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Dec 18, 2012 09:22 PM

Asian ?savory/salty treat

I am filling the Christmas stockings this year. Usually I turn to family traditions of chocolates etc...., but my sister in law (Taiwanese) is not a big fan of these sweets.

Can you guys tell me about a few, classic things I can buy to put in her stocking as little food treats? Looking for her preference of salty/savory snacks.

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  1. Although not Taiwanese, Japanese senbei/sembei sound like they might do it.

    Senbei are rice crackers that are often flavored with soy sauce and sometimes wrapped in nori. They are very tasty, crispy, crunchy, and salty. Some have sugar on them for a salty/sweet contrast, but most do not, and there are many varieties. Some also have goma (sesame seeds) which add a pleasantly nutty and slightly bitter flavor. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are a very traditional Japanese snack.

    Senbei can be found in most Asian food markets, especially those specializing in Japanese or East Asian foods. I'm sure they are also sold online.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

      Thanks for this. I know exactly what you mean. She eats a lot of Japanese so this is very appropriate. I wasn't sure if these were too "simple", but you are right there are a lot of varieties and a good choice.

      1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

        As a true fan of senbei, find the senbei that includes dried seaweed. If it's made in America it probably won't, but the Asian versions usually do.

      2. Dried cuttlefish

        Salted dried plums

        Soy sauce watermelon seeds

        2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          All of these sound interesting! I am making my list. Thanks so much.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Oh yeah! Definitely dried cuttlefish or squid for a Taiwanese snack.

            Or green tea pumpkin seeds.

            Or the tiny dried fish mixed with slivered almonds, or that dried fish/seaweed/peanut/dried chili mix that you have with beer. Here, I buy both in individual serving bags for quick snacks.

            Garlic horse beans (aka broad beans). They're deep fried so that the outer coating goes crispy, with the crunch bean inside.

            Wasabi peas or peanuts.

            Deep fried seaweed snacks (wasabi flavour is pretty good).

          2. Perhaps items you would find in a Chinese candy box?


            1. I was going to suggest laver but it won't fit in the stocking.

              It's like nori, but thinner, salty roasted and super good. I eat it alone or with rice.

              Trader Joes sells some that are a much smaller size than the ones in Asian groceries but I still don't think it'll fit in the stocking.

              1 Reply
              1. re: youareabunny

                Why wouldn't laver fit in a stocking? They come in individual packets the size of one of those to-go large soy sauce packet you get at Chinese fast food places.

              2. I like those coated peanuts- you can get wasabi flavored.

                1 Reply
                1. re: salsailsa

                  I loved those as a kid. For a while I worked closely with international students, mostly from Asia, and they would bring huge bags of those coated peanuts with garlic back from Indonesia, and they would have the crunchy garlic slivers scattered throughout the bag too. So good!