food

The best-tasting French fries in Japan are…

75 Comments
By Karen Masuda

French fries, or “furaido potato,” as they are called here in Japan, are the standard side order to all kinds of fast food. Which fast food shop has the best tasting fries in Japan? My Navi News decided to find out by canvassing 1,000 working men and women from the ages of 22 to 32 on Japanese social networking service Mixi.

The results show the top fast food shops ranked by their French fries along with a few select comments from those polled. Their occupations and genders are also shown and although there may not be any direct correlation in occupation to French fry tastes, their education does suggest a discerning taste in French fry eating. The gender of the people taking the survey appears to have absolutely no significance, except that "gender role-happy" Japan cares about such information.

The survey was conducted by simply asking, “Which fast food restaurant makes the best French fries?”

And the winners are…

1st Place – McDonald’s at 49.1% 2nd Place – Mos Burger at 23.3% 3rd Place – Kentucky Fried Chicken at 8.1% 4th Place – a tie between Lotteria and First Kitchen, each at 3.7%

Comments were compiled in order of most popular:

■ McDonald’s

・ “They are great right out of the fryer and are the perfect size.” ( 25-year-old males working in finance and securities) ・ “They have a tantalizing smell.” (22-year-old male medical care workers) ・ “I like the soft supple ones that McDonald’s makes.” (25-year-old females working in finance and securities)

■ Mos Burger

・ “They are fluffy and yet have a nice texture.” (23-year-old females in the retail sales business) ・ “You get the true taste of a potato.” (27-year-old males who are agricultural and fishery technicians) ・ “They are thick and non-greasy.” (32-year-old males in the architect and building industry)

■ Kentucky Fried Chicken

・ “They are cut big and in wedges.” (22-year-old male students) ・ “They are still good when they’ve cooled down.” (28-year-old females working in IT and secretarial jobs) ・ “Their thickness gives them good substance.” (29-year-old female insurance sales persons)

■ Lotteria - includes furu pote, or French fries that you can shake in a bag with different flavored seasonings.

・ “I like the different flavors of the furu pote.” (31-year-old females working in precious metals and chemistry) ・ “I like the strong salty flavor.” (28-year-old females working at Personnel Agencies) ・ “The texture and saltiness are just right.” (26-year-old females working in the architect and building industry)

■ First Kitchen - you can try green curry flavored French fries among other flavors.

Green Curry Flavored Fries

・ “They have lots of flavors to try.” (26-year-old males in the architect and building industry) ・ “You can choose the flavor according to your mood.” (30-year-old males working the pharmaceutical industry) ・ “You don’t get tired of them because there’s always a new flavor to try.” (22-year-old females in advertising and media)

■ Not included in the top four – Subway sandwiches - also have the shake in the bag type flavoring method.

・ “They aren’t deep-fried yet they are crunchy.” (26-year-old females in the public service sector) ・ “The cheese and basil flavors are tasty and healthy.” (32-year-old females in special metals and chemistry)

Reviewing the results

First place winner McDonald’s was also found to be popular for its addictive quality. “I just can’t stop eating them,” was a common response. More than one of the surveyed people mentioned the convenience of the drive-through as being a factor of French fry popularity. ”I go to the drive through solely for French fries.”

The second place Mos Burger fries were admired for the taste of the potato. “You are getting real potatoes.” “It feels like they use high-grade potatoes.”

For the third place Kentucky Fried Chicken fries, size and cut, stood out as reasons for their popularity. There were also quite a few comments on their being a "nice chew."

Lotteria and First Kitchen tied for fourth. Lotteria’s idea for flavoring fries by shaking them in a bag with seasoning is largely popular. The most well-liked flavor being butter shoyu (soy sauce) flavor. First Kitchen also has a variety of flavored fries to choose from like green curry and burnt butter soy sauce. The interesting variety of flavors to choose from gives these fries high value.

There seem to be two major preferences when it comes to furaido potato: those who like their French fries crispy, and those who like them soft and supple. With fast food shops serving their fries in a variation of methods, the fact that McDonald’s is still the most popular might just prove that no matter how you cut it or flavor it, a French fry is a French fry, plain and simple, and that is what people like the most.

Source: My Navi News

© RocketNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


75 Comments
Login to comment

Micky D's? Really? I gotta admit, they are pretty good if you eat 'em quick enough. But best in Japan?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I do prefer the Mac's French fries but for hamburgers I prefer the Mos Burgers.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I've always wondered why McDonald’s is called マック (makku) in the Kanto region but in the Kansai region many people refer to McDonald’s as マクド (makudo).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

We had an employee here in Kobe who had moved here from Kanto, and we used to go 'round about it :-) I like 'Makudo' myself. It seems more natural, taking the first three syllables from 'Makudonarudo', 'Makku' seems to abrupt.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

'too'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yamamori Potato is the way to go.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mc Donald should rename their "French Fries" to "Plastic Fries". As a French person, I guess I'm the most eligible person here to decide which chain deserves the first place in such a category. And for sure, it's not Mac Donalds.

-11 ( +5 / -15 )

Is this a surprise to anyone? You wouldn't expect the winner to be one of the local fish and chip shops cos there aren't any in Japan. I would also go as far to state that, these results are inline with the number of restaurants for each franchise.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Even by major fast food standards, Mos Burger's fries are terrible. IMO, too starchy, dry, and lack crunch.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I honestly prefer the fries you can buy at 7-11 over McDonald's. And loads of izakayas serve better fries than that, too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

McDonalds?

Hardly any potato in them.

Dripping in trans fats:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/02/mcdonalds_gluten.html

The best French fries are those you make at home because you know what went into them.

10 ( +11 / -2 )

Man! These people really must have low expectations for fries if they think these are the best. I agree with Aliasis above. Virtually any private shop or izakaya makes better fries than these places.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a French person, I guess I'm the most eligible person here to decide which chain deserves the first place in such a category

Au contrair, mon ami. French fries actually have nothing to do with the French.

French fries are cut julienne or French style.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Give me proper "chips" any day of the week!

10 ( +14 / -4 )

If you want edible food, you have to open your wallet and eat in a restaurant. Otherwise, I get those :

http://www.simaya.com/index.html

Sometimes nice people have the kindness to bring me a pack or two as omiyage. I wish I knew the exact recipe, but it's a well kept secret. Grrrr...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

McD's blows away the competition here.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The best French fries are those you make at home because you know what went into them.

That's precisely why I boil my home made fries in trans fat!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Without a doubt, Mickey-D's are the best IMO, as long as they are hot! That's the key, if they are cold, forget it! Absolutely horrible! But one good thing about fries in my family, when they are cold, they never go to waste, my little niece loves refrigerated cold stale fries the best, at least they get recycled.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mc Donald should rename their "French Fries" to "Plastic Fries". As a French person, I guess I'm the most eligible person here to decide which chain deserves the first place in such a category. And for sure, it's not Mac Donalds.

They have French fries in France??? I thought you call them American fries.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@DentShop

It looks like you're wrong :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_fries

It is unlikely that "French fried" refers to "frenching" in the sense of "julienning", which is not attested until after "French fried potatoes"; previously, Frenching referred only to trimming the meat off the shanks of chops.

Many Americans attribute the dish to France and offer as evidence a notation by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. "Pommes de terre frites à cru, en petites tranches" ("Potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings") in a manuscript in Thomas Jefferson's hand (circa 1801-1809) and the recipe almost certainly comes from his French chef, Honoré Julien.[15] In addition, from 1813[16] on, recipes for what can be described as French fries occur in popular American cookbooks. By the late 1850s, one of these mentions the term "French fried potatoes".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wasn't the name changed to "Freedom Fries" because some patriotic idiot had a hissy fit when France didn't want join Bush's Iraq "war"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Give me proper "chips" any day of the week!

Ditto that... big greasy chips, in newspaper, liberal sprinkling of salt and malt vinegar. Anything available in Japan is a pale imitation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yet another worthless poll, doubtless to bolster profits. Why didn't someone do a comparative study on the nutritional value (or lack thereof) of these products?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Can you please remove the French part of it?

I see nothing French in there. The best fried potatoes are the ones I make home, no matter what!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Just call them fried Potatoes as they originated in Belgium and not France.

And I agree the best ones are done at home with a nice sprinkling of Masala or Garlic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It looks like you're wrong

Sacre Bleu! Like the blue moon last night, these things dont happen often!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Go to Belgium and try real "french" fries! You will never eat them from McDonald after that, trust me. The french name is "frites", and not "french fries" at all.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@zichi. I'm with you on this one mate! In absense of those, the ones served with mayo in Belgium are very good too. The best ones I've found in Japan was some spicy one's in one of the convinience store (name escapes right now, but think it was family mart). I never have furaido potato anywhere else.. Not worth eating..

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Can you please remove the French part of it?

I see nothing French in there. The best fried potatoes are the ones I make home, no matter what!

You already said that, For your taste that may well be, but we are talking about food restaurants and Mikey-D's for the majority of people make the best French Fries! Hands down!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mayo on fries, gaaaawd!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sorry, Mikey-D's make oil-dripping and weak Fries. A long way from a decent fried potato. I can better and cheaper at most other fast-food chains or the combini.

Try some real fried Potatoes, Mikey-D is as low as you can go.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The label "french fries" is very convenient for McDonalds since it makes no claims of any potato content.. which is probably true. Personally I find the McDonalds french fries thing, tasteless and laden with salt and fat. In short, disgusting.

My father taught me a good trick when making french fries, whether you're making them from scratch or just using ones out of a packet. Fry the chips (french fries) until they are all floating on the surface of the oil. This indicates that they are cooked through (most of the water has cooked away from inside). Then take them out and re-heat the oil. Put them back in again until they go golden brown. Take them out and drain them in a strainer lined with kitchen towel. Sprinkle salt lightly over the top and then shake them to remove the salt (the salt absorbs some fat and when you shake them it leaves most of the salt and surface oil behind).

The result? Delicious, lightly crunchy, lightly salted chips.

... and as for claims regarding the origin of any potato dish I'd say you probably have to give it to the Irish.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Sorry, Mikey-D's make oil-dripping and weak Fries. A long way from a decent fried potato. I can better and cheaper at most other fast-food chains or the combini.

Try some real fried Potatoes, Mikey-D is as low as you can go.

I respect your opinion, however worldwide, Mickey-D's has always been on top, if that weren't the case, no one would by them. You think people go there for thrpe burgers?? It's all about the fries. And as for oily, all fries, if you fry them are oily, unless you bake them and it depends where you go. My local Mickey-D's uses fresh oil and the fries come out crispy all the time, but I have been to other shops, that were the Sam, not only Mickey-D's, just depends. But combini.......yuuuuck, gaaaaawd!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Weren't "French Fries" renamed as "Freedom Fries?"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bass4funk.

Try europe and their fries. You will see a difference in quality and taste.

Mikey-D is not by far the best fries. I usually substitute a salad vs their fries and am not the only one.

As for Mikey-D being crisp mine droop like anything, we call them sloop fries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, not one of the greatest moments in culinary history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Mayo on fries"

I believe I am going to throw up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mayo on fries freaked me out too. In France that's what they do to their fries. I like my fries fried with onions than add Salt, pepper and ketchup when they are done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mayo on fries freaked me out too. In France that's what they do to their fries. I like my fries fried with onions than add Salt, pepper and ketchup when they are done.

All I gotta sy to that is "Pulp Fiction The whole Nine Yards and Undercover Brother" they sum the whole Mayo thing up. But salt, pepper and ketchup, count me in! Curry salt or curry ketchup is great too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

...In Tokyo Disneyland. I Just had to convince myself so because of its wholesome price?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Back in my home country KFC are known for having the worst fries because they are normally cold and either soggy or chewy. While McDonalds has the best fries.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As for the headline, the best french fries in Japan are ... actually, they tend to be different at every fast food diner in every city/town I've been to. For example, in Hokkaido, I found that the best fries come from Lucky Pierrot, which uses very tasty Hokkaido potatoes. But make sure they're hot and eat them while they are still that way. The taste at the Lucky Pierrot shops I have visited are excellent.

As for McDonald's, the quality varies from shop to shop ... here in Tokyo, down in Osaka and in other cities throughout Honshu and in Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa. Sometimes it seems that the part-time Mc workers haven't been trained properly, then at other times the product tastes very good. So the quality varies from place to place. I especially like the fries at McDonald's at the Chuo Station in Kagoshima and in downtown Okayama City.

The same goes for Mosburger and First Kitchen. Luckily, I have a very good Mosburger near my home here in Shinjuku Ward. Burger King has the same problem ... good some places, bad in others. A new Burger King opened near my home recently and on opening day everything was cold ... and the fries were so soggy I had friends come up to my table and complain about them (in the course of normal conversation, that is ... ). And I've hard complaints since then. I haven't been back to this Burger King outlet since.

So those of you living outside of Tokyo ... perhaps you can guide some of us travelers to fast food outlets where we can get really tasty french fries.

Of course, family restaurants and the more expensive restaurants don't seem to be taken into consideration in this article ... but they often provide excellent french fries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anybody here from Sapporo?? Or at least Hokkaido?? Best fries I have ever had not only in all of Japann, but maybe anywhere in the WORLD have to be the nice and thick ones freshly cooked at the Sapporo Beer Hall near down town Sapporo up in Hokkaido. Nice freshly cooked, super hot thick wedge fries with ice cold Sapporo beer and YOU ARE IN HEAVEN! Try these and you will gag yourself if you ever walk into another Mos, Lotteria, Mac etc..IMHO.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Those answering the service have probably never had proper home made chips...

French fries are just salty sponges soaked in fat with a hint of potato essence..

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Mayo on fries freaked me out too. In France that's what they do to their fries

This is news to me... ! Exactly WHERE in France did you eat "frites-mayonnaise" ? I have never heard of that ! And as a couple of other posters have said, the best ones are the ones I make at home.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

GUSTO or Go Home.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Best-tasting cancer

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I'd like to know why it was decided that only people in the age range 22-32 were used to reach the conclusion of best fried potato. Seriously. Why is the opinion of a 21 year old not valid here? It's not as if keeping an arbitrary age range makes the result any more accurate is it. Bizarre.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

""Mayo on fries" I believe I am going to throw up"

Better than ketchup. Salt and vinegar's great but for that gourmet treat, curry sauce. Ave it!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You all have time and money go to Sapporo Beer Hall, best food and beer! Call the chips as the Limeys do or call them French fries as the Gringos do best fried potatoes in Japan are up in Hokkaido!! Hands down!! And gulp down a few Sapporo beers! Umai zo!!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

frungy has it right! To make good fries you need to fry TWICE & know how to go about it!

Thankfully I know a french guy who has been making great pizza for ages & a couple years ago added burger & fries, grinds his own beef, its very rare that I grace ANY fast food(really more like SLOW poison) joints!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Better than ketchup ( mayo - on fries )"

No it's not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

izakaya french fries are the best IN JAPAN.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The best-tasting French fries in Japan are…

mediocre. At best.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why were curly fries and those savory breaded fries not mentioned? Well, with a proper deep fryer one can make the absolute best fries they can at home.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, I have to admit that McDonald's are the best. Sometimes after coming home from work, I stop and get a small pack to snack on the way home. However, there's a non fast food Hawaiian burger place in Namba that has the greatest Sweet Potato fries. Their texture is very similar to McDonald's, but with a sweet potato taste and a little skinnier. Nevertheless, they're great!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

French Fries are an awful form of cooked potatoes. Wedges are much better- the best is chips which are thick deep fried but not oil soaked potatoes pieces. Japanese don't know what chips are- even a American burger shop supplied wedges as chips.

Its extremely rare to get freshly cooked chips (some are frozen) in Japan- the only place is Bikkuri Donkey- its chips (fried potato) as good as the best Australian chips. Pity about the seasoning added and lack of vinegar availability.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Serrano, oh yes it is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mayonnaise does not belong on french fries and that's all there is to it!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

""Mayo on fries" I believe I am going to throw up"

Better than ketchup. Salt and vinegar's great but for that gourmet treat, curry sauce. Ave it!!

Just because the Belgium's invented it, doesn't mean they know how to do fries right. US invented the car, but Japan took it to a whole different level. Having lived in Germany and around Europe, Germans, Belgium's and the Dutch, destroy the fries with Mayo, not to mention, Mayo is just pure FAT, the worst thing you can put on them, not to mention, they put a thick glob of that crap on it and to add insult to injury, some of them mix it with Ketchup!! Gag!!!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

“The cheese and basil flavors are tasty and healthy.”

Ummm... no they are not. First off, we're talking about freeze-dried potato cooked in fat. Second, the 'cheese' and basil that you can shake in the bag are not at all natural, but chock full of preservatives and additives, and are just salt with a bit of food colouring and artificial flavouring.

The best fries in Japan are the ones I make on occasion. It takes time as I don't have a frie-cutter, but you cut up the potato, fry them once, then wait a while and fry them again before adding some seasoning (I use Tony's Creole seasoning most of the time). Not the healthiest, by any means, but fries baked in the oven suck.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thankfully I know a french guy who has been making great pizza for ages & a couple years ago added burger & fries, grinds his own beef,

You mean a Canadian French ? The burger and fries on "pizza", it's really... beyond what I can stomach. That's poutinesque.

its very rare

Rare burger is one of the unsafe food.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lots of commentors bashing Mac's fries and going on about how they can't believe they're #1. Read the question asked in the poll again- this was only voting on FAST FOOD fries. How many nationwide chains of fast food restaurants (not family restaurants) are even in Japan that serve fries? Not that many. This was a popularity vote more than anything.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How about the best-tasting onion rings? Freshness Burger or BK?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk, " US invented the car."

Really??

Im with you on the mayo mixed with ketchup thing, its the devils creation. However the above error destroyed your credibility. The Belgians do know a thing or two about fries and a rich mayo on them is a delight, as is salt and vinegar and my personal fave curry sauce. Ketchup is for chavs.

However if your worry is fat try your fried spuds the British way, the correct way. Cut thick, blanched in hot oil and then crisped on the outside in yet hotter oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt & vinegar, lovely.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Swiss

Sorry, buddy

Sorry been to Belgian twice, Nope, don't think so. Rich Mayo as you call it, is just that; rich in high calories, ruins the flavor and convolutes the potato. Salt and vinegar is fine, lighter in taste, doesn't cloud the taste of the potato.

I tried the British way, not bad, not bad. We have them also in the states, but minus the MAYO, I will meet you halfway on that point.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All these choices are cr@p. in Japan the only choice is Kua Aina. Other than that, stay home and cook them right http://www.kua-aina.com/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And a tasty, but distant, second? Coco's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Over manufactured with way too many additives. Potatoes, canola oil, salt vs MacD's: Potatoes vegetable oil canola oil hydrogenated soybean oil natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives] citric acid [preservative]) dextrose sodium acid pyrophosphate(maintain color) salt Prepared in vegetable oil Canola oil corn oil soybean oil hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane* added as an antifoaming agent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Over manufactured with way too many additives. Potatoes, canola oil, salt vs MacD's: Potatoes vegetable oil canola oil hydrogenated soybean oil natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives] citric acid [preservative]) dextrose sodium acid pyrophosphate(maintain color) salt Prepared in vegetable oil Canola oil corn oil soybean oil hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane* added as an antifoaming agent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm with everyone who is against mayo as a condiment for fries, but ultimately it's the consumers choice and you can't say they are 'wrong' to like it.

I'm a BIG fan of the salt and malt vinegar, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Laz

I have no idea what you said, but fix me up a plate, sounds delicious!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lawson makes some decent fries, most of the times they will fry them fresh for me. Sprinkle some Garam Masala on and away you go.

MiniStops Belgium Fried Potato is another good treat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can't beat British chips... wrapped in newspaper, sitting by the coast with a cup of tea. These twigs you see for sale in fast food outlets are tasteless.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's all a taste preference, I prefer long thin cut fries, with salt, seasoned salt and or even vinegar and ketchup any day of the week, cruising in my Coup De Ville driving through L.A. eating those hot golden right out of the bag. Can't beat that! Idaho Russet all the way!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites