Salted Egg Fish Skin

Shi Le Po

If you want a good example of the difference between the Asian pallet versus the North American pallet than look no further than Salted Egg Fish Skins. Ask any North American if this sounds like something you'd want to eat as a snack (assuming they're not from Asia, in particular Singapore) and they'd probably say no. In Singapore, and in other places around Asia, these are a very popular snack, and in some cases long lineups are formed just to get a taste. People who love these are also willing to pay top dollar as a bag of this Salted Egg Fish Skins can cost you around 20 dollars or more.

If you manage to get around the strangeness, you'll actually find yourself eating a fairly good treat. The main flavour you get with these crunchy snacks is the egg. The egg also dominates as the main texture as well. There is however a bit of a fish flavour as well, it's subtle, but balances very well with the egg (oddly enough). The third flavour that hits you is oddly not salt, but spice. It's a slight chilly flavour that just gives these a very little kick. While I would say that these are most definitely seasoned (likely with salt), I would hardly call the salt a dominant flavour at all. If you like really salty foods, you might be disappointed, however most people would probably find that the seasoning balances out these crunchy snacks fairly well.

I will admit that I liked these a lot more than I thought I would. I had considered trying them for an episode of Chris, Why Would You Eat That?!!, but I'm glad I didn't as they turned out to be pretty good. Having said that I don't think these are worth 20 dollars a bag. They're OK, and if you have the means to get them on sale, give them a try. I can't see myself hunting them down any time in the future.

It's a fine, yet slightly fishy, crunchy snack. It's not only a great example of the Asian pallet, but a great example as to why we North Americans should probably expand our own pallet.