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What's your crazy and fun ethnic snack? [moved from Manhattan board]

I want my family to try cultural / ethnic small dishes or snacks. Please reply you input.
One of my favorite snack is the (JOONG) Sticky rice with pork wrapped in Leaf.

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  1. Potato knishes, the round ones that are baked, not the square ones that are fried, are delicious eastern European snacks. They are basically seasoned mashed potatoes wrapped in a dough crust.

    3 Replies
    1. re: lucyis

      I use to pay 50 cents in elementary school yard from street vendor that sells it to us! It's the one of my favorites too!

      1. re: lucyis

        Chocolate-covered matzoh-- get it at the Streit's matzoh factory on Rivington at Suffolk.

        Another good matzoh snack: Toast a piece of plain Streit's matzoh very lightly and cover it with Fairway's hot horseradish cream (or any creamy, savory spread). Toast the matzoh very lightly (on the lightest toaster setting) or it will burn.

        And no, I do not work for Streit's, but their matzoh is superior to other store-bought brands.

        1. re: williej33

          Love potato knishes, but sadly the frozen ones from Mrs. Stahl's in the blue box.

          Love Caramel Crunch Matzah too, as well as the Egg'n'Onion matzah w/ a little butter on it.

          For sweet, alfajores and bunuelos!

      2. Takoyaki from Otafuku; such lovely octopus balls. And samosas. At Sukhadias on 45th between 5th and 6th, they have those, as well as desserts (like ghulab jamun, dough balls in syrup) and cakes made with almond paste. They also have bags of fried chickpea/lentil snacks.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Gluttonous Prime

          creamy spicy shrimp at Nobu....major yum

        2. Bullet cakes in Chinatown!

            1. korean crackers or chips are my favorite-- try the shrimp or sweet potato chips. (They're shaped like fries). There are also these delicious sesame seed balls glazed with honey. crunchy and fabulous :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Coreanita

                chinese steamed bao, savory chopped pork wrapped in a roll-like dough. I could use a few right about now!

                1. mochi
                  ice cream mochi
                  korean melon bars (ice cream)
                  shrimp chips
                  Korean rice crackers
                  smoked sweet squid (kind of like jerky)
                  Korean red bean pastries
                  a small Korean pancake filled with a brown sugar syrup

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hannaone

                    Sweet DDUKK any kind. I'm not even Korean.
                    And I love those krispy ginger cookies, the ones rolled into a cigar.

                  2. Pupusas - Imagine fresh hand made tortillas thjt are extra thick filled with savory black beans and cheese or pork and then cooked on the griddle. The are served with a cabbage slaw and a salsa. I think they hail from El Salvador.

                    1. I can hear the yucks...but I love Gefilte Fish!
                      Add a little horseradish..mmmm.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: kkak

                        No yucks from our house, I've gotten my kids to like it, and now gefilte fish is our go to meal in a pinch.

                        That and fried tofu, of course. $1 worth is a great family snack.

                        1. re: Steve

                          I agree with the gefilte fish - and good matzah ball soup

                          1. re: weinstein5

                            I actually don't care for gefilte fish as is, but use it in a recipe for a gefilte fish loaf & really like it prepared that way- if any of you g.f. lovers want the recipe I can post it in home cooking. It's baked in a square pan & cut like brownies.

                            I love knishes & falafel...and plantains (prepared all ways- soft & crunchy!)

                        2. re: kkak

                          After years of trying and re-trying gefilte fish in my attempts to like it, I had a really tasty version in Spain, of all places, as I (definitely a shiksa) had accompanied my Jewish friends to services on Good Friday. It was homemade and so good that I didn't even recognize it at first...but it exists! Have faith, hounds!

                          Another fun snack: litchi gummies, sold individually wrapped by the bag. About the size of dried apricots and much more addictive.

                          1. re: theannerska

                            Love gefilte fish!

                            The litchee gummies are my favorite also, but the muscat gummies are a close second, grape flavoured, but somehow slightly different than the regular grape flavoured candies that you usually get in north america. There is also a great marshmallow candy filled with various fruit flavours, a different take on marshmallows.

                            I also like dried squid, but this may be an acquired taste if you weren't brought up in Korea.

                            And Wasabi peas!

                            1. re: moh

                              I used to get dried squid in Chinese supermarkets every time I went food shopping with my mom - ah, the craving's back.

                              Also, there's spicy preserved bean curd, which comes in cubes in a jar, though I don't know whether it qualifies as a snack; I put it in everything, but there's nothing quite like some mixed into steamed white rice.

                              1. re: theannerska

                                Do u mix ur bean curd cubes with sugar before it goes into the rice?

