Instead of Expired-Chicken McNuggets, McDonald’s Tries Tofu McNuggets

A blog about business and economics.
July 29 2014 5:01 PM

McDonald’s Japan Rolls Out Tofu McNuggets

Hkg10083703
No more chicken here.

Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

McDonald's Japan unveiled a game-changer on Tuesday: Tofu Shinjo Nuggets. The item is being rushed onto the menu less than a week after McDonald's announced it was stopping all sales of chicken products imported from China because of reports that a supplier might be shipping expired meat. The tofu nuggets will hit Japanese locations on Wednesday and be available until late September.

Tofu Shinjo Nuggets—literal translation: "minced tofu nuggets"—are made primarily from tofu and vegetables such as onions, soybeans, and carrots. They also include minced fish and will be served with a ginger-flavored sauce, a spokeswoman for McDonald's told the Wall Street Journal. "Because it isn't meat, it tastes a bit different. It's a bit softer," she said.

Advertisement

It's possible tofu McNuggets will enjoy just a brief moment in McDonald's Japan while Chinese chicken suppliers clean up their acts. But Tofu Shinjo Nuggets could also be something much better—the cusp of a new vegetarian/pescatarian push that expands beyond a meager number of salads (which are overwhelmingly topped with bacon and chicken). In May 2013, a 9-year-old girl called for McDonald's to introduce healthier options such as kale chips and more veggies. Maybe the chain will finally heed her call.

If the big dreams don't pan out, there should at least be a fun experiment here for anyone who lives in Japan and has also had normal nuggets. Try the tofu variety and tell us: Which tastes less like chicken?

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 6:39 PM Spoiler Special: Transparent
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.