Ever since Singaporean snack giants Irvins and the Golden Duck launched their addictive salted egg yolk fish skin snacks in Hong Kong, people have not been able to stop chowing down on this widely popular import. In recent years, other local snack vendors have also joined in on the game, hoping to cash in on the flavour craze. Now, the tasty and briny ‘crisps’ can be found almost everywhere in town, including 7-Eleven and supermarkets. Here’s our round-up of the six best local and overseas brands of salted egg yolk fish skin you can find in Hong Kong.
Founded in 1986, time-honoured brand Wah Yuen has launched a Salted Egg Yolk Crisps series that not only includes fish skin, but also vegetarian roast goose. With a thicker and chewier texture than other competitors on the market, as well as a milder taste, this option is perfect for snackers who like the unique, umami salted egg yolk aroma, but find other options overwhelming.
How much: $38
Where to buy it: Bestmart 360°
Chiu Kee is an elusive local brand that claims its fish skin is hand-made and prepared in the most traditional recipe. Dozens of spices are added in to build up the flavour of its snack. As a result, Chiu Kee’s fish skin carries a pleasant aroma of salted egg yolk. The flavour is light but not weak, although the fish skin can be crispier. The packaging is certainly nothing to look at, and we’d be hard-pressed to see this product out in the wild on local shop shelves. Having said that, it’s available online for purchase for those who’d like to dabble into a taste of nostalgia.
How much: $38
Where to buy it: ParknShop, HKTVmall
The name alone is a mouthful, and luckily, the snacks are too. The Golden Duck, the Singaporean gourmet snack company behind the Salted Egg Yolk Fish Skin craze, rolls out one of the most popular versions of this beloved snack. Each bag contains a mix of Golden Duck’s signature fish skin that’s tossed with a blend of carefully selected spice. Upon opening, you’ll be met with an aroma of fragrant leaves and peppers and it’s already teeming with the delectable scent of salted egg yolk. In addition to the thick flavour of the fish skin, it leaves an aftertaste of sweetness and spiciness.
How much: $55
Where to buy it: 7-Eleven, Ztore, HKTV Mall
Founded by famous Hong Kong and Taiwanese illustrators JieJie & Uncle Cat, Starchew is best known for its extremely personable and cute cartoon packaging. Its fish skin snack is produced in Singapore (where else?), the de-facto birthplace of salted egg yolk fish skin crisps. In addition to pickled and salted eggs, it’s seasoned with curry leaves, peppers, and cream, and is claimed to contain no preservatives. The fish skin is thin, crunchy, and not overly salty. It may not be ideal for people desiring a hardcore salted egg yolk flavour, but it goes incredibly well with an ice-cold glass of beer.
How much: $68
Where to buy it: 7-Eleven
Surely this brand needs no introduction. Any fish skin fan worth their salt will instantly recognise Irvins, the OG of Singapore’s salted egg yolk fish skin movement. This Singaporean cult favourite has earned a legion of fans abroad as well, with hungry diners forming long queues for a bag of the super addictive snack. Over 200 preparation and production processes go into the making of Irvins’ Salted Egg Fish Skin, where ingredients like salted egg yolks, curry leaves, and peppers are put in. As for the final product, the fish skins come in large, ultra-crispy chunks, and it’s almost impossible to have just one. The mild hotness and curry spice, coupled with the sapid fish skin, perfectly stratify the palate. Given the high quality, it’s sold at a heftier price tag than its counterparts.
How much: $55–110
Fish skin snacks can come cheap, and local brand Four Seas has made a guarantee of it. Despite the (comparatively) low price tag, their iteration of the popular salted egg yolk snack is no less brilliant. Fish skins are abundantly coated in salty egg yolk flavour in a right-up-to-the-point thickness. It’s light and crispy, much like its competitive Singaporean counterparts. If you’re searching for some quality salted egg yolk fish skin crisps without breaking your wallet, this is the one.
How much: $35
here to buy it: 7-Eleven