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?