1. Li Hing Mui Drops. Sticky fingers don’t matter when your mouth is singing with happiness. The perfect blend of sweet and salty, this candy is still our favorite go to snack as adults. The salty li hing mui in the middle is what makes this candy!!
2. Haw Flakes. These little pink discs of goodness are always so fun to unwrap and then separate. The sweet tart flavor of each disc melts on your tongue, and before you know it they’re all gone. If you’ve never had them before, they taste kinda like a fruit roll up, but aren’t so chewy. They’re made from Chinese hawthorn, a red tasty fruit that can also be found candied and sold on sticks throughout China.
3. Ginger Candy. When Americans think of candy, we think of sweets. Asians aren’t really into sweet. They tend to prefer savory or spicy. Ting Ting Ja He ginger candy is the best of both worlds. It’s sweet but also spicy, which makes for music in your mouth. Ginger candy is also great for nausea and stomach issues, so bonus!
4. Tomoe Rice Candy. Does anyone else remember getting little Japanese toys with their rice candy? Nowadays, they come with a free sticker instead. Booo. Anyway, the toy was just one part of what made this candy so great. The best part was the edible clear outer wrapper. It made you feel like you were eating plastic like a rebel.
5. White Rabbit. This milk flavored chewy candy is the perfect blend of creamy and sweet. It’s funnest feature is once again an edible clear wrapping made from rice paper. The ubiquitous red, white, blue and black outer wrapper is known throughout the world, but did you know it once featured Mickey Mouse? That changed in the 1950s with China’s cultural revolution, when Mickey became a dangerous symbol from a foreign country. That’s when the name and logo changed to the white rabbit we all know and love.
6. Lychee Jelly. These were all the rage about a decade ago, and they’re baaaaack! They’re a little bigger and now have bits of coconut gelatin in them, but they taste just the same. Throw them in the fridge to chill them first and then watch out for squirting juice when you peel back the label!
7. Hi-Chew. Asia’s version of Starburst, but in a multitude of fun fruity flavors. In fact, 170 different flavors since they began production in Japan. Ok, so they do have a little plasticy flavor, but it kinda disappears after you’ve been chewing a while, and then before you know it its dissolved into nothingness in your mouth.
8. Marukawa Bubble Gum. It doesn’t matter that the flavor pretty much disappears after 10 seconds, this was the candy of choice as a kid. Mostly for the tattoo of course, or perhaps the cute little boxes the fruity flavors came in. And when the gum was all eaten you could use the empty box as a whistle.
9. Green Tea Kit Kats. At one time this was the Omiyage from Japan that we all craved. Now you can find it at Marukai or Longs Drugs! With just the slightest hint of green tea flavor, these Asian inspired Kit Kats are creamy, crunchy, and not as sweet as the pure chocolate version. Oiishi kata!10. Ume Candy. There are so many varieties out there, it’s hard to say which is the best. But in general, ume candy is delightfully sweet and sour in all the right ways. What’s your favorite kind?