                                I like most of the snacks in a chinese supermarket: wasabi peas, pocky, the peanuts with the crackerlike coating, the crunchy anchovy things, dried preserved seedless plums, the dried squid and of course the beef jerky.

                                1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                                  I always kept a supply of the tiny dried shrimp in my desk at work, until my office mates complained. They really are habit-forming!

                              2. re: moh

                                I love the wasabi soybeans as well -

                                1. re: moh

                                  wasabi peas!!!

                                  **insert Homer drooling noise**

                                  I love grass jelly from the little viet markets, and that weird coconut jelly block stuff, too!!!

                                  1. re: purple goddess

                                    Oriental Rice Cracker snacks - especially the ones with wasabi!


                                    1. re: puppymomma

                                      I haven't been able to find them lately, but I love the seaweed flavor rice crackers.


                                  2. re: moh

                                    Dried squid are good even if you haven't grown up with them. They take a nice long time to chew and are high in protein so I don't feel guilty. They taste much better than you think they will by looking at them.

                                2. re: kkak

                                  Yay for gefilte fish!!! I look forward to Passover all year long!

                                  1. re: Eric in NJ

                                    Mmm...AND in mustard sauce or sour cream and dill sauce, maybe with some black bread, shavings of cooooold butter. Pickled beets on the side? And don't forget about the onions included in the herring brine. Very lovely.

                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                      Oh Man now I have to go buy some :)

                                  2. Cocos bullar- a Swedish chocolate/coconut confection consisting of cocoa and rolled oat crumbs mixed together with palm oil (or some other trans fat, such as margarine!), coconut flakes and sugar... a rare treat, in more ways than one!

                                    1. Somen. I learned to make it years ago from a Japanese friend.

                                      1. Samosas, and Korean seaweed

                                        1. Pierogie (potato and cheese)
                                          Pocky! (black sesame, whatever the chestnut one is, chocolate)
                                          Chicharon (sp?) - sooooo very bad for you
                                          Arancini - I could eat tons of these just as a meal
                                          Char siu bao

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: QueenB

                                            QB - I think chicharones have much less fat than potato chips (is is because the frying cooks off the fat from the protein, rather than absorbing it into the carbos as in the case of potato chips?). Sorry, can't cite sources other than making the comparison on bagged-snack versions. I would hope the rinds in the Latin markets have a similar fat content as their bagged brethren. Wishful thinking, perhaps - but check out labels on the bagged and maybe absolve yourself! :)

                                            1. re: cayjohan

                                              I love the home made chicharones from the Mexican grocery stores, you know, the ones that the size of a sheet of notebook paper and about an inch thick. Apply a liberal amount of Tapatio and munch away!

                                            2. re: QueenB

                                              Chicharrones -- I went through a brief phase as a kid for the kind in the bag. Haven't had those in years, but man, I could eat a _good_ chicharron burrito every darn day. (I don't, tho!) Some, like the one I had yesterday, are lousy, but when the meat's fresh and crispy and a little chewy with that light, airy fat-crunch on some of the bits, beans, green chile, cheese, and sour cream....... oh my.

                                            3. 1. BBQ chicken feet, Philippines
                                              2. Balut: steamed 18 day duck embryo/duck egg, Philippines & Vietnam
                                              3. Deep fried sparrows; eaten whole, Burma
                                              4. BBQ rice field rats, Burma
                                              5. Mochi, toasted on the outside, molten inside, served w/soy sauce & sugar, Japan
                                              6. Musubi, rice balls with ume boshi inside, Japan
                                              7. Meat on a stick, everywhere

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                Meat always tastes better on a stick...wonder why that is?

                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  Balut is one thing I could never get into my mouth. Almost anything else.

                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                    Deep fried sparrows?!?! wow. They definitely weren't on the menu when I ate at a Burmese resto this past weekend.

                                                    I'll add Korean dried cuttlefish (the soft kind) to the list. I can eat it all before my aunt has a chance to make them into banchan. And kick me out of the kitchen.

                                                    1. re: janethepain

                                                      Both the rats and the sparrows were sold along the highway in a remote rainfed rice growing area of Burma...might not make it your restaurant too soon.

                                                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                      Those deep-fried sparrows make my dad's mouth water... As a teenager in WWII Japan, he'd catch them and fry them up - he was especially fond of the little skinny legs that got crunchy!

                                                    3. Okonomiyaki. And I'll second whomever said pupusas. And dumplings covered in tapioca I've seen only at a little Japanese deli in NYC's Greenwich Village and at the Wat Thai Temple in L.A.

