Recently, the American expat staff here at RocketNews24 felt a twinge of shame when we heard that KFC’s Japanese division had leapfrogged its US counterpart by developing fried corn soup. The embarrassment we felt at being beaten in fried food innovation, something we’d always assumed America did better than anywhere else, was quickly replaced by simple joy when we tried some for ourselves and found out just how good it is.
Now, KFC Japan is showing they can do Japanese standards too, with their new chicken-flavored rice balls.
Onigiri, or rice balls, are Japan’s traditional favorite choice for a quick bite. Walk into any convenience store, supermarket, or boxed lunch takeout joint, and you’ll see row after row of them, ranging from deluxe onigiri stuffed with exotic fare such as sea urchin to spheres of plain white rice with a dash of salt.
Going on sale for 130 yen (US$1.30) on September 25 at KFC locations across Japan is the “tori dashi onigiri,” flavored with chicken stock.
Two other items will be joining the KFC menu at the same time as the chain’s new onigiri, one of which is a new flavor of fried chicken exclusive to Japan. The Fluffy Breading Fried Chicken is seasoned with bonito stock, rishiri kombu kelp, and flecks of red pepper to give its light coating a flavorful kick.
▼ Finger lickin’ good, desu!
The final member of the new trio is chicken stock soup, at a price of 160 yen. All three new items can be purchased together in a bundle for 500 yen, which KFC Japan is billing as being its first-ever teishoku, or Japanese-style set meal. Extra-hungry diners can also add a piece of the Colonel’s original recipe for an additional 190 yen, setting up a showdown for the crown of tastiest fried chicken of the Pacific Rim.
Sadly, KFC Japan has so far been silent regarding any future plans to deep fry the chicken stock soup.