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Oct 21, 2007 08:32 AM

Li Hing Mui - Aspartame?

I've been eating these salty, sour, sweet dried plums my whole life but didn't know until today that some/many have aspartame in them?

is this common? usually I get them from chinese stores where they are sold by weight -- never occured to me ask for ingredients.

actually all my life I've called them (phonetically) waa-m-oye. Is that something different?

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  1. depends on the brand/source. some are sweetened with aspartame, others with sugar.

    "li hing" refers to the sweet & salty flavoring/seasoning agent - which is actually a dried powder that often contains plum [hence the "mui"]. there are many other types of li hing snacks, from apricots and mangoes to gummy bears. they all contain some type of sweetener, either an artificial one like aspartame or saccharine, or regular sugar.

    try to find one sweetened with sugar...and i'd also suggest trying the white plums. the red variety contains colorings & dyes.

    6 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Thanks for this information. I've wondered the same thing as orangewasabi since I try to avoid sugar substitutes as much as possible, and I love those little plums!

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        The li hing powder is great on fresh fruit as well as the dried fruit you often find seasoned with it. Pinapple is my favorite, melon also works.

        I don't know where to get it in the contiguous states... luckily I have a Hawaiian friend who brings me back some when she goes to the islands. But it sounds like some Chinese groceries carry them? Orangewasabi, do you find it in Chinese shops on the east coast, west coast, or somewhere else?

        1. re: Discoethan

          I get the plums in chinese stores in Toronto, and I have never been in a chinese grocery store that doesn't have them on the east & west coast of the US.

          I haven't see the the powder many places though - perhaps that's a hawaiin twist?

          1. re: orangewasabi

            My understanding is that the powder is what's used to dry the fruit--either that or as a seasoning for the already dried fruit, so wouldn't call it a twist, but maybe a source ingredient that's harder to find. I don't really know, though. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will clarify.

            1. re: orangewasabi

              I get my li hing stuff from a website located in Honolulu

              they've got everything on there including the powder which makes amazing margaritas when you line the rim with the powder intead of salt.

              The site also has a ton of other Asian the Crispy Crunch arare

          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Actually, I believe Li Hing is ground up dried plum, IIRC. As a child, well most Chinese kids at least, we would eat these as our sweet snack food. Maybe nowadays, some are made with artificial sweeteners, but I also had not heard of that. I also do not like the aftertaste of artificial sweeteners.

            When I went to HI, I got hooked on the LHM mangos. Now I find you can buy the powder but it is not as common on the main land as on the islands.

          3. Yeah...I stood in an Oahu gas station reading the labels on a whole bunch of different kinds and couldn't find any that didn't have it...but there are some out there. I bought one package before I noticed and it was really gross.
            I'm not sure about the kind they put on the shave ice but that was really tasty!