• Salt and vinegar potatoes (Heidi Sze)Source: Heidi Sze
Put a hack in your snack and win some time back.
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27 Jan 2022 - 6:18 AM  UPDATED 3 Feb 2022 - 11:50 PM

There is no craving like a snack craving. All is calm and then whammo, the snack thunderclap hits you and all you can think about is food.

But not just any food. Snack cravings are veeery particular. You either want sweet or savoury. You want crunch or melt. You rarely want both.

One thing is certain, whatever you want, you want it now. This is where these legendary snack hacks come into their own. Each of them should reduce the time from craving to cramming nicely.

Ready, set, snack.

Springy pancakes

When you're craving the unique flaky-chew that is the spring onion pancake, but you can't be fussed making a dough, puff is your go-to. A little technique, plenty of spring onions and you'll be munching your way through a stack of these favourites in no time at all.

Express Chinese egg tarts
Craving a bite of flaky pastry and that signature sweet, silky, soft custard tart filling? It’s closer than you think.
Two-ingredient flatbread in a flash
Soft, fluffy and flexible, these yoghurt flatbreads can be used for dipping, wrapping, toasting or as your next mini pizza base.

Egg rollin'

The secret to an easy seaweed egg roll is ensuring you distribute the oil through the pan evenly. A bit of paper towel will see you right, then it's a matter of minutes until this lunchbox staple is ready to roll.

Flashy flan

Taste buds at the ready - flan is incoming. No need to wait around forever for baking/setting/resting time. You can make this version in the microwave in a mug. Gotta love a hack that delivers your snack in five minutes flat.

Vinegar crisp

Pouring vinegar on your roast potatoes results in a taste like no other, but it also results in soggy potatoes. Not cool. But what if you boiled your spuds in vinegar before roasting? Utter genius!

Chip off

Layering spring roll wrappers with nori sheets and then deep-frying them is exactly the kind of Poh hack we've come to love. These snappy nori chips are unbelievably moreish, but luckily they are so cheap and easy you'll happily make thousands.

Biscuit rush

You want to smash an entire packet of biscuits, but, alas, you were much better behaved the last time you were at the supermarket. No biscuits in stock. Fear not, snacky soul, you can rustle these three-ingredient babies up in a speedy 10 minutes.

Two-ingredient cheese crisps
Do you know the crispy edges of a grilled cheese or well-baked lasagne all too well? Now it’s available in biscuit form.
Speedy grain-free parmesan crackers
I’d like to draw your attention to this cracker recipe by Bakeproof columnist, Anneka Manning that has been hiding in the depths of the SBS Food website.

Pasteli crack

Getting the crunch of your pasteli just right can be tricky, but not when you hack your honey. The trick is to simmer the honey mixture long enough to strengthen the bond of the honey glue – too short a simmer and your bars will be soft, not crunchy (though still delicious).

Mayo be so bold

Ploughing your way through a bowl of crumbed chicken strips is a pastime all on its own. The way to optimise is to use mayo instead of egg to hold your crumb coating. Not only does mayo make the perfect crumb binder, but it also adds sweetness and richness to the finished snack.

 

Popcorn chicken with basil

Taiwanese food is a great mix of local dishes with influences from China, Japan and Southeast Asia. Popcorn chicken – yan su ji – is a popular street food in Taipei, and once you try it you’ll see why. The crunchy texture of the sweet potato flour coating is incredible.

Technique: Popcorn chicken
One bite of Taiwanese popcorn chicken – yan su ji - and you'll see why this crunchy-coated snack is such a popular street food in Teipei.

Sweet crunch

If you've never been able to get your baked sweet potato fries crispy, hear this. You need to pre-blanche them, drain them, refresh them with cold water and then drain super well. Now they're ready to crisp up in the oven.

Ice cream cheater

Oh, the horror of craving ice cream but not having any ice cream. Sure, we're often up for a late-night dash to the shops to rectify that, but not always. With Donna Hay's two-ingredient caramel ice-cream cheat plus roughly 3-4 hours chilling time, we're, um, sorted.

Quick muse

It's like a bowl of portable cereal, with a little added sugar...

Two ingredients - two! - bake into a muesli bar that would satisfy even the most devoted Uncle Toby's fan. Considering one of the ingredients is condensed milk, you can be sure the fat-sugar ratio will be sufficiently up there.

Persian nut bars

“This is a really fab refined sugar-less healthy snack to make for the family – it also makes a great gift. I like to wrap the centres of the bars with a strip of baking paper tied on with kitchen string, so you can pick them up without getting sticky fingers.” Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co. 2

Lemon bars

Lemon bars are one of those ‘clever’ slices that combines a simple shortbread-like base and an intensely-tart/sweet lemon topping to create a memorable mouth puckering moment – old-fashioned yet slightly sophisticated, all at the same time.

Condensed fudge

Buy two cans of that condensed milk, because you'll want the extra one to make this two-ingredient fudge. The best bit? No sugar thermometer needed here.

Scrap that

Turn veggie scraps into colourful crackers.

Turn leftover veggies into seedy crackers with a satisfying crunch. Could this be the ultimate snack hack?

Well snacked
Herby haloumi and zucchini fritters

These fritters are a really quick and easy way to escape a routine toast-based brekkie. They’re delicious served with sour cream and chutney, with chilli sauce, on their own, or as part of a brunch spread - however you like!

Mini paneer kathi rolls

I make these often. They’re tasty, everyone loves them and they are easy to throw together. You can also substitute chicken for paneer. If you are in a hurry, you can buy tortilla wraps and cut them in half, but homemade wraps are cheaper and tastier.

Jalapeño cheese poppers

These bite-size fried jalapeño peppers pack a punch with habanero and chipotle sauces stirred through the cream cheese filling, and the layer of bacon is a smoky, salty surprise.

Crinkle cut chips

The secret to a good chip should be no surprise. Good spuds, good fat and care in the cooking. That said, they’re dead easy to make once you know the routine.

Fried sticky rice cakes (xoi chien phong)

Theses delicious sticky rice cakes are often served in Vietnam as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or sweet crisp roasted duck but are just as delicious served solo, as a snack, dredged in sugar or icing sugar. Note that a wok is the best cooking vessel to use here and that using a cooking thermometer is by far the safest and most accurate way to monitor the temperature of your oil.

Malted milk domino biscuits

Sipping on malted milk milkshakes and playing dominos is a vivid childhood memory. These biscuits combine the two and kids will love not only creating them, but also playing with them as they snack — all you need is a glass of milk!

Peanut mochi

Mochi, delightfully chewy, mellow little pillows of rice-based dough often filled with nut, seed or sweet bean mixtures, get their name from mochigome, a particular strain of glutinous rice. Traditionally, the cooked rice is pounded to make the dough but glutinous rice flour (easily purchased from Asian grocers) mixed with water can be used instead. 

Smoky chilli popcorn with chorizo chips

Smoky paprika popcorn combined with almonds and chorizo baked until crisp. Get everything in one bite. 

Cheat’s shanklish

Shanklish is a Middle Eastern cheese with a similar texture to feta. Made from yoghurt whey, the cheese is salted, shaped into balls and aged. Once matured, it is coated in dried thyme, and sometimes chilli. This quick-and-easy version makes a good substitute.

Hush puppies

Cornmeal dumplings are deep-fried in this classic American recipe. They are wonderfully crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Traditionally served alongside fried fish and tartare sauce in the Deep South.