Treats from the islands: Li Hing Mui Hawaii Style

Prepare to enter a new world: a sweet, sour, salty, bizarre world of flavor. Li Hing Mui world.

We were recently sent a boatload of treats from -most of it decidedly of the islander/asian variety.  I’m talking Li Hing Mui, fermented dried plum candy, the works.  Let’s get to it!

First, the Li Hing Mui stuff:

Sour Watermelons!



I just love that color on those bad boys.  We also got sour belts:



and finally gummy bears.



Li Hing Mui can come in many forms, but essentially it’s the flavor of dried plums.  But just saying that doesn’t do it one bit of justice: when done correctly, the product has so many layers of flavor: sweet, sour, salty, and earthy.  I adore this flavor profile, and we’ve reviewed some candies with it before-but many people are freaked out by it.  The candies above are a great way to get introduced to the concept.

Hawaii's Choice - Li Hing Mui Candy

Looking to buy more Li Hing? Get 10% off now from Hawaii’s Choice

I quickly tried the watermelons, and was jettisoned right back to the islands, as that was the last time I had gummies with Li Hing Mui on them.  I really like this stuff.  The gummy bears are a bit next level in a interesting way, as they’re a non-sour candy with the sour coating, so you really get a good idea of all the flavor power going on.  Great stuff, but I do have to say: it’s sweetened with aspartame (and sugar), so if that’s not your thing, then stay away.


Before we go on to the advanced selection for those with a bit more Li Hing Mui experience, let’s check out these melon flavored hard candies.


Man, this brings me BACK.  Back to Hawaii again, when Jonny Guru Jr. was just a wee 3 year old, and Candy Gurus had just started.  One of the first reviews I ever did was of FruitGo pineapple candies.  Seeing this..I got a little nostalgic.


These are straight up Cantaloupe melon.  They’re bursting with flavor, and sweet.  Perhaps a bit too sweet for me, but I think most folks will like them.

I think it’s time for us to get weird.  Check this out:




Innocent looking enough, right?


Feast your eyes on this:


mmmkay?  That’s a fermented, dried plum in there baby, yeah!  This is hardcore stuff.  For me, the candy itself is just too sweet, but the flavor of the plum does a perfect job of offsetting it.  When the candy’s in your mouth, you’re tasting that sweet sweetness, then your tongue rolls over the plum, and you’re introduced to salt, sour, and plum deliciousness.  I enjoyed these, but it wasn’t my favorite.


These were:


No freaking idea what they’re called because language.  But this is what’s inside:


Same concept as before, but what we get here is a delicious ume (plum) flavored candy with a mind-bendingly delicious chewy center.  Chewy, sour, salty, sweet center.  It’s heavenly.

Of all the Li Hing Mui candy Snack Hawaii sent, I’d recommend these and the gummies for beginners.  Those are all very approachable tastes, unless you’re crazy and don’t understand why salt is sometimes used in candy.  If you are one of those people, there’s help around, use it.  It aint 1993 anymore, the flavor palette has expanded a bit.

I’m hoping to go back to Hawaii this fall, and when I’m there, I’ll undoubtably stock up on candy like I always do everywhere I go.  But now, knowing a lot more about Li Hing Mui candy, that’s what I’ll be focusing on for a few reasons.  One, it’s really a Hawaiian thing, and that’s what it’s all about for me: finding the candy that the people in a region actually like to eat.  Two, it’s delicious, especially if you’re a sour lover.

On the off chance that you won’t be able to hit the islands soon, click the link below to try some of the items I’ve reviewed here today-once you get into this stuff, you WILL crave it,  I promise.  So stock up!

Zolli Candy


  1. Pearl

    Caution: I was eating a mess of li hing snacks from a recent trip but something in one of the packages triggered hives. Don’t know if it wants the food coloring or the aspartame

  2. Pua

    Haha. Li hing is not for everyone. But Hawaiians were doing the sweet and salty candy thing long before everyone else 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *