There’s been an increasingly wide selection of imported asian snack chips now filling our local supermarkets and big boxes. Many of which use the likes of seafood and soy sauce as their focal flavoring component, in comparison to popular American snack chips that are typically focused more on cheese, barbecue, hot chiles and/or herb flavors.
Looking at the actual product of this here Nongshim brand Tako Chips, hailing out of Seoul, Korea, their fishy shape might remind you of Pepperidge Farms Goldfish snack crackers. Which while those are Cheddar Cheese flavored, these here taste strikingly like, well, Tako (Octopus) that’s been seasoned with soy sauce and perhaps a little sugar. In an artificial way of course, yet “close” for what it’s worth.
It’s like they took the Shrimp Chip concept (a.k.a. krupuk) and boosted its seafood flavor profile up a few notches to make it taste more like octopus than shrimp. Turns out it’s made with a fish popular in Korea and most other asian countries called Yellow Corvina.
They’re pretty much like Japanese Senbei-meet-shrimp chip in a very Tako-flavored way. And they’re really ono! Addicting actually! Savory (meaty), kinda’ fishy (in a good way), while not being too salty nor sweet, along with a pleasantly airy-light ‘n crispy crunch. Good stuff. Recommended (3 SPAM Musubi), especially if you’re a fan of Senbei, as well as Shrimp chips.
Next up we have GGE Soy Sauce Ramen and Original Ramen Wheat Crackers, manufactured by Weh Li Food Industrial Co., Ltd. out of Changhua, Taiwan, distributed by Nishimoto Trading Company out of California.
I’m a huge fan of Discovery Science Channel’s TV series How It’s Made. That show cracks me up with the variety of products they introduce that will be showcased in each episode. The narrator will start the show with, “Today in How It’s Made: Decorative Soap Flowers, Rubber Gloves, Paper Clips, and Digital Cooking Timers”. LOL! Products – many of which are mundane – that have barely any correlation to each other.
On How Its Made, sometimes they’ll go slightly into the research of the product, such as the case with these here Ramen “Crackers”, gauging for instance what would be the ideal SHAPE of the cracker. Which would appeal more to you? The one on the left that looks sort of like a noodle/chip? Or the one on the right that looks simply like dried noodles?
If you didn’t tell me what these were, only saying they were “snack crackers”, I’d immediately go for the one on the left, only because it makes a more viable finger food. The broken dried noodle shaped “crackers” on the right obviously look more like, say a topping for Chinese Chicken Salad, not a snack “cracker”.
And that’s exactly what the Original Ramen Noodle “Crackers” on the right come across as: a topping for Oriental (Chinese) Chicken Salad. Albeit a quite delicious one at that! They’re really ono, sort of reminding me of Maebo’s One-Ton Chips in a different shape. Well, not quite THAT good (I LOVE Maebo’s One-Ton Chips), but close, especially considering the far cheaper price per ounce for the Ramen Crackers. Then again, it’s much more processed, which negates the cheap price, as always.
The Soy Sauce Ramen Noodle Crackers on the left are delicious as well, and would be equally welcome on a Oriental Chicken Salad (for me, sans the chicken). Its more savory soy-based flavor, plus the more tangible wide shape made them the pick of the two for me, as far being a snack chip, or “cracker”.
Overall, I give GGE’s Ramen “Crackers” 2 SPAM Musubi as snack “crackers”, and 3 SPAM Musubi as a topping as a potential substitute to crispy wonton strips for Oriental Chicken Salad.
Really, the reason why I posted this product review is, looking at the ramen-based snack “crackers”, I bet those of you who surfed and/or went to the beach a lot growing up in Hawaii are reminded by this product from those old school days eating raw packaged saimin before hitting the waves.
Specifically, taking a package of Top Ramen noodles (or Maruchan, or whatever brand you had), breaking it up UNCOOKED right in the package, then adding the powdered broth packet to the broken-up, semi-hard raw ramen noodles (we’d call it “saimin”), shaking it in the package until evenly “seasoned”, then whacking that as a beach snack. Remember doing that?
Sounds pretty funky, yet that was our “small keed” (like around 8 to 12 years old, no older) beach bum days, desperado way to get some cheap, convenient ‘n quick calories and salt in our system for electrolytes and energy before “going in”. I myself did this on occasion only, as it wasn’t really my bag (pun intended). Yet many of my friends growing up when we were young boys really enjoyed eating uncooked “saimin” and dry broth for seasoning as surf-bound energy & replenishment snacks. Especially and ONLY at the beach. Classic.