On Monday, KFC announced that it will be selling vegan chicken nuggets in China from April 28 to April 30, as it continues its expansion into the plant-based market.
The fast food giant said that the nuggets will be sold in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, and will be manufactured by Cargill Ltd.
This comes after extremely successful plant-based product testing in multiple countries, which showed enough consumer demand to expand the dishes into more locations in the US. Notably, the company is using a different manufacturer for the Chinese launch, as they tapped Beyond Meat in the US and Lightlife in Canada, respectively.
This isn’t the only way in which the brand’s Chinese release differs. Customers will have to purchase a pre-sale voucher for 1.99 yuan that entitles them to five chicken pieces, according to the company’s official Weibo account.
This is an interesting path to take, as KFC surely looks to avoid the expansive line that occurred during the high profile Atlanta launch of the company’s plant-based fried chicken. It’s reminiscent of the pre-sale lotteries and raffles that many sneaker companies have done to avoid real-life lines and online crashes during hyped shoe releases.
We’ll surely be keeping our eyes peeled for any visuals of the new nuggets, as well as any potential plant-based nugget voucher resale market, so check back soon.
I love spicy foods. When I cook, friends often tell me to tone it down. Instead, I just make it spicier and amusingly await their reaction. There is something addictive about the combination of pleasure and the sharp tingle of spice on your tongue. Even the recent heatwave we had in Los Angeles didn’t stop me from eating spicy foods. In my appreciation for spice, I’m happy to report that LA-based sauce brand Fly By Jing is offering fans of Sichuan cuisine a chance to get their hands on actual peppers from the motherland.
For those unfamiliar with these special peppers, they originate from the Sichuan province in southwestern China. Not particularly spicy on their own, they create an all at once numbing and tingling feeling on the tongue when consumed. Then when combined with chili peppers it creates the “numb-spicy” sensation that we’ve come to associate with Sichuan cuisine.
In celebration of Sichuan culinary culture, Fly By Jing wants to bring the authentic Eastern experience to your doorstep. August was the annual pepper harvest and each year they almost sell out immediately. Thankfully, Fly By Jing snagged a few for you pepper-philes. The first pepper is called the Harvest Tribute Pepper, which is an ancient Chinese spice that has been cultivated in the Sichuan province for thousands of years. It’s known for that electric sensation I previously mentioned. The second pepper is called the Harvest Erjingtiao Chili. It is the most popular variety of chili in Sichuan and has a mild kick accompanied by an intense aroma. Both are now available online.
For those who lean more towards the “ready-made” side of options, Fly By Jing offers two different sauces. Each are all natural, MSG-free, gluten free and vegan friendly. The Sichuan Chili Crisp is their flagship sauce, made with erjingtao chiles, harvest peppers, and cold-pressed rapeseed oil. It’s not overly spicy and has an intense flavor that’s apparently so good it can even be paired with ice cream. Their next sauce is the Zhong Dumpling Sauce, slow-brewed with fragrant chili-oil, aromatic “fu zhi” soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, garlic, and other spices. This sauce has a variety of uses as well, particularly for noodles, grilled fish and of course, dumplings. So If you’re looking to spice up your life with some traditional Sichuan flavors, Fly By Jing got the sauce.
During a recent trip to Suzhou, China, the Foodbeast crew had the unique pleasure of trying out some relatively uncommon pizza toppings at the local Pizza Hut. And by uncommon we mean stuff that’s truly unheard of: think durian and Peking duck serving as the tasty toppings on your pie.
The durian pizza alone already has enough wow factor by itself, being that the fruit is arguably the most polarizing out there with its notorious stench yet lauded flavor. What we experienced was a ‘za unlike any other with the durian providing a creamy, oniony essence and treating us to a particular and distinct flavor that we wholly enjoyed.
Peep the full experience in the video above to see just how singular this encounter really was inside this Chinese Pizza Hut. And for the curious, both items are regular staples on the Pizza Hut menu, so feel free to trek out and try them!
It’s one thing to see a bartender flip around a couple bottles, or a Benihana chef flip a shrimp into his pocket, it’s another thing for a man to dance around the restaurant with a giant noodle.
As the Foodbeast crew soaked up the culture in Suzhou, China, they made their way to the Haidilao Hot Pot restaurant, where they have table side noodle show.
As is common in Hot Pot restaurants, you choose your own sauces, meat, and boiling broth that is brought to your table. Then you just wait for the show to start.
