Sure, McDonald’s Japan has some unique menu items, like the “for-adults” Nikuatsu burgers that kicked off the new year, or the Asian Juicy sandwich lineup that’s just around the corner. There’s still plenty of overlap with the chain’s U.S. menu, though, and just like in McDonald’s country of origin, Chicken McNuggets are a long-time big-seller in Japan.
So it came as something of a shock to many people when McDonald’s Japan announced that it’s making a change to the ingredients in its Chicken McNuggets. We didn’t even know that was possible. It seems like the ingredient list should be pretty straightforward and non-flexible, right? After all, aren’t Chicken McNuggets just made of chicken and…uhh…nuggets?
Wait a second, just what the heck are chicken McNuggets made of? It’s a question we’ll admit to not having given much thought to before now, sort of like how we happily chowed down on Cup Noodles Mystery Meat for years without confirming its true composition.
Let’s start with the reassuring part first: McDonald’s Japan’s current Chicken McNuggets are made of chicken and breading, and the new-recipe ones are going to be too. The company isn’t going to be replacing the poultry with plant-based meat, nor with any other chicken substitute of more dubious or nebulous origin. Actually, you could make the argument that the ingredient shift is an upgrade. Currently, the meat that’s used for McDonald’s Japan’s Chicken McNuggets is a mix of ground chicken breast, thigh, and skin. The revised recipe, though is getting rid of the thigh meat, so the new McNuggets will be a breaded mix of breast and skin.
McDonald’s Japan says the change is a result of the company’s continual reevaluations of their supply chain in order to provide safe and delicious food in an environmentally sustainable way at competitive prices, without going into specific details about how removing thigh meat from the mix helps them achieve that goal.
In some ways, it’s a surprising shift. As in the U.S., in Japan chicken breast tends to be more expensive than other cuts, so replacing thigh meat with breast would be a move to pricier ingredients, and some online commenters in Japan say they’re intrigued at the prospect of more premium-tasting McNuggets. On the other hand, thigh meat tends to be juicier, and others have expressed concern that the on-their-way thighless McNuggets may be lacking in moistness and flavor.
▼ Just to be safe, we took a commemorative photo of what we guess we’ll have to soon start calling “McNuggets Classic.”
There’re also two wild-card elements that aren’t addressed in McDonald’s announcement. First, the chain hasn’t revealed what the proportional mix of ingredients in either the old or new McNuggets is, so it’s just as possible that the thigh meat is being replaced entirely with cheaper, greasier skin as it is high-class breast, or any other ratio in between. In addition, though McDonald’s hasn’t said anything about raising the price of its McNuggets yet, the chain (like many other restaurants in Japan) has increased it prices multiple times in the past year, so even if the new no-thigh McNuggets are switching to a larger amount of breast meat, that change might be followed by an as-yet-unannounced price hike in the months to come.
Source: McDonald’s Japan
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Are they going to start using chicken?
Forget the chicken, parts is parts we get it, but when will they starting making “baked apple pies” instead of fried ones?
In a country where there is such good food, why do people eat this fast food garbage?
now its more on chicken skin.
Are they not preparing for such of ingredient replacement actually...pushed by guess who?
I think part of the reason is the demand for chicken dark meat in China. The Chinese tend not to like the breast meat, amazing as that may seem. In years past a lot of left over breast meat was used to make chicken jerky for dogs. But there are now plants in other countries processing chickens for the Chinese market leaving breast meat in surplus for other customers.
Didn’t they change the ingredients a decade ago after it was revealed that McDonald’s Japan had been unknowingly using expired nugget meat from Chinese suppliers?
google "Oversize me" at youtube,watch,than take a break and than think a bit.
thats all I can say abt McSomething
THOMAS R MOUNTCASTLE
Is there really chicken in those beread balls? I wonder about the percentage.
As in the U.S., in Japan chicken breast tends to be more expensive than other cuts,
]huh? every supermarket I shop at , leg meat is nearly always more expensive than breast, breast meat having less fat is probably better for you, but for karage leg meat is better.
my wife makes great chicken stew and curry with breast meat
Mind, having said that, I am only assuming it tastes better, but eating in a crowded place is a complete turn off for me....ugh!!]
clearly you haven eat at many places, some of the best tasting restaurants are the ma and pa shops all over Japan, try them. Yes my wife is an excellent cook, but sometimes experience of these restaurants gives them that taste advantage
20% more pulped cardboard?
It doesn't seem that amazing, as it's preferred in Japan, as well. Almost all chicken dishes, other than katsu, is made from dark meat.
It also doesn't seem amazing to me or the members of my American family, as we have always preferred dark meat to white, as well. Although, I do realize that's a minority opinion in the US.
Again, same in Japan. Most chicken treats and better canned chicken for dogs use "sasami" (chciken breast filet).
McD is not interested in your health. They are interested in the bottom line. Do not patronize them. So many other honest restaurants in Japan to patronize. Please do so.
Because not everyone has the time to cook, people should be able to eat what they want, good or bad, you may not like McDonald's, but millions do, so the choices and offer should be available in a true democracy.
The McHaters are welcome to not be patrons. Many people enjoy the foods served at McDonald's. I'm pretty sure that no one considers it "health food", but it is what it is : fast food.
I personally rarely eat any fast food, for my own reasons, but I do occasionally enjoy a McLunch, especially when I'm out and busy.
And, yes, I do enjoy the chicken nuggets, just not often.
I think you mean "Supersize Me", but I should flag that the results in the video are faked. Many people have tried the same diet to check for the effects, and apart from gaining a few pounds, suffered none of the consequences shown in the documentary. Obviously it's not healthy to only eat McD, but you won't start dying if you only ate it for a month.
This comes up every time. NO ONE is recommending that you should eat McDonald's every meal, every day, for an entire month. You shouldn't do it with something like ramen, either, considering how starchy and salty it is.
If you want to eat there, do it. If you don't, don't.
Closer. Super Size Me.
The rich black garlic sauce up there is actually quite good.
No thigh meat meat!! That piece of nugget gunna be a true and dry nugget and essentially reducing ingredients means cutting cost. Mc food is not premium food.
You beat me to it