Whether you are studying, watching a movie, or hanging out with friends, a good snack is essential. When it comes to snacks everybody wants to try the latest Trader Joe's craze before the shelves are emptied. While these new refreshments can be a hit or miss, other snacks are more nostalgic and reliable. For many people, Asian snacks carry that sense of sentimentality. These delicious pieces of childhood cannot be found at just any store, instead, you must venture to the Asian supermarket. 

If you are like me, you might consider the Asian supermarket daunting, with its aisles upon aisles of unrecognizable products. To make it less intimidating here is a convenient list of Asian snack essentials that will take you back to your youth. Trust me, you will want to buy these ASAP. 

Sydney Wan

1. Hello Panda

Hello Panda is the epitome of Asian snacks. The combination of a crunchy shell with your choice of flavored cream all in a perfect bite size makes the ideal snack for any child or adult. But of course, the best flavor is chocolate, no debate necessary.

2. Pocky

Pocky is so popular I would be surprised if you had not heard of it. With flavors including chocolate, strawberry, matcha, cookies & cream, and more, this is a great option for any snacker. Sometimes Costco even sells bulk packs, for when you can't stop at just one.

3. Yan Yan

Those who ate this as a child will remember the struggle of finding the perfect balance between cream and cracker. Like the previous snacks, flavors include chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. These are definitely full of artificial flavor, but honestly, that is what gives it that nostalgic taste.

Sydney Wan

4. Shrimp Chips

Also known as shrimp crackers, prawn chips, etc., these are personally my favorite savory Asian snack. Who knew packing "shrimp" flavor into a chip could be so addicting? Outside of the Asian market, I have seen these at gas stations, regular markets, and even craft stores.

Sydney Wan

5. Haw Flakes

Growing up, I had no idea what Haw Flakes were even made from. All I knew was that they were a staple in my family. Now I know they are actually made from hawthorn fruit and are very popular among Chinese children. Although, half the fun comes from playing with the packaging. For those who are unfamiliar with this snack, the closest item I could compare them to would be fruit leathers (without the stickiness).

Sydney Wan

6. White Rabbit Candy

White Rabbit Candy is like a party in your mouth. Wrapped in a thin sheet of edible rice paper, every child savors that sensation of the paper dissolving on their tongue. The chewy texture, similar to a Tootsie Roll, is paired with a creamy sweetness that is unlike any other candy. I have even tried a boba tea flavor inspired by these White Rabbit candies. But be warned, if you forget about these candies in your pantry, they will become rock solid.

Sydney Wan

7. Lychee Jelly Cups

Some might argue that the variety packs were the best, but I always went with the pure lychee jelly cups. While not the easiest snack to eat, I savored sucking up the tiny bits of fruit inside each cup. I could easily eat five of these in one sitting, they are just that good.

Sydney Wan

8. Botan Rice Candy

The packaging of Botan Rice Candy is so iconic, I could spot one from across a room. Similar to White Rabbit Candy, these also have a thin layer of rice paper coating the candy. These slightly citrusy candies are accompanied by a sticker inside each box, making it appealing to any child. 

9. Yakult

These tiny yogurt drinks have been popular way before To All the Boys I've Loved Before came out. A staple in Korean households, Yakult is also a great source of probiotics. If you are of age, you can even spice up these childhood drinks by mixing them into a cocktail.

Sydney Wan

10. Mochi Ice Cream

Long before boba ice cream was all the rage, mochi ice cream was every child's go-to frozen treat. Personally, green tea is my favorite flavor, but you can't go wrong with any of them. The chewy outer layer paired with the delicious ice cream inside makes these small treats irresistible. They are so good in fact, Trader Joe's sells their own brand of them.

Sydney Wan

11. Rice Crackers

Rice crackers make up almost an entire aisle at many Asian markets. There are so many flavors too, such as seaweed, teriyaki, sweet, and spicy. Most people consider Bin-Bin the brand of their childhood, but for me, it was the Shelly Senbei crackers with little, white hardened bits on top. I loved the mix of sweet and savory on them. The best part is that each pack comes with not one, but two crackers. Because really, who can stop at just one?

Sydney Wan

12. Ramune

To be honest, I could not even describe what the "original" flavor of Ramune tastes like, but it is definitely reminiscent of my childhood. I am sure it was not just me who felt that sense of satisfaction of popping the marble lid as I enjoyed my drink.

Sydney Wan

13. Calpico

The Japanese truly mastered the art of combining creaminess with citrus into one drink. Whether you enjoy the peach flavor, carbonated version, or the OG, one sip of Calpico will take you back to your younger days for sure. I can hardly resist buying one when I go to the Asian market.

Sydney Wan

14. Choco Pie

These pies are what I would consider the Asian (and superior) version of Hostess Ding Dongs. Chocolate, marshmallow, and cake are such a simple, yet magical combination. This Korean treat makes a satisfying treat when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Sydney Wan

15. Roasted Chestnuts

Maybe it was just me, but I would always look forward to finding a pack of roasted chestnuts inside my lunchbox. These are a little sticky, but so worth it. They taste really similar to Japanese or Korean sweet potatoes. Not only do they taste good, but chestnuts are actually really nutritious too, so eat away.

Sydney Wan

16. Wasabi Peas

My weak spice tolerance could never, but I have many friends who would consider wasabi peas a staple from their childhood. Whoever invented wasabi peas was a genius, turning an unpopular vegetable into a crunchy snack. These are really great when you want to mindlessly munch on something.

Sydney Wan

17. Dried Squid

Dried, shredded squid is another one of those Asian snacks which definitely do not sound appealing, but is weirdly addicting. It has a certain sweetness and chewiness that make it a great snack. However, it smells strongly of seafood, so maybe enjoy this one in the comfort of your home.

18. Hi-Chew

I remember as a child I could not understand how others thought there was a flavor better than mango, and I stand by that today. Even as an adult, I still come across Hi-Chew flavors I never knew existed. These chewy candies are so addicting, and come in great packaging to share with friends (or keep for yourself, I won't judge).

19. Kit-Kats

Specifically, the Asian flavored Kit-Kats. While you can find chocolate Kit-Kats at any grocery store, I distinctly remember feeling cooler than everyone else with my matcha flavored Kit-Kats. The exotic flavors extend beyond matcha with options including sakura, strawberry, adzuki bean, and more. These are pretty much exclusively found in Asian markets.

20. Roasted Seaweed

While you can find roasted seaweed packs in almost any grocery store now, I felt like it deserved an honorable mention. I ate these often as a child, and they make a great alternative to potato chips. Roasted seaweed is so addicting and another example of how vegetables can actually be great snacks.

Sydney Wan

Did your favorite snack make the list? While these are all very popular Asian snacks, this is definitely not a comprehensive list. However, if you have not tried any of the snacks on here, you definitely should give them a try next time you find yourself near an Asian market. You will no longer need to go back to Trader Joe's to fulfill your snack cravings.