little Korean probiotic yogurt drink) and all things delightfully squidgy? If so, you’ll fall in love with these gummies.

Get Lotte Yogurt Jelly ($1.89) →

Puchao Bubbly Soda Flavor

Here’s a chewy candy that encapsulates the bubbly, fizzy flavor profile of Japanese ramune soda. In all likelihood, you’ll unwrap one piece, then probably unwrap another. And another.

Get Puchao Bubbly Soda Flavor ($3.19) →

Royal Family Bubble Tea Milk Cake

Staying on the theme of drink-flavored snacks, here’s Taiwanese boba cake. Each of these cakelets are studded with a gooey boba center and have a touch of delicate milk tea taste. Grabbing one is more expedient than (and just as delicious as) whipping up or ordering a cup of boba tea. Could you hypothetically have both together? Absolutely.

Get Royal Family Bubble Tea Milk Cake ($3.99) →

Lotte Pepero, Almond Flavor

There’s Pocky, and then there’s Pepero. They are not the same. I love both for different reasons, but what I like about Pepero is that it offers an especially snappy biscuit and a chocolate coating that’s gently sweet and milky. There’s a variety of quirky flavor offerings — from original chocolate all the way to white chocolate cookie and strawberry — but the almond version is my top pick.

Get Lotte Pepero, Almond Flavor ($1.79) →

Moon Man Ube Kaya Jam

Snacks can be whatever you want them to be. And, in my book, a big spoonful of nut butter, hummus, or jam qualifies as something to graze on. I love to eat Moon Man’s Ube Kaya Jam straight from the jar as much as I enjoy slathering it onto a piece of toasted milk bread, folding it into mochi cake batter, or adding it to a thick yogurt.

Get Moon Man Ube Kaya Jam ($10) →

Taisun Mixed Congee with Wild Rice

If you can have congee as a meal at time of the day, why can’t it be a snack? This instant one includes soft granules of rice and sweet red beans, and it’s a great pick-me-up that leaves you nicely nourished. Crack open the lid and enjoy it instantly (it’s completely shelf-stable), or pop this in a microwave-safe bowl, heat it up, and savor it warm.

Get Taisun Mixed Congee with Wild Rice ($1.79) →

Glico Pretz Roast Flavor Party Pack

Because of how freshly-baked they taste, these thin pretzel sticks remind me of the breadsticks you sometimes get at Italian restaurants. And I mean that in the best way possible.

Get Glico Pretz Roast Flavor Party Pack ($3.79) →

Jane Jane Shredded Squid

Snacking when drinking is obligatory, and dried and shredded seafood — like this squid snack from Jane Jane — is the perfect companion to baijiu, sake, soju, beer, or any other drink of your choice.

Get Jane Jane Shredded Squid ($4.39) →

Tom's Almond, Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake) Flavor

As a Korean-American, I take tteokbokki very seriously. Therefore, it’s my sacred duty to try and carefully evaluate every new recipe and snack that’s marketed to taste like the dish. Believe me when I say that these saucy almonds passed my taste test in burning red fashion.

Get Tom’s Almond, Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake) Flavor ($7.49) →

Norimaki Arae Rice Cracker

Last, but certainly not least, is a classic. I simply have to snag a bag of these seaweed-wrapped rice crackers on any given Umamicart shopping spree because they’re saturated with savory, glutamic goodness. Basically, they’re little umami bombs.

Get Norimaki Arae Rice Cracker ($2.29) →

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