Here are the most weird, wacky and wonderful Chinese Lays flavors you can enjoy.
When you travel abroad, there’s nothing better than snacking on some locally made potato chips (or crisps if you’re from the UK).
And if you’re visiting China, you’ve really hit the crazy chip flavor jackpot!
China has some of the most varied and tantalizing chips in the world. That’s because there are so many regional food differences that manufacturers need to satisfy.
By far, chip company Lays has the most interesting flavors, and that’s why I thought I’d dedicate an entire article to the best Chinese Lays flavors.
So, come join me on this slightly unusual culinary adventure!
I’m not going to lie – I absolutely love these potato chips.
Hands down, of all the Chinese Lays flavors I’ve tried, Cucumber is the best. I think what draws me to them is the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
Along with a few other staple Lays China flavors like American Classic, the Cucumber ones can be found all over the country.
A special request to Lays – please sell these in other countries!
2. Octopus Balls
I bought these special release Lays in a Chinese supermarket based on the picture alone, naively thinking they were pork dumpling flavor.
But when I got home, I scanned my phone on the packet (using popular Chinese app WeChat) to get the translation.
I was shocked to find that I was just about to chow down on some octopus balls!
Despite the funny name, these Chinese potato chips are surprisingly quite tasty.
See also: Funny Chinese pictures
3. Yam and Black Sesame Chia Seed
Technically, Lays calls these crisps rather than chips, but is there really a difference?
These oddly shaped snacks are light and crispy, and as you eat them it doesn’t really feel like you’re consuming any calories at all.
I like my chips big and bold, so these Chinese Lays chips don’t really do it for me.
But if you’re looking for something that’s not too heavy, and will definitely start a conversation at a dinner party (“Yam chip, anyone?”), then give these ones a go.
It’s lime time, baby.
This Chinese Lays flavor is a great snack to enjoy by the pool, if you’re lucky enough to have one.
Think summery salty goodness with a dash of lime zest.
Just don’t make the same mistake I did by washing these chips down with lime flavored Pepsi Max. You can only have so much lime in your mouth at once.
5. Numb & Spicy Hot Pot
Where I’m from, if a snack food product had the word ‘numb’ in it, it would not sell well.
But in China, they’re proud of their excruciatingly spicy food (there’s an entire blog about that here).
Personally, I’m not a big fan of these Chinese potato chips. I’m your typical white guy who can’t handle his spice.
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to have some milk handy when eating these. But for everyone else – eat up!
6. Spicy Crayfish
The Chinese are seafood obsessed.
It’s no surprise then, that you can find Spicy Crayfish flavored chips all over China.
What’s interesting about these Lays chips is the image of the crayfish on the packet. With these chips, you know exactly what you’re going to get.
The Chinese have no qualms whatsoever about eating any animal, and every part of the animal.
Using animal imagery on packaging actually helps entice customers in China.
7. Finger Licking Braised Pork
Move over KFC, there’s a new finger licking snack in town!
These pork-infused beauties are based on the popular Chinese dish, red braised pork (hóngshāoròu or 红烧肉 in Mandarin). And they actually taste like braised pork.
Fatty pork belly combined with a salty chip – seriously, who comes up with these ideas?
These Chinese Lays are only available in the Pringles inspired tube (which, by the way, isn’t recyclable as the carboard is stuck to the metal base – come on, Lays!).
8. Fried Crab
Fried Crab is the first unique Chinese Lays flavor I ever tried, many moons ago.
And truth be told, each time I’m back in China these chips are still one of my go-to snacks.
Nice on their own, nice with a mouthful of soda. Just nice.
And, if you’re a vegetarian in China, you can rest assured there’s no real crab to be found in these bad boys.
9. Taro with Sea Salt and Black Pepper
When I saw this product on the shelf, I simply had to buy it.
I had no idea what the flavor was, even going by the picture. Another quick translation later, and, arrrh, it’s taro.
This peculiar root veggie is insanely popular in parts of Asia.
While I can’t say taro is my favorite food, or even my favorite purple food (I’m eggplant all the way), it’s worth grabbing a packet of these Chinese Lays just to see what the locals like eating.
10. Salt and Pepper Shrimp
As I mentioned earlier, the Chinese love their seafood.
So, it makes sense that the folks at Lays came up with this new flavor idea.
These chips are more salt and pepper than shrimp, which is a bit of a shame if you were hoping for a prawn explosion in your mouth.
But I love the packaging of these ones. A glass of beer with your chips, kids?
How to say Lays in Chinese
It’s Lèshì or 乐事 in characters.
The brand name is a great play-on words, which means ‘pleasure’ in Mandarin.
Dig deeper into Chinese Lays chips
If you want to dig a bit deeper into Chinese Lays chips, or even if you’re feeling hungry, try these websites:
- The official Lays China website (note: it’s in Mandarin)
- The unofficial Lays Around the World, which is a cool fan site documenting the different varieties of Lay’s chips from around the world
- Stockist Just Asian Food, which has Chinese Lays chips for sale, including my favorite, Cucumber.
Dig deeper into Chinese food
Or, stay on The Helpful Panda and check out these yummy food and drink articles:
- Classic foods from China
- Best Chinese street food
- Delicious dumplings in China
- Popular Chinese drinks
Psst! A handy travel tip
If you make it over to China (trust me – it’s amazing!), you won’t be able to survive without a virtual private network or VPN on your phone.
The Chinese internet is censored and without a VPN you’re not going to be able to access all your favorite sites and apps on Wi-Fi.
This includes Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Google, all major news sites, and heaps more.
Just remember to download the VPN before you arrive as VPN sales are blocked in China.
Chinese Lays flavors: it’s in the bag
China has some weird and wonderful snack food, from crunchy chicken feet in vaccum-sealed packs to processed chips and crisps like you’re used to.
And when it comes to Chinese Lays flavors, China is in a world of its own.
The country has some amazingly different flavors including cucumber, yam, lime, taro, and all kinds of seafood such as octopus, crab and crayfish.
If you can get your hands on some, I say go for it!
I hope you liked my article on the best Chinese Lays flavors. If you want to keep reading about quirky stuff, then check out the article about why Chinese people drink hot water.
All images in this article are copyrighted. Please contact The Helpful Panda if you’d like to use them or to collaborate. Main image credit: Supplied by Mike Cairnduff.
FAQ about Chinese Lays flavors
Is Lays popular in China?
Lays potato chips are extremely popular in China. They can found everywhere across the country, from huge supermarkets to little mom-and-pop convenience stores.
What are the best Chinese Lays flavors?
It’s personal preference, but my favorite is Cucumber for the salty and sweet combination. The flavors that seem to be the most popular (because they’re available in most places) include American Classic and Italian Red Meat.
Are Lay’s potato chips made in China?
Yes, the ones you can find in China are made there.