My favourite CNY snack – Arrowhead Chips

Happy year of the HORSE!  I know Chinese New Year celebrations are over but I’d just like to drop a little post about what has become my favourite CNY snack for the past few years. For most of my life, I had always looked forward to munching on crispy shredded taro balls (wu har/芋蝦), homemade pan-fried radish cakes and  nian gao every CNY. Nowadays, the one thing I cannot spend new years without is arrowhead chips. More specifically, Da Shi Jie’s arrowhead chips.
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Now what the heck are arrowheads? The chips look like they can pass off as potato chips. In fact, undiscerning tasters may even think they are just eating potato chips. However, the arrowhead is actually a flowering plant with edible tubers that the Chinese decided to deep fry into chips. They have a fancier name called Sagittaria sagittifolia, but in China they are called cí gū 慈菇, which literally translates to “benevolent mushroom”. I’m not too sure why they are called mushrooms, though they do have an earthy aroma that is redolent of mushrooms. The reason I love them is that they are super crunchy, with a woodsy bitterness that makes them seem like extra-refined, sophisticated potato chips.
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Some people might still prefer supermarket potato chips for the variety of flavours – these arrowhead chips are hardly seasoned! Regardless, that is exactly how I like to savour their superior natural taste. At HKD 118 per pack (easily finished in 3 minutes) they are on the expensive side, but afterall they are not potatoes.

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Mind you I do normally fancy my mass produced, MSG covered potato chips from the supermarket. But when it’s Chinese New Year, I think it’s only right to spoil myself with superior snacks like benevolent mushroom chips.

These Da Shi Jie arrowhead chips are orderable online at  http://www.dashijie.com.hk  just before and during CNY.  GET’EM NEXT YEAR if they’ve run out this year!  Just FYI, Da shi jie, whose real name is Mak Lai Man,  is a food loving lady from Hong Kong who quit her big shot job back in 2007 to start making yummy seasonal food (particularly from the Canton region) and to write foodie articles in local papers. Big ups to the lady running for dreams and spreading love for wonderful food!

 

I would love you if you brought these back for me

OK I’m in England Now but I would just like to mention 3 things (out of an uncountable number) I have to get everytime I go to Japan. I shall limit myself to 3 things each time
I blog about snacks!

1. Dorayaki from KAMEJYU Asakusa 

Honestly I’m not a big fan of Dorayaki – specially because I am a savoury > sweet person (I do love chocolate, cakes and macarons plz don’t get me wrong). I’m also definitely not obsessed with wagashi (traditional japanese sweets), because most of the time they are too sweet for my liking. But this Dorayaki is DIFFERENT. I’ve never had a dorayaki as good as this – it tastes like two fluffy & chewy (chotto mochi mochi)  pancakes (that are better than american pancakes, as it is much more refined) with some delicious white bean(shiroan) or red bean (kuroan) paste inbetween. The bean paste is fresh and moist, and nothing like the sickeningly sweet bean paste in most ordinary dorayakis. Kamejyu has definitely changed my mind about Doraemon’s favourite snack.

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2. Edomae Roll from YAKINIKU CHAMPION

Originating from Ebisu, I was so happy to see this shop open at Haneda Airport. Everytime I leave from Haneda I would purchase a couple of these Edomae Rolls, which are basically thinly sliced yakiniku stuffed inside reversed sushi rolls with mayonnaise and kimchi, sprinkled with sesame all over.

http://www.yakiniku-champion.com

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And here is a link for you to locate the shop next time you are at Haneda Airport! http://www.haneda-airport.jp/inter/en/premises/tenant/8100100014650000/index.html

3. GOUTER de ROI PREMIUM RUSK from GATEAU FESTA HARADA

Rusks appear to be getting popular around patisseries in Japan lately and my personal favourite has to be this chocolatey rusk from GATEAU FESTA HARADA, which originally started up in Gunma-ken. I have to say these photos will not tell you how yummy they are (there are also different flavours such as white chocolate or no chocolate). YOU JUST HAVE TO TRY THEM.

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http://www.gateaufesta-harada.com/company/index.html