Our team of weight-watching middle aged guys see what they think of Lawson’s new ‘Delicious and guilt-free!’ fried chicken.

With the kind of stuff that we regularly consume here at SoraNews24, you’d be forgiven for assuming we’re not exactly the most health-conscious bunch, but our reporters are pretty mindful when it comes to keeping their bodies in good shape. In between stuffing their faces with God knows what, Mr. Sato is a skilled pole dancer, and Go Hatori… well, just look at him.

So while our wild antics may suggest otherwise, the SoraNews24 team care about taking care of their bodies, and it seems the number of health-conscious people around Japan is on the rise. So when our reporter Takashi Harada spotted a poster at his local branch of Lawson promoting their new Tanchiki, a low carb, high protein piece of chicken, he knew he had to try it. The name is a portmanteau, combining the words tanpaku (protein) and chikin (chicken).

Japanese convenience stores are well-known for their delicious fried chicken, but it’s safe to say that they aren’t the healthiest choice you can make. Of course, there’s always salad chicken, a healthy alternative to fried chicken. Salad chicken is made from steamed chicken breast and tends to be very lightly seasoned, if at all.

Image: Wikipedia/サラダチキン

But for health-conscious people who love chicken that isn’t bland, Lawson’s Tanchiki has a mere 1.9 grams (0.06 ounces) of complex carbohydrates in it, and with 15 grams of protein it’s ideal for people who are watching their weight. Tanchiki is made from thigh meat which is fried in oil and seasoned with garlic and black pepper, so it’s certainly not lacking in flavour.

▼ Tanchiki — 225 yen (US$1.57)

Back in the office and armed with some Tanchiki, Takashi decided to get all members of the writing team who were currently on duty to give it a try, and give their honest feedback.

First up was Seiji, a man who recently lost a ton of weight with the help of convenience store foods.

Seiji Nakazawa: “This is really delicious. It looks and feels like proper chicken, and has a really good meaty texture. I’m not a fan of salad chicken, because it feels kind of stale, like it’s been on the shelf for a while. But Tanchiki feels like it was freshly made! And there’s only 1.9 grams of complex carbs? Amazing! I could eat this every day!

So the Tanchiki got a glowing review from Seiji, but Mr. Sato seemed less impressed.

Mr. Sato: “I don’t think I’d eat this if I didn’t have to. I’d rather eat regular salad chicken. I’m trying to cut down on my oil intake, so this chicken isn’t ideal for me. I don’t really even get why they needed to fry it in oil in the first place, but oh well.”

So far, a pretty balanced review. What will Yuuichiro Wasai think of the Tanchiki?

Yuuichiro Wasai: “It’s pretty good. If you didn’t tell me otherwise, I’d have assumed this was just a normal piece of chicken. I was a little concerned about the amount of fat in it, but looking at the nutrition facts, it only has 7.9 grams! I’d rather go for this than salad chicken. I’d definitely consider buying this.

Next up to give his review was Masakuni Sunakoma, a man who loves eating fried chicken.

Masanuki Sunakoma: “It’s deliciously peppery, warm and tasty. It doesn’t taste like Karaage-kun, but it’s also not bland like salad chicken either. The only fault I can find here is the price. If it were a little cheaper, it’d be great.”

Of course, we weren’t going to leave our boss Yoshio out of the taste test, especially when it involved fried chicken.

Yoshio: “This is delicious. If eating this could help me lose weight, I’d happily eat it. Especially compared to bland salad chicken, this is delicious. Oops, I’ve already eaten it all!”

Last to give his Tanchiki review was our resident health-nut and former short-order cook Go Hatori.

Go Hatori: “I