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May 20, 2008 09:35 PM

Deep Fried Fish Skins & Wasabi Doritos...

I believe it was in 2005 that I went to Hong Kong and discovered the delicious deep fried fish skin with garlic made fresh from a fish ball and noodle restaurant (Wei Huang in Chinese) at 184 Hennessy.."If only I could get that in NYC..sigh..." I brought back only a little because it's not meant to stay fresh forever.

Well, someone heard me. Today, while keeping my eye out for the Calbee corn puffs that Jim Leff was looking for, I saw these "crisp fish skin" made in Hong Kong by a company called Un Chi, with a picture of those fish skin on the packaging. There were two flavors: Black pepper, and Tomato. I got the black pepper flavor. (see attached picture). These were even better than the ones I had in Hong Kong. They are thinner, crispy and whispy, not fishy at all (those in Hong Kong weren't fishy either), and the texture and taste reminds me of the best of the potato chips fried in lard - that velvety mouth feel that you want from a good lard chip. I've never seen this brand, and I'm not sure how long it's been available. Just a little worried as I've not seen them any where else, and the store I got them from is under renovation (Dynasty in Manhattan's Chinatown - at Hester and Elizabeth). I hope to go back and get the Tomato flavor, if there're still there.

I went to another store (Kam Man) to look for the corn puffs that was missing today from Dynasty. I did see some Calbee products but the "baked" corn puffs were yucky (my own fault for not seeing the "baked" warning). Fortunately another corn snack came through (pictured below with the Deep fried fish skins). These are the corn puffy cylinders with a hole in the middle that has the best cream corn chowder flavor that you've ever tasted. What's great is that when you bite into it, it gives a moist sensation, (not unlike the effects you get from the powder sugar on the lemon ice cookies ) instead of drying your mouth out and making you thirsty. These were made in Taiwan. I got the "French" version, which is the cream corn. I forget what the other flavor is now. I think Taiwan and Korea both do the corn flavor very well, as they both use those glutinous corn that are richer than the regular sweet corn in the US.

But I digress, so then I continued to look at the different snacks, and what jumped into my view were some Frito Lay WASABI DORITO, and two other flavors of Cheetos. (see 2nd picture) . The Wasabi Dorito chips are thinner than the ranch dorito, and has a clean and simple taste. The wasabi is actually more like the real wasabi, as opposed to the heavy handed fake wasabi that assaults your sinus, this wasabi is fragrant, the spiciness doesn't linger. Rrefreshing. As for the Cheetos, it's not too clear what the flavors are exactly, as I don't read japanese. One looked like it had pictures of grilled meats and vegetable, the other has pictures of big wheels of cheese. Maybe someone who read Japanese can decipher.

So there I go again, looking for one thing but ending up with unexpected others. What better thing to do on a rainy dreary day?

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  1. All those products, in both pictures, have Japanese packaging actually. It would probably help if someone at the Taiwanese company DID read Japanese though since "unchi" means "poop" in Japanese, which I guess is the snack world equivalent faux pax of calling a car the "Nova" in Latin America.....

    ....The Japanese Cheetos in the black bag says "charcoal grilled barbecue flavored". The red bag says "mild cheese flavor"...

    ...My favorite Japanese snack of all time is Don Tacos, a rip-off Dorito-type triangle tortilla chip with about 12 ounces too much of flavoring powder thrown in. They also had an insanely stupid-funny tv commercial way back in the day. But I digress....

    3 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay

      I digress further into Japanese snackdom...Attached is the Don Tacos logo, which I would love to have on a baseball cap!...Here's the website too- .

      1. re: Silverjay

        I'm sure my kids will get a kick out of the company name, and it reminds me of the drink now known as "Calpico". While visiting relatives in Japan 35 years ago, my great aunt asked my brother and me (in fair but heavily-accented English), "Do you drink Cow Piss ('Calpis')?" We shared a panicked look, and quickly replied, " thanks!" Our dad was laughing so hard he nearly had a hernia.

        1. re: Silverjay

          Silverjay, thanks for the translation and the "digressions". It's obvious when an Asian packaging tries to reach international audience which language isn't native. You would get a kick out of the English translation on the back of the unchi packaging, too.

          Fayyeeyee, the fishskin chips i got in Dynasty, the Wasabi Dorito i got in Kam Man. Just need to warn you that Kam Man had started a new system for check out that had me wondering about the questionable prices. The last few times i've gotten things there i found my bills coming to much higher than expected. I haven't had time to look into it, but just be sure you find out the prices of the untagged products.

        2. Wasabi Doritos sound good! Somebody needs to come up with a more mainstream version of wasabi potato chips. I think it will go over well with the American public. Isn't potato and horseradish a very classic combo?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            In Canada (at least in Toronto), Lays sells both Wasabi and Curry flavored chips now.

            1. re: Tara9000

              Curry flavor one of the few weird British crisp flavors that I thought worked very well. I want wasabi, though. Actually, some Asian markets carry a brand of shrimp chips with wasabi. Made in BC, IIRC. Delicious, but hard to find, as the brand isn't as ubiquitous as Calbee's.

              I did a search to find the brand (Brilliant) and found this awesome site: (the Crunchiest site on the Interweb. Serious about Snacks. 3899 snacks reviewed.).

            2. re: Miss Needle

              target had/has? a wasabi mustard potato chip (archer farms) very good...i was obsessed

            3. So did you find the wasabi doritos at dynasty too??? I would love to try them!!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: fayyeeyee

                you can order them from (gotta be over 18 to get to Jlist though, if you aren't, you gotta use!)

              2. I saw those fish skins at HK supermarket. I saw them in Vancouver and HK before it came here. Just read the ingredients and be careful about eating too much. They are good with congee.