                                                      1. Sweet/Salty dried preserved plum. I've been eating them since I was a kid. The good ones are hard to find. I remember my tongue getting raw from sucking on them when I was little. I don't think they're all that good for you. They were always a treat that we didn't get too often. Now...as adults, my sister and I will pick them up when we got to SF and mail them too eachother. mmmmmmmmm. my mouth is watering!


                                                        1. Please continue to upload more of your input.

                                                          I figure i want to share two more....

                                                          Grill cheese, chicken salad on toast with swiss cheese

                                                          1. throw fresh pepper, celery, onions with tuna or left over chicken (can be dry as hell) in a magic bullet or blender [caution! don't over blend!]. add mayo.

                                                            toast your bread crispy and while it's still hot, lay a piece of swiss chess over and
                                                            VOILA....your chicken or tuna salad served with cold and hot. ENJOY!!!!

                                                            add mustard or salad dressing and a slice of lettuce.

                                                            1. Sweet, spicy dried anchovies, aka "crunchy fish".
                                                              Hot Mix or just sev.
                                                              Alu papri chat.
                                                              Nori squares
                                                              Ting Ting Jahe

                                                              2 Replies
                                                                1. re: foodcritik

                                                                  Ack! I like those snacks, but not all at the same time!! ;)

                                                              1. i love joong. i could eat them all day. it's fun making them too. a couple years ago i made one with like 6 leaves, thats like half the size of your head. haha.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: phant0omx

                                                                  I can eat 2 of them and still want more!

                                                                2. there are many of these hong kong snack places in chinatown manh, and flushing. a good one is across from ping's on mott and pell. all types of dried fish/meat and dried sweet.salty fruit snacks. my fav is the "shrimp rolls' which are these dekicious tiny rolls. all manner of dim sum are great for snacks - i currently like "oriental seafood" on elizabeth. for tahe out pork buns, wonton garden on mott. for xiao lang bao, there's a place in flushing...help me w. the name-
                                                                  gefilte fish -home made or zabar;s has good gf.
                                                                  snacks from italian market in chelsea market: wine crackers with fennel, pepper, or plain, buffalo mozz cheese at a good price! as well as fresh stracchino which is hard to find. good prosciutto and mortadella from di palo's. try their olives too, probably better than what youve been buying.
                                                                  real baba ganoush,hummus, and falafel requires a trip to queens-el rawshweh on steinway, or yonkers.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. Shrimp Chips in the pink and yellow bag.

                                                                    1. Bahn Mi
                                                                      Chaat Papri
                                                                      Grilled corn w/ hot indian spice
                                                                      crepes on the streets of Paris
                                                                      'meat on a stick' (aka Satay) in Malaysia
                                                                      Roti Chanai

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: thenurse

                                                                        Throw in some curry puffs as well...

                                                                      2. 1. Empanadas (Spanish- or Argentinean-style)
                                                                        2. Chicharon bulaklak (deep fried ruffle fat)
                                                                        3. Fish balls with hoisin and Sriracha
                                                                        4. Bings
                                                                        5. Dinuguan (pork blood stew with rice cakes)
                                                                        6. Tea sandwiches

                                                                        1. what are those crunchy spicy chickpea turds, that are baked & look like they were squeezed from a cheeze wiz can? They used to serve them hot from the oven at events at the Asia Society. i LOVE those.
                                                                          TJ's thai chili cashews
                                                                          wasabi peas
                                                                          stuffed grape leaves
                                                                          hamachi kama
                                                                          marinated artichoke hearts
                                                                          veg or seafood dumplings
                                                                          cold sesame noodles
                                                                          egg rolls
                                                                          dried stingray
                                                                          lox on pumpernickle squares

                                                                          1. Fried noodles (the kind you get at chinese restaurants that are dried)

                                                                            1. Agree with a lot of the snacks I've seen listed and want to add one of my own: pasteles.

                                                                              1. being born, living, and raised a yankee, give me good ole' zapps jalapeno or cajun potato chips.

                                                                                1. turnip cake usually $1.50 - 2.00 is a great addition to chinese enthic snack. Pan fried at the corner of Mott / near bayard. (not sweat) It can serve as brunch/lunch/or snack.

                                                                                  You can get it as part of dim sum. (lor bot goe)

                                                                                  1. Num... Roti Canai at Nyonya is great.

                                                                                    The one and only spot I'll go to for meat on a stick is in Flushing - Northern Chinese barbecued lamb is out of this world flavorful (41st and Kissena).

                                                                                    Any of the buns in a Chinese bakery (<3 milk custard and red bean fillings). There's a great bakery for pineapple buns (kind of a misnomer) on Catherine St. 2 blocks east of E. B'way.

                                                                                    Also, I love the Taiwanese for toast topped with butter and condensed milk. Oh MAN it's good.

                                                                                    1. I like dried squid a lot. My mom brought back about 30 of them from korea for me and I only have 3 left. She came back at the end of June. I like to run the squid over a gas flame, tear into strips, and eat with peanuts or dip into kewpie mayo. I also like dried cuttlefish strips or korean fish snacks that are in the shape of large circles (forget what it's called....maybe jipyo or something like that).

                                                                                      I also like japanese dried baby fish sprinkled with sesame seeds and sugar and other dried fish snacks.

                                                                                      I'm all about the meat/savoury snacks. When I was younger, I used to love these chicken flavored drumstick shaped snacks that were awesome. They were korean and I wonder if they are still around? Another favorite growing up was korean cheetos and koraebap in spicy flavour or seaweed

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                                        Japanese dried squid dipped in Kewpie mayonnaise. One of my all time favorite snacks to have while drinking down a cold Yebisu beer.

                                                                                        I'm returning to Japan for a visit soon and will be living next to the Oden counter of my local 7-Eleven (located next to the shelves of liquor; gotta just love Japanese --Eleven's).

                                                                                      2. I'm a salty-crunchy snack fan, and those tiny dried whole crabs are strangely addictive. They're Japanese, I forget what they're called.

                                                                                        1. matzoh with butter and strawberry jam.

                                                                                          gefilte fish but it has to be fried (British style) - boiled is just bleh.

                                                                                          1. hot and salty boiled peanuts

                                                                                            1. Roasted chickpeas - especially if they are spicy.. Turkish style.
                                                                                              Dried apricots
                                                                                              Dried figs filled with raw hazelnuts

                                                                                              1. Satay from a street vendor in Malaysia
                                                                                                Bhel Puri (indian)
                                                                                                Vegetable Pakoras on a rainy day (indian fried fritters)
                                                                                                Curry puffs in Singapore
                                                                                                Japanese rice crackers
                                                                                                Chutney sandwiches (indian mint chutney spread on bread with some butter or mayo, sliced cucumber and cheese (optional: tomato, carrot, sprouts)

                                                                                                1. DOUBLES with "light spice" and cucumber chutney!
                                                                                                  ALOO PIES wih channa and tamarind chutney!

                                                                                                  1. 1. Buche tacos from any authentic stand
                                                                                                    2. Vietnamese meatloaf baguette sandwiches- with plenty of pate, butter and cilantro
                                                                                                    3. Gobo! (hence the name!) Aka: burdock root- excellent on salads or as a potent little treat on its own.
                                                                                                    None of these are likely to be found in the same place, but all are worth the effort.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: ilovegobo

                                                                                                      Dark chocolate and natural peanut butter.
                                                                                                      Campari and parmigiano reggiano.

                                                                                                      1. My dad's garlic peanuts.
                                                                                                        Dried anchovies.
                                                                                                        Dried cuttlefish (cuttlefish jerky)

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: fmed

                                                                                                          Garlic peanuts ---- shareable recipe??

                                                                                                          1. re: juster

                                                                                                            It's quite simple (it's all in his technique):

                                                                                                            Heat oil in a wok for deep frying.
                                                                                                            Cut up peeled garlic cloves (lots of it) in a bias..about 1/4" thick.
                                                                                                            Add the raw peanuts and garlic into the oil at the same time.
                                                                                                            Stir continuously.
                                                                                                            When the garlic slices are golden brown, it's done.
                                                                                                            Scoop it all out into a wire sieve to drain.
                                                                                                            When cooled, salt to taste.

                                                                                                        2. Well, I grew up eating Greek food, so some of the things I always find myself buying/making are dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves-always better homemade http://greekfood.about.com/od/appetiz... ), yigantes plaki (butter beans in a thick tomato, garlic, and onion sauce - Zanae makes a tasty store-bought version http://greekfood.about.com/b/2007/10/... ) and taramosalata (carp roe dip - Athenos brand is easy to find, but needs some good ev olive oil and fresh lemon folded in IMO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taramosa... )

                                                                                                          As far as non-Greek snacks, I love sushi, and always find myself craving good homemade guacamole (or really anything made with fresh hass avocado)

                                                                                                          1. Any snacks with wasabi. Edamame- fresh, dried or otherwise. Bombay snack mix (love those spicy fried noodles). Ditto on that dried squid 'jerky'. And did someone also say red bean pancakes (or any other pastry with red bean filling for that matter) and anything made with marzipan or almond paste? Glorious stuff!