28 August, 2014

Tofu Nuggets Ginger Sauce (豆腐しんじょナゲット しょうがソース) - Japan - August 2014

McDonald's Japan - Ginger Sauce - August 2014

Tofu Nuggets

Purchased 2 August in Osaka, Japan
Consumed on 14 August in Singapore
Price - Free with Tofu Nugget purchase.  As of 26 Aug, Four Tofu Nuggets = 120JPY - $1.15USD
Calories - Unknown

On 30 July 2014, McDonald's Japan released Tofu Nuggets along side a new Ginger dipping sauce.  This was either rushed to market, or happened to be the world's most perfect timing, since it coincided with the China expired meat scandal which caused McDonald's in China, Japan and Hong Kong to recall most of their Beef, Chicken and Vegetable products.  The Tofu Nuggets, which are available until the beginning of September are made of Tofu (naturally), Beans, Carrot and Fish. My friend Nick, pulled through again and sent down 2 tubs of the Ginger Sauce for me to try, since I won't be able to visit Japan until after this promo item has finished.  If the nuggets didn't have fish in them, I might have risked him sending down a couple for me to try since it usually takes 2-3 days between when he sends something from Japan to reach me in Singapore.  But the inclusion of fish meant we couldn't do that.  Also since McDonald's Singapore doesn't have anything even remotely close to this and I didn't feel like paying the ridiculous Chicken McNugget price they charge here, my wife cooked some Tofu squares at home for us to try.  This Japanese food blog has a couple of great photos showing what the real Tofu Nuggets looked like.

My DIY Tofu Nuggets

Once our homemade tofu nuggets were cooked and ready to go, I opened up one of the two sauce tubs.  I was suprised by how dark it was.  I guess with the bright yellow top, I expected a lighter coloured sauce inside, or you know, at least ginger coloured.  My wife being Korean, means we don't use ginger in cooking as much as other Asian cultures, but we do make ginger tea quite often, and I enjoy the stong smell of ginger tea.   I gave the sauce a sniff, and it didn't have a strong ginger smell like I would have expected either.  The ginger smell was there and it was distinguishable, but it just wasn't all that strong.  I gave my first DIY nugget a dip and I thought that the sauce was a little watery and runny compared to other nugget sauces because not that much sauce stuck to the nugget.  I thought that might have been because I wasn't using a coated and deep fried nugget, but after a couple more dips to get sufficient coating I took my first bite, I knew exactly why this was watery...because it wasn't designed to be a nugget sauce!

It took 3-4 dips to get that much to stick

This Ginger Sauce was the exact same sauce which they used on the Chicken Tatsuta - Wafu Oroshi Edition which I had back in 2011.  The Wafu Oroshi was a special edition 'ginger sauced' version of the Chicken Tatsuta, which only appears once a year, (and even more recently, the Pork variant).  The sauce was both sweet and gingery at the same time, which I enjoyed on my burger back in 2011 even though I'm not a huge fan of sweet sauces and I still enjoyed it with these nuggets. There were small pieces of ginger mixed throughout the sauce, but it still could have been stronger.  The dark colour of the sauce comes from soy sauce, and the saltiness of the sauce wasn't a perfect combination with my plain DIY nuggets.  I believe that the sauce would have worked even better with actual the Tufu Nuggets from McDonald's since theirs weren't 100% tofu and would have had a softer texture than my somewhat chewy ones.  I'm not sure what % of the official nuggets were fish, but if it had any fishy taste whatsoever, this sauce would be a perfect combination with it.   That said, although I was a bit disappointed it was technically a sauce I've already had before, but at least McDonald's Japan didn't go messing with a flavour which was already pretty good.  

Rating - 4/5