The noodle dancer comes through with a hand-pulled noodle the size of a jump rope, breaks into some Omarion-like moves, and carefully places the noodles inside the boiling hot pot at your table.
Hot pot is quite an experience on its own, with the aromas of the boiling broth, surrounding meats, and flavorful sauces, but the added element of a dancing noodle-maker makes the spot even that more intriguing.
While the Haidilao Hot Pot restaurants are primarily in China, there are four in the U.S., located in Santa Anita, California, Brea, Cupertino and Irvine, California. There are also plans to open in Houston, Texas and Flushing New York in 2019.
Crawfish boils and other similar seafood indulgence have been popular now for quite sometime, as evidenced by the long lines found at The Boiling Crab and other restaurants akin to it, as well as at seafood boils and gatherings throughout many parts of the U.S. And it’s no wonder, since the traditional fiery and tasty spices typically served with them help heighten the appeal of the crawfish.
Now imagine that experience amped up in the form of a giant crawfish platter that clocks in at around 22 pounds. The thought alone would get any appetite revving to go and hoping others would join in on the fun.
Well in Suzhou, China, that thought is one delicious reality. At a restaurant translated as “Just This Shrimp,” they’re serving up this behemoth serving of crawfish. Splashed with some local beer and served in flavors like garlic, garlic herb with sesame, and spicy chili, the crawfish platter is a worthy mouthful that’s 22 pounds of seafood bliss.
The fact that all of the crawfish are fresh and used from live ones made to order should enhance the experience of the massive meal even more. Given that, the extended length of a 20-plus minute wait for the crawfish platter is understandable and in the end, truly worth it.
When making traveling plans, you don’t often think about making your way to China. Whether it’s the language barrier, trouble with visas, or lack of internet freedoms, China isn’t exactly the tourist destination that other Asian countries such as Japan, or even Thailand are.
Some of the Foodbeast crew had a chance to explore the Chinese culture in Suzhou, Jiangsu, and tried to figure out why China isn’t explored more by Americans.
With their experiences, they were able to put together a survival guide, so that you don’t have to get in fights with scooter drivers, or wear green hats that apparently mean you’re a “cuckold” in Chinese culture.
Below is the episode’s timestamp. Listen, enjoy, and hopefully be encouraged to explore the unknown in an oft-ignored country.
5:35- The difficulty of getting visas
6:48- Why Americans don’t travel to China
9:05- ATMs and U.S. credit cards don’t work in China
10:15- Importance of WeChat, for everything in China
16:00- China doesn’t cater to English-speaking tourists
22:10- The overall feel and atmosphere in China
26:27- Geoff teaches how to properly travel overseas
28:18- Why you should never wear green hats in China
32:20- Accidentally getting driven to a brothel
36:40- The crazy differences in fast food
38:56- Suzhou cuisine, jumping live shrimp
48:00- Suzhou has life-changing pork belly
52:06- Difficulty of finding restaurant info online
61:53- McDonald’s kills it in China
67:34- Exploring without relying on technology
69:18- Tours and guides are a good starting point
73:15- Exploring the unknown makes traveling to China worth it
We’ve seen promotions where people dress up like cows or even utter a certain phrase to obtain a deal, but this might be the first time we’ve seen a restaurant make customers squeeze their way into free food.
Mr Zhao La Chufang in eastern China has a metal gate at the entrance where each opening is smaller than the last.
If a customer can squeeze through the smallest set of bars, they earn a free meal and beer.
That gap is about 6 inches, and according to owner Zhao Lang, only women have been able to get through and earn a free meal, according to Weird Wild World.
If you get through the 7-inch gap, you can still get yourself five free beers, which sounds better than the grand prize. The gap next to that is about 10 inches, which is way easier, and can still win you a free beer.
That next gap is almost 12 inches wide, and comes with more of an insult than anything, with the sign atop reading, “Your figure is just average, you shouldn’t ask for more.” The last tier is the easiest to get through, and all that earns you is another snarky sign that reads, “Are you sure you should be drinking beer?”
Lang claims that the challenge first started because the pollen outside forced them to leave the door open halfway, leading customers to squeezing in through the door.
That somehow translated into an obstacle course for its diners.
Lang also said that this isn’t so much fat shaming, but a way for people to be more mindful of their eating habits.
I’m not sure if that would fly here in the U.S., but Chinese restaurants has been known to reward guests by their appearance in the past. There was the restaurant that scanned customer faces and gave out free meals to those deemed “pretty.” There was also the Chinese restaurant that rewarded both its big and thin customers.
It’s an interesting gimmick, to say the least, and it doesn’t look like anyone’s feelings are hurt, since it’s voluntary. I’d still like to see a chubby-friendly promotion, though.
Sure, we can lay claim to the Cronut (croissant donut) and Milky Bun (ice cream stuffed donut) as some of the craziest desserts to hail from the United States in recent memory. While our country is churning out fantastic and bizarre sweets week after week, our neighbors to the East have also been crushing it for centuries.
Check out some of the most unique desserts enjoyed in Asia that you may not even have heard of.
A classic Thai dessert, Khanom Chan literally translates to “layered dessert.” Similar to Woon Bai Toey (sweet coconut milk and pandan jelly), Khanam Chan boasts a gelatinous taste. Made from pandan leaves, sticky rice flour, and coconut milk, the dish is steamed and stacked together in multiple layers. Nine, a number of prosperity, is usually the amount of layers seen in the dessert.
The process of making Luk Chup is a bit tedious: grinding steamed mung beans into a paste, molding them into the shape of fruit, coloring them, and finally glazing them in gelatin. Still, once you’ve accomplished all those steps, you’re left with a plateful of vibrant desserts that look like candy versions of the real thing, each complete with different layers of flavor and textures originally intended for Thai royalty.
A classic Chinese dessert that can most commonly be found during the Mid-Autumn Festival, Mooncakes are pastries filled with red bean or lotus seed paste. Each mooncake is imprinted with a variety of Chinese characters that stand for either “longevity” or “harmony.” You can also find the name of the bakery inside each cake.
A post shared by TJ’s Warehouse (@tjswarehouseoutlet) on
Also known as Broken Glass Gelatin, this vibrant dessert in the Philippines is made from condensed milk and a variety of colored Jello. Once it’s finished, it resembes “Broken Glass” or the stained windows of a majestic cathedral.
Woon Bai Toey
Made from the aromatic pandan leaf and coconut, Woon Bai Toey is a Thai gelatin dessert that boasts a creamy and nutty flavor with a chewy texture. The dessert typically follows a spicy Thai dish to help refresh the palate. FoodTravelTVEnglish shows you the step-by-step process to create this dessert.
A dessert soup or pudding that’s found in Vietnam, che is made from mung beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, tapioca, jelly, and aloe vera. Che Ba Mau is a variation of the dish that is comprised of three main ingredients as Ba Mau translates to “three colors.” Choice of beans vary as long as the three colors are distinct.
In the Philippines, leche flan is a celebrated dessert that originated as a Spanish dish. Made with condensed milk and egg yolk, the sweet dessert is steamed over an open flame. Unlike the Spanish variation of flan, the one served in the Philippines is much more rich — featuring more egg yolks and sugar.
A deep-fried Korean pastry, Yagkwa is made with wheat flour, honey, and sesame oil. Yagkwa originated as a medicinal cookie that’s soaked in honey. Because of how much honey it contains and being deep fried at low temperatures of 248-284 degrees F, the pastry is both moist and soft when you bite into it. ARIRANG CULTURE did a recipe video for those curious.
Patbingsu, or “red beans shaved ice,” is a Korean dessert made of shaved ice, ice cream, condensed milk, red beans, and fruit. The earliest known variation of the dessert dates back to the year 1392. Today, you can find the cold dessert at most Korean restaurants and dessert spots specializing in the icy treat, adorned with chopped bits of fruit and plenty of syrup.
A type of wagashi (a Japanese confection), higashi is made with rice flour. Featuring intricate designs, the sweet and starchy dessert can typically be found during tea ceremonies. The creation of wagashi desserts came after China began producing sugar and traded it with Japan.
A highly popular dessert that started out in Japan, the Raindrop Cake became immensely popular among social media stateside once it debuted at New York food market Smorgasburg by Chef Darren Wong. Made from water and agar, a vegan sort of gelatin, the cake resembles a giant raindrop. Typically, raindrop cakes are served with a roasted soybean flour and molasses or honey to add flavor.
Known for their fluffiness and distinct jiggle, Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecakes started in Japan over 30 years ago. These cheesecakes are made up of flour, eggs, cream cheese, sugar, baking powder, honey, butter, milk, and a special Australian cheese. The result is a super soft, rich, and flavorful cheesecake that’s got as much moves as a bowl of Jello! Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecakes became so popular that multiple franchises have sprouted all over the world to cater to the popularity of these moist wonders.