Would you eat fried chicken if it had Slime on it? I did and it did not disappoint.
In 2016, celebrating two 30-year anniversaries of the release of the popular video game Dragon Quest as well as their popular fried chicken character Karaage-kun, Lawson convenience stores have filled shelves with a new fried chicken dish honouring both characters. The result is a brand new bite-sized chicken snack with the cheerful, blue-faced Slime and the cute chicken Karaage-kun on the box. And instead of a toothpick, you are given a plastic sword to pick the bite-sized chicken bits.
The characters are the same age and are household names in Japanese popular culture. Slime is the antagonist and mascot of Dragon Quest who the hero Edrick (Loto in Japan) fights repeatedly with his sword-hence the sword toothpick. He may be cute and friendly looking but this is one dangerous enemy who will stop at nothing to defeat the heroes. Karaage-kun is a beady-eyed chicken who is always waving hello to customers on a box full of fried chicken. These characters have been modified and updated over and over since 1986 and are still popular among young and old Japanese so it seemed fitting that they form a partnership at least once celebrating each other’s success.
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contri on FlickrOn the box it explains that Karaage-kun and Slime (doesn’t that sound like a funny duo) have introduced a new flavor called hoimi (literally healing magic), which is garlic and mayonnaise flavor fried into their chicken. It gives you two actions to choose, tatakau (battle in Japanese) or taberu (eat). Since I didn’t know at all how to play the video game, I chose eat. And a good choice it was.
The perfectly fried poultry has the creamy feeling of mayonnaise when it touches your mouth with the strong scent of garlic attaching to your tongue. That you can eat it with Edrick’s Sword makes it taste even better. It requires very little chewing but I honestly felt that it tasted better every time I chewed. Since it is boneless, I could eat with no distractions.
Dean Lin on Flickr
This mayo-garlic concoction may not be very appealing to some since it is cheap convenience store snack food, but it really is a rewarding treat that you will want to sink your teeth into. Whereas traditional fried chicken to me is salty and oily, this chicken had the additional extra hoimi flavor to it that you would think would overwhelm the meat, but it does not. The chicken’s meat taste is still there with the added ingredients giving it a power boost that is too delicious to pass up.
After finishing the box of chicken, I proudly admit that I am addicted to them. I now have the desire to add a mayonnaise and garlic sauce to my next chicken dish. Possibly I will even go play the game Dragon Quest for the first time. That was how good it was.
Hoimi chicken can be purchased at any Lawson convenience store. This dual-themed fried chicken has a limited time and will only be available until May 27, so get your sword ready and see how you like the taste of hoimi.