Weekly Japanese Pop Culture Thread (December 16, 2020)

Welcome to The Avocado’s weekly discussion of Japanese pop culture! With Christmas approaching, I assume that you have all put in your orders for this year’s KFC Christmas Dinner Set. Or maybe you plan on getting your chicken from your preferred convenience store? Also a very good option! 

When someone else tries to buy the last piece of chicken.

Okay, maybe you don’t usually eat fried chicken for Christmas, but you could! And in Japan it’s a pretty common choice. This might be something that you already knew because it does show up in some anime Christmas episodes. For example, the header image and gif was taken from the first episode of Recovery of an MMO Junkie when the main character goes to buy the last piece of Christmas Chicken at her local convenience store. The convenience store (konbini) is one way to get your Christmas fried chicken in Japan, but KFC offers something extra special. 

The photo above shows this year’s KFC Christmas Dinner Set. This special set includes shrimp gratin, 8 pieces of chicken, a triple berry tiramisu, and a collectible plate! They have other options as well, including roasted chicken, which you can view here if you’re curious. Because I’m a huge dork, when I learned about this tradition I convinced my husband to start having fried chicken for Christmas Eve. The first couple years we went the KFC route, but bone-in chicken has never been my favorite, and so we decided to try making karaage (fried boneless chicken thighs, super delicious). Frying anything is pretty scary to me, so I was very hesitant to try making karaage, but luckily my husband is much more confident in the kitchen than I am. We (he) currently use Milk Street’s recipe because we (he) found that refrigerating the chicken for a bit after coating it helped when frying. However, we have a not very good stove that refuses to do anything close to temperature control, so it’s entirely possible that if you’re working with better tools you could skip that step. That step isn’t included in either Makiko Itoh’s recipe or Just One Cookbook’s. There are probably many different methods used to achieve that perfectly fried, crunchy, juicy, not greasy, karaage, so just try a couple and see what works best for you! If you haven’t had karaage before, let me humbly recommend that you try making it as soon as possible. And if you’re looking for something new for Christmas this year, maybe give fried chicken a try.

And, as always…

What have you been watching/reading/playing/eating/listening to lately?

Happy Wednesday! 🙂