Saigon Crunch #Chex Mix or I Did What?

This Asian Style Saigon Crunch Chex Mix has a peanut butter, sriracha glaze that coats peanuts, wasabi peas and sugar pops. You will love this kicked up version!

There is something you need to know about me. I am not a Chex Mix kind of girl.  I’m not a pretzel girl, a Frito’s girl, a Cheeto’s girl or a Dorito’s girl; though I admit to having had an affair with honey mustard pretzels, ever so briefly. I’m a potato chip girl and most any flavor is acceptable. So when Chex Mix contacted me and asked if I’d like to participate in a blogging event for Chex Mix I immediately said yes. OK. There was compensation involved and free samples but really this was all in the name of blogging. You know – research for the blog, on behalf of all my blog readers that might eat Chex Mix.

To be honest, Chex Mix was not a staple in my home. Nor was it a staple in my family home, even though it appears to have been created in 1956. Growing up, my home was Chex free. I remember when I met Manservant, though. He took me down to Tayxas and introduced me to his folks. And there-There!-I met my first batch of Chex Mix. Yes, it was clearly labeled in black felt tip pen on a piece of masking tape, “Trash”  which was taped, I believe to a Swedish butter cookie tin.
I liked it, but I would have never thought to have made it. I picked out the round melba toast thingies and liked those the best. And each year my mother in law dutifully sent me tins of trash which my Manservant ate.  But me, not so much. And then I discovered something similar to Chex mix at Costco which I bought for awhile. I like the little melba thingies in that mix, too!

But back to my foray with Chex Mix. The Chex Mix team travels to various cities each holiday to promote Chex mix. The mixtures they featured this year were pumpkin spice, sugar cookie and Mexican chocolate. The idea was to throw a party around Chex Mix and have everyone make their own gifts for giving. They provided really fun containers and all the Chex mix we could want. It was fun and if I still had young kids they would have loved this for a holiday party. It is easy to make and all the Chex cereals except the wheat are gluten free. Yes, my daughter would have had fun with this! There are a zillion recipes out there and they all sound great.
I however, am a salty snack person and though these flavors were good they weren’t something I could have munched on for too long. So I decided (since I have now entered the Chex world) that I would come up with something more to my liking. You know how much I love Vietnamese food so my thought was to take those flavors and turn them into a crunchy snack. One that would rival the potato chip.
Now please don’t think I snack on potato chips. I don’t. But a sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without a few chips on the side. And when I make my famous onion dip or artichoke dip, well, those need potato chips, too.  But thinking that Chex mix could be a bit healthier than your average potato chip, I decided to experiment. Success was easily found and pleased even the non Chex eaters who tasted it.

Chex mix takes only 15 minutes from start to finish if you use a microwave. You could bake it in your oven, too. It is a great snack and I must say that I can’t wait to try a new concoction, though I’m mighty pleased with this one. It suited Manservant and myself well into happy hour, and if I hadn’t put it away, all of it might easily have disappeared into our tummies.
If you like garlic and peanuts and salt with a touch of sweetness, then this Asian Style Saigon Crunch Chex Mix is for you. A bit of coconut and fried shallots and missing shrimp chips put this over the top. (I admit it. I bought shrimp chips to put in this and then forgot to use them. I’ll put them in the next batch.) And yes, there will be a next batch. This stuff was good!
What is your favorite kind of Chex mix? And does anyone have a better name for this?
Saigon Crunch Chex Mix
You need about 12 cups of mix. Feel free to make your own combination. I’ve added shrimp chips and wasabi chips and other Asian snacks that I find in the snack aisle at my favorite Asian grocery.
I used:
4 cups of rice chex
2 c of rice crispies
2 c of sugar pops
1 c peanuts
1 c sriracha or wasabi peas
1/2 c of fried shallots
1/2 c of coconut flakes
1 c of wasabi peas
4 T of butter
3 T of peanut butter
2 T brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 1/2 T fish sauce
1 t sriracha hot sauce
1/2 t garlic powder
Melt butter, peanut butter and brown sugar in microwave until butter melts and peanut butter gets soft. Then whisk the mixture well, until smooth. Stir in lime juice, fish sauce, hot sauce and garlic powder. Make sure you stir this until it makes a thick, smooth cohesive sauce.
Mix hard ingredients together in a large microwaveable bowl. (Feel free to come up with your own ingredients. I found all of these at my regular grocery, except the fried shallots which I buy by the container at an Asian grocery. You could make them or I think a good substitute would be the French fried onion rings that come in a can. Next time I will put in the shrimp chips!) Now stir in your sauce mixture. Stir it well! Microwave for about two minutes. Stir again well! Now another two minutes! Stir. Now 1-2 minutes more. Pour out onto a parchment lined counter top to let cool and dry.
Be careful when you cook this in the microwave. The center of the mixture gets hot first so be careful to not let that burn!
I couldn’t resist. I got what was left out of the pantry and am munching it now! This is sooo good! Thanks Chex Mix!


December Treats:
Gingerbread Waffles
German Apple Pancake
Belgian Liege Waffles

Cranberry Chipotle Wonton Cups
Mushroom Lover’s Pastry
Onion Dip
3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip
Smoked Trout Pate
Savory Sweet Potato Latkes
Not My Mama’s Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken, Artichoke, Mushroom Casserole
Porcini Mushroom Lasagna
My Mother’s Brisket
Boneless Rib Roast and Baked Rice
Hot Brown Sandwich
Sweet and Hot Green Onion Mustard
Frozen Cranberry Salad
Fresh Cranberry and Apple Salad

Shortbread Nut Bars
Spritz Cookies
Fool’s Toffee
World Peace Cookies
Chocolate Icebox Toffee Cookies
Shortbread Cookie Cut Outs
Double Chocolate Mocha Macadamia Bark
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites
Chocolate Krantz Cake or Babka

Please Pin, Share and Eat!

Chex Mix, Asian Style

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  • Barb | Creative Culinary
    December 27, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I'm the lucky one who actually got to try this and I'm in love. This makes the 'regular' Chex mix seem way too vanilla now; the spices and shapes and even the color makes this my new favorite. Thanks for sending some home with me too. I've hidden it; it is ALL mine! 🙂

  • Yi @ Yi Reservation
    December 20, 2013 at 4:41 am

    I love chex mix and I normally buy the premixed kind because I just never thought of flavoring my own. The saigon crunch is such a wonderful idea! I am so inspired to flavor my own chex mix now! Thanks for sharing Abbe!

  • Liz Berg
    December 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I love salty snacks, too! I try not to eat chips as once I start, I eat WAY too many. I love the classic Chex Mix, but your Asian version may become my new favorite!

  • Biz
    December 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Not a Chex mix girl??!! Or a Cheetos girl?? Okay, I'll still be friends with you, but that's a hard pill to swallow.

    My husband grew up on his friends Mom's Chex Mix – commonly known in the midwest as Nuts and Bolts – it has Cheerios for the bolts.

    My Aunt makes the best Chex mix every year and we anxiously wait for it. She does hers in the microwave too, but it has that "baked" taste if you know what I mean.

    I LOVE YOUR VERSION! Making it for my brother next week.

  • Laura Dembowski
    December 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I love Chex Mix, chips, fritos, cheetos, tortilla chips . . . all of it! This mix sounds great, but puppy chow is my fave. I could eat myself sick on it.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 19, 2013 at 3:43 am

      I've seen puppy chow recipes, but have never had it. Sounds like maybe I shouldn't!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    December 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I really like Chex mix but I haven't had any since moving to Australia. We don't have all the bits. I can taste the Worcestershire sauce and butter in it now!

    Your updated variety sounds SO good!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 19, 2013 at 3:43 am

      Thanks Maureen! I have to say it made me a fan!

  • vanillasugarblog
    December 18, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Ohhh this sounds so good!
    I LOVE kicked up creations like this!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 19, 2013 at 3:42 am

      Thanks Dawn. Next time I might even kick it up a bit more!

  • Bam's Kitchen
    December 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    My family is a huge fan of chez mix! However it is sometimes hard to find here in HK. I love the addition of wasabi peas and coconut. Fun mix. Take care, BAM

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 19, 2013 at 3:41 am

      I think all the great Asian snacks would be fun to throw together, Bam! Thanks for commenting!

  • Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    December 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    There's a mix at Whole Foods that has a hot oriental flare in the flavor. I've been wanting to recreate it and this gives me inspiration! Your mix sounds delicious Abbe.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      I'll have to look for that Lea Ann, just to see what they put in it! I've thought of a lot of different ways to redo this, but this was pretty, pretty good! Thanks!

  • Angie Schneider
    December 17, 2013 at 7:56 am

    They are so crunchy…a great snack to munch on…

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks Angie. It was a great snack!

    December 17, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Though I don't often have snack foods in the house — I live alone and if I buy it, I'm the one to eat it — I will stick up if entertaining. Chex Mix is a party favorite but, like Mr Riffs, I tend to make my own so that I can control the ingredients. I do like the sound of your Saigon Mix, Abbe, and will give it a try. I bet I'm not the only one that will like it. 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Isn't it funny that I've never made it. But I never made those rice crispy treat either! Now I guess I made it to the other side!

  • Nazneen Hamilton
    December 17, 2013 at 6:24 am

    I too am a potato chip girl. I'm not really a snacker so I don't get into all the snacks you mentioned but I do like chips. I also like the Melba thingies from he Chex mix and usually eat them.
    I do like Chex Mix, but don't really make my own. This looks wonderful though because I too like Vietnamese/Thai flavours. I could very easily finish the whole bowl.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Nazneen, isn't that funny? Yes, it was very easy to just keep munching!

  • Zoe
    December 17, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Love the story how you discover your fav kind of Chex Mix… Trashy but delicious! LOL! I like that :p

    We can't find Chex in any form in Australia… Hope that they will migrate to here soon knowing that they are better snacks.


    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Zoe, it is even better to make your own. Just hit the cereal aisle and load up on everything! Make your own mix! Thanks, Zoe!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    December 17, 2013 at 12:18 am

    We love Chex Mix! And eat it all the time. Not the premixed, store bought kind, though – that's kinda wimpy, and usually tastes not quite fresh (not stale either; but not fresh). I make small batches frequently – a couple of times a month at least. I usually use the oven method, although I should really give the microwave method a try – it does sound easier. Anyway, we spice it according to our mood. Almost never include sweet things in it, but all sorts of spices. Your concoction looks good – loads of flavor. Really nice – thanks.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      I know that you have a fun recipe on your site! Microwave was easy as long as you have the right bowl. This was good, so I may now be a convert! Next time I go to the Asian market, I'm going to look to see what else i can throw in!