Taste Your Way Through Asia: The Best Asian Snacks & Fruits
There’s no denying the fact that Asian fruits are among some of the most exotic, unique, and delicious fruits on the planet Earth. And let’s not forget about the delicious dishes unique to Asian countries. From Southeast Asia all the way up to China, each region and country officers its own unique fare.
Whether you’ve traveled far and wide to encounter these delicious fruits, scrumptious dishes, or tasty treats, the only problem with finding them is realizing that you can’t enjoy the flavors once you’ve arrived back home. So, when you’re craving Asian snacks, dishes, and fruits, here’s where to find them (and what to try if you’re a newbie to the cuisine).
The Best Asian Snacks to Try
Honey Butter Chips
Honey butter chips first hit the scene in 2014 and have since become a fan favorite. Originating in South Korea and now a permanent staple in Korean pop culture, this Asian snack puts a tasty spin on classic potato chips. As the name suggests, the chips are salty and buttery yet slightly sweet. The honey flavor adds the perfect touch of sugary sweetness without overpowering the other flavors. Yum!
This might be one of the most well-known Asian snacks in the Western world, as well as perhaps one of the oldest on this list. Pocky was first sold in the 1960s and is pretty simple in concept. Enjoy crunchy biscuit sticks dipped in chocolate, sometimes with unique flavors such as matcha, strawberry, chocolate banana, or numerous other flavors that have popped up all over the world.
Seaweed Rice Crackers
If you’ve ever traveled to Japan then you might be familiar with Nori Maki, a classic Japanese snack that consists of rice crackers wrapped in seaweed. Not only are the crackers usually aromatic and delightfully tasty, but they’re also low in calories and fat, making them a pretty healthy snack as well!
You might have tried Kit Kats before as they’re pretty standard candy in the US. However, Japan takes these chocolatey treats to a whole new level. Japanese Kit Kats come in a variety of wild flavors, including mango, pudding, banana caramel, peach parfait, and more. There’s more than enough variety for everybody’s taste buds, that’s for sure.
You’ve surely heard of the classic egg roll, but what about the snack version? Instead of the savory, meat-filled delights, these snack egg rolls are sweeter and crunchier. Popular during the Lunar New Year, these snack egg rolls are made with egg and sesame and wrapped into thin rolls that are crunchy and perfectly sweet, almost like a cookie.
Want to try mochi but aren’t sure where to start? Yukimi Daifuku is a specific brand of mochi ice cream that we suggest. During the fall and winter months you can purchase the larger containers of the ice cream, which comes in flavors such as roasted soybean and sweet potato.
Feeling a bit daring? This is one Asian snack that might look intimidating if it’s your first time wandering into an Asian market or visiting someplace like Thailand or Hong Kong. Fish snacks, however, are pretty delicious. Plus, there are different kinds to try. Squid snacks are slightly chewy whereas regular fish snacks are straw-shaped snacks that taste a bit like smoked fish.
The Best Asian Fruits to Try
It’s likely that you’ve seen this Chinese fruit all over the United States by now. It seems to be particularly popular as a frozen yogurt flavor, but there’s nothing quite like sampling it in its original form. Sweet, succulent, and small enough to enjoy in bite-sized versions, lychee is also packed full of antioxidants and Vitamin C. Not sold on sampling this exotic fruit? It’s considered to be a symbol of sensuality, so much so, in fact, that the emperor of the Tang Dynasty had his men go out in search of lychee in order to win over a woman.
Durian is the smelly fruit you might have seen signs for if you’ve ever ridden public transportation or taken a taxi in Asia. Yes, it’s so smelly that they’ve even banned it from certain hotels. However, if you can get over the smell, you might just find that you’re delighted by the fruit’s unique flavor. It’s slightly creamy, which is unique for a fruit, and it packs the perfect punch of delicately sweet and just slightly sour. You can’t visit Asia without sampling it at least once.
Pomelo is a fruit that’s native to Southeast Asia and is often compared to a grapefruit. Different from other similar citrus fruits, however, you don’t eat the membrane or transparent skin like you might with an orange. Simply cut it open like a grapefruit and scrape the fruit out and enjoy a tangy, citrus treat. It’s loaded with 412% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C, too!
You’ll find jackfruit growing natively mostly in Sri Lanka and Malaysia but also in certain parts of India. The outside is green and spiky, somewhat similar to durian. However, the inside of the jackfruit is bright yellow and fleshy. This is easily one of the best Asian fruits to try as it’s so versatile. It’s similar to tofu in the way that it really forms the flavor of whatever you’re cooking it with; that, and it’s fleshy texture, is why it’s often used as a meat substitute for vegan dishes.
Try mangosteen if you’re a big lover of strawberries, pineapples, peaches, or lychee. It possesses a flavor that somehow seems to perfectly mix the aforementioned fruits into one tasty melody. Highly nutritious and packed with antioxidants, mangosteen is eaten by cutting open the skin and eating the white, juicy inner fruit.
The longan fruit comes from the same family as lychee and rambutan, so you can expect a similar taste here. It even looks the same. Once you cut open the golden yellow skin, you’ll find a slimy, semi-transparent center that surrounds a seed. Take the seed out and consume just the fruit. It’s super sweet and slightly tart and the consistency is somewhat chewy.
Did you know that the second highest producer of guava is China? This typically South American fruit grows in the southern regions of China and is also found in parts of India. Pink guavas tend to be fig-shaped and resemble the taste of papaya, passionfruit, and pear. To eat guava, simply cut it open and scoop out the fruit! It’s not too sweet for a midday snack.
Where to Buy Asian Treats
If your mouth is watering after reading our descriptions of lychee or boba then get in line! Wipe the drool from your face and figure out the fastest way to order from your local Asian market. Not only is it a great way to mix up your meal planning and try out new cuisines, it’s a fantastic way to support local grocers other than Walmart, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s.
Did you know that Cheese offers exclusive cashback deals for brands that sell Asian groceries and snacks? Ummmm, yeah! While you’re here, why not click around and browse through the app to see which stores sell the Asian fruits and foods that you’re interested in.
Here’s a list of the cashback deals we offer at online and local markets:
- Weee! = 3%
- Yamibuy = 3%
- 99 Ranch Market = 2%
- H-Mart = 2%
Get up to 10% cash back at over 10,000 stores, brands and restaurants.
- Subway = 5%
- Shake Shack = 10%
- Pizza Hut = 5%
- Subway = 5%
And, for those interested in Asian food delivery, try:
- Chowbus = 2%
- Fantuan = 2%
- Hungry Panda = 2%
In the mood for other foods? Visit our offers section to see which other hot cashback deals you can access by paying with your Cheese Debit Card.