I’ve had a number of Lay’s potato chip flavors from China, like Sweet Barbecue Pork, Fresh Shrimp, Fun Wasabi Shrimp, Spicy Green Peppercorn Fish, and Numb & Spicy Hot Pot. They all had the same vibe to them. They were spicy, sweet, and unusual to the point where I’m not sure if I liked them.
I can say the same about Lay’s Chinese Szechuan Chicken Potato Chips.
I imagine there are some of you who aren’t familiar with Szechuan Chicken because it’s not a dish that’s ever been available at Panda Express (the chain did have a Szechuan fish dish). According to the internet, Szechuan cooking involves heavy use of garlic and Szechuan pepper.
To get the flavor and spice of the regional Chinese dish, Lay’s could’ve gone with some generic pepper mixed with other ingredients, but they went with the real deal — roasted Szechuan pepper. They also went with an ingredient called “Natural Szechuan Wok Type Flavor.” Yes! I’ve always wanted to know what wok tastes like!
The chips look darker than your standard Lay’s, and some areas are even darker, making them look like they’re slightly burnt. Maybe that’s from the soy sauce that’s listed in the ingredients, or maybe it’s the wok type flavor. They’re both dark. Every chip also has specks of parsley.
They have an unusual sweet soy aroma that’s will turn off unadventurous snackers. As for the chip’s flavor, it come in waves. First, there’s a strong dose of soy sauce and garlic. Then there’s a slight sweetness that’s followed by pepper. As I ate the chips, there were moments when its flavor reminded me of wasabi. There’s also an underlying greasy flavor that I can only assume is the “chicken.” Thanks to the pepper, the chips have some spiciness to them, but it tingles more than burns. But I think if you have an aversion to spicy foods you won’t like these in your mouth.
To be honest, Lay’s Chinese Szechuan Chicken Potato Chips are not a flavor I’d buy again. It’s not gross, but unlike most other potato chip flavors, I won’t mindlessly eat them. I’ll have a few and then say, “I’m good.” Out of all four Passport to Flavor varieties, this is my least favorite.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 oz – 150 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 330 milligrams of potassium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Edible. Adventurous taste buds.
Cons: Least favorite of the Lay’s Passport to Flavor varieties. Flavor not good enough for me to mindlessly eat. Those who don’t like spicy food might not like them. What’s wok flavor?
22 thoughts to “REVIEW: Lay’s Chinese Szechuan Chicken Potato Chips”
Hey Marvo! Wok flavor is a flavor that develops slowly because it “woks” instead of runs. Sorry I had to! Lol. Thanks for your great review so I can skip trying this one!
This is actually a good one, all my colleagues love this one. Maybe you should try…. btw I have to say if you go to China, you will find that China has a lot more favor for Lay than in the U.S here. And a lot of them are really nice I don’t know why Lay does not have those favors here, sad
NO NO…this is a GOOD one! This is worth testing your taste buds on….NEVER take someone else’s word…that is what Hitler’s folks did with TERRIBLE results….
Did I miss the reviews for the other flavors? Or are they coming in the next days? I’ve been waiting to see which two I should get.
Reviewed the Brazilian Picanha last week.
And reviews of the other two should be coming this week.
Does it have the numb peppercorn flavor that the numb spicy ones in china do? I lived in china and I’m missing the numb spicy ones and literally screamed when I saw these on tv because I’m hoping they taste like mala!
Sadly, nothing remotely authentic here. I think sichuan peppercorn is too challenging for most American palates.
Just tried this flavor today. Glad I did so now I can note not to try again. Review was spot on.
Tried these today. Agree with review, not worth trying again
Google “wok hei” – it’s kind of uncool to make fun of stuff
that is realer than you are but you don’t understand.
It’s kind of uncool to be an ultra-PC douchenozzle too, but I see that’s not stopping you…
Uptight much? Good grief
These are really good chips! I like the little bit of heat that slowly rises and fades. Kind of like a really mild Atomic Fireball candy. Good stuff.
Minor correction: Sichuan cuisine uses both lots of chili peppers and what are called Sichuan peppercorns. They aren’t really peppercorns, but they resemble peppercorns. They have a slightly citrus flavor but are most notable for how they give your tongue a mild numbing sensation, which is a hallmark of Sichuan cuisine. Bottom line: when you see a mention of ‘Sichuan pepper’, it probably isn’t a type of chili.
Thanks for pointing that out! Made appropriate changes to the review.
Tried these today, they were okay. I would say they tasted like szechuan chicken, they reminded me more of the chicken in lettuce wraps.
I love these Szechuan chicken flavored potato chips. My second best Lay’s new flavor after the Southern sausage gravy flavored ones!
Haha I love this too! I have never tried Southern sausage gravy flavored though….lay has a variety of favors in China and I don’t know why it doesn’t have it here
Ramen chicken noodle flavored chips genius
I was hungry and there was nothing to eat but the sexual chicken lays It was a battle between hunger and gross out I managed to eat half the bag but couldn’t continue my journey to eat the whole bag even though I was starving, the flavor is like a mixed of weird spices and seasoning mixed with boiled chicken water no wonder why the store was packed with 10 aisle of this nobody wants to buy them DO LAYS ACTUALLY TASTE THEIR PRODUCT BEFORE RELEASING THEM ?? AT LEAST PUT SOME BBQ SAUCE ON THESE BABIES SO THEY CAN BE SOMEWHAT EDIBLE
I would definetly buy this one again.Totally enjoyed, Just goes to show you how tastes differ.
I agree it doesn’t taste like Szechuan chicken but
I loved them….!!!! Sure wish I had bought more than one bag. I purchased them at a flea market and can’t find them in the stores.
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