Nip's Shrimp Flavored Chips

So far this blog has covered many (if not most) of the well-known “old school”, classic snack chips made in Hawaii. All of whom have a long, multi-generation history in the islands, with humble beginnings of the companies behind them.

From Maebo’s One-Ton Chips, Kitch ‘N Cook’d Maui Potato Chips, Kona’s Kitch ‘N Cook’d Potato Chips, Atebara Potato Chips to Yick Lung Nibb-its.

One company I’ve (surprisingly) never heard of  that dates back to being founded in Hawaii way back in 1929 is Nip’s Potato Chip Factory. 1929!

Diner E was in Alicia’s Market the other day when he happened to spot fresh new packages of Nip’s Shrimp Flavored Chips on the shelf there. When he told me about “Nip’s Potato Chips”, I told him it didn’t ring a bell.

Well for him it did, as seeing it once again immediately triggered his “Hanabaddah Dayz” alarm, remembering Nip’s brand Potato Chips that once filled the neighborhood mom ‘n pop shops he frequented in Kalihi where he grew up. A product he hasn’t seen (or noticed) for quite a long time since. Apparently some things never change, as here it is, still found almost exclusively in a Kalihi mom ‘n pop mini market.

Yet today there are some changes at Nip’s Potato Chip Factory, as according to my very brief conversation with Norman Nip, current owner/operator and son of founder James Nip (Chinese family), the company no longer makes Potato Chips or Taro Chips due to the “economic conditions”.

For now (only for now hopefully!), all that remains in the product line are their Shrimp flavored Chips…

As for the currently available Nip’s Shrimp Chips, according to Norman Nip, they can only be found at Alicia’s Market in Kalihi and select Long’s Drugs Stores on Oahu.

Gotta’ say, that pink Shrimp Chip in the center looks kinda’ like the tongue for the Rolling Stones logo. lol

As for the taste and quality of Nip’s Shrimp Flavored Chips, they’re pretty much standard fare for the genre, while thankfully being crisp, light and not greasy at all. My main suggestion is that they could use a little more salt. As it was, other than their shrimp-flavored undertone, they were kinda’ on the bland side.

In comparison, I’d have to admit the widely distributed Frito Lay’s Maui Style Shrimp Chips have considerably more flavor and even better texture than these.

Still, gotta’ support the local mom ‘n pop companies like Nip’s, with a history that goes back decades in our islands. Hopefully we’ll once again see Nip’s Potato Chips and Nip’s Taro Chips join their long-standing Shrimp Chips, along with many more varieties fill store shelves around the islands and beyond!

If you have memories of Nip’s Chips, please share!

What? Nip’s Shrimp Flavored Chips
Who makes it? Nip’s Potato Chips Factory
Pohukaina street,  Honolulu, Hawaii  96813  Tel. 808-593-8549
Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Alicia’s Market @ $2.95 per 2-1/2 oz. bag
Big Shaka to: Light ‘n crispy; not greasy. Long history of being in business in Hawaii (established 1929!). “Hanabaddah Dayz” appeal.
No Shaka to: Needs more salt. Only one product in current company line-up. Very limited retail distribution on Oahu.
The Tasty Island rating: 2 SPAM Musubi (1 bonus point for longevity, with plenty room for growth!) :-)


Nip's Shrimp Flavored Chips — 17 Comments

  1. When I saw the title of your post, I was thinking to myself, “I hope they don’t have a Japanese caricature on the package.” Thankfully, they didn’t.

    I haven’t seen these, but I do enjoy shrimp chips. But I think I like the color more than the flavor.

  2. I haven’t had shrimp chips in a long time! I’ve been known to polish off a whole bag in one sitting. Which is probably why I stop buying them. :-p

  3. Pomai, I thought Nip Potato Chip Company was gone but now glad they still around. My cousins use to attend Mckinley High where the another son Alivin Nip taught Mandarine Class. Guess he rather be a teacher than businessman.

    Wonder if they still make Chinese pretzels ? They were the only company that had it.

  4. Hi Pomai, love your blog. I read it regularly. I wanted to mention that a co-worker brought in some chips she bought from Costco. They are the barbeque flavored Pop chips. IMHO they are a very close resemblance to Nibbits! You gotta try it and tell me what you think!

  5. I remember Nip’s chips, and now that I see the package, these are the chips I always remember when I think of shrimp chips, and if they’re the ones that made the Chinese pretzels that came in the shrink wrapped six pack, *wah* I’ve been looking for those for years.

    They used to sell them at the supermarket in the shopping center right across the street from the housing next to the elementary school. I wonder if it’s still there? And later, they had the Chinese pretzels at the Longs in the Kam shopping center, too. I loved those Chinese pretzels. So greasy. :)

  6. Jodi, those Chinese “pretzels” you’re referring to, do they look like this? If so, they’re considerably pricey, even in Chinatown. Perhaps because they’re difficult to make and fragile.

    Jean, appreciate the kind words. Haven’t tried the BBQ-flavored Pop Chips yet, but SWEAR the Hawaiian Luau Barbecue Rings by Tim’s Cascade Chips are a DEAD RINGER for the original (not current) Yick Lung Nibbits! If you see those in the store (they often sold in single portion snack-sized bags), get some. You’ll be stoked!

    Patty, see the link I provided above in response to Jodi, which might also be called a Chinese “Snowflake” Cookie. Unless I’m wrong?

    Carol, that’s so funny. It is indeed easy to “polish” (good word!) a whole bag of Shrimp Chips, as its volume is mostly air anyways.

    Fat Fudge and Marvo, I was going to mention that racial “sensitivity” about the name in my write-up, but figured I’d let readers respond first before saying anything. Of course the truth of the matter is that’s the family’s Chinese name (which I noted), which you’ll find a number of ‘Nip’ contacts listed in the Oahu phone directory. Now if it was called “J#p’s”, that would certainly raise red flags.

    Then again, I like to think us folks who grew up in Hawaii as tolerant to racial references, not taking it personally. After all, I’m half Portuguese, yet don’t get offended when someone tells a “Pordagee” joke. Or see a menu item with Portuguese Sausage or sweet bread called something like the “Pocho Special”. I’ve even made fun of the “Pake’s” a few times on this blog, and my local Chinese readers here take it with a grain of salt and laugh about it, as they understand my good-spirited nature of it. Racial tolerance, understanding, and even sometimes making fun of each other is what makes Hawaii a unique place to live. :-)

  7. Pomai, these Chinese Pretzels you will a lot of made by fund raisers during Chinese New Year in Chinatown. They are deep fried rosette pastries. I use to make a lot for Chinese New Year and it so easy with recipe online on web and savory one too. The green onion and one with green onion and hot chili flakes in it too.

  8. Hey, Pomai, do you know what they call Portuguese sweet bread on the mainland? “Hawaiian sweet bread.” No kidding! Guess “Hawaiian” has a better marketing ring to those who didn’t grow up in the islands. Everytime I go to the supermarket and see King’s Hawaiian bread, I have a good laugh.

  9. Jenny, funny you mention that. Food Networks’s Giada De Laurentiis was making these “Meatball Sammies” (sliders) on her show yesterday where she used what she called “Hawaiian Sweet Bread”. When I looked at it, I immediately could tell it was really Portuguese Sweet Bread Rolls (cut in half to make a miniature bun).
    So I guess on that thought, anything on the mainland using “Hawaiian Sweet Bread” will have some funky “Hawaiian” name. Like say, “Kahuna Sliders”. Or “Waikiki French Toast”. lol

    Patty, Chinese Pretzels (a.k.a. Chinese Snowflake Cookies) are kinda’ pricey in the stores, even in Chinatown. I’d like to try that green onion version you mentioned. Sounds good!

  10. do you sell and ship to mainland? Would love to find source for crack seed and li hing mui. Thanks.
    Lavon Wiggins

  11. Pingback: Oahu Eateries 50+ Club | The Tasty Island

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