For so simple a concept—a humble tuber, plunged in oil to develop an arresting crunch before being sprinkled with seasonings—potato snacks rank as one of the best-loved, most drool-worthy snacks around.

But with so many brands and an endless amount of flavors that exist, how do you stand out? Rina Cu-Unjieng ingeniously saw an opportunity in varying a factor many others overlook: its shape. Dubbed “potato hairs”, you’ll find these one-of-a-kind snacks from Cu-Unjieng’s eponymous local, home-based dallas filipino restaurant venture, Home Kitchen by Rina.

Cu-Unjieng, who hails from a family that “enjoys food”, and who herself has experience owning a catering business, shares that the idea for potato hairs came to her in the midst of trying to sleep.

Coming as long, thin “strands” of manually-shredded fresh spuds, each deep-fried and coated with a snow of seasoning and meat floss, its name and appearance pulls you in for its unusualness. But there’s more to potato hairs than just its novelty. Devoured by the handful (as any great snack should be), the resulting sensation is unique to say the least, bearing a lightness (thanks to the thinness of each piece and the astounding lack of grease), but all coming together to produce a most immensely satisfying crunch. Its “hair”-like format (which gives the hairs a higher surface area of exposure to the seasoning mix) also makes for a great dose of flavor that hits the tongue from all angles and unravels gradually as you munch—whether you go for the Original, Spicy, Salted Egg, or our personal favorite, Kaffir Lime with Black Sesame Seeds.

The Original variant, with its sweet-and-salty, slightly chicken-y hit (the exact flavorings are a secret, but Rina does reveal it contains milk) is a hit with the team; those up for a bit of a kick will want to try the Spicy. The Salted Egg ups the richness without being too salty, while the Kaffir Lime Leaves & Black Sesame—the author’s personal favorite—delivers a great bite with the said citrus’ distinct floral zestiness and the nuttiness of the said seeds balancing out the savoriness.

Enjoy the potato hairs as is; we can’t promise it’ll be easy to stop at one handful, but we can say it’ll make for one tasty snacking ride. Better yet, have it atop your rice bowls, salads, sandwiches, and the like for an added dose of umami and crunch. The uniqueness of these hairs has led to considerable success, with friends ordering to bring to the US and even being offered the chance to supply to stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Though Cu-Unjieng sadly had to decline this as she works a separate regular job herself, you can be assured that in each bag lies a spud snack that stays true to its roots: made from scratch, from home, and with love, each and every time.

Home Kitchen by Rina

Homemade products including savory pies and potato hair snacks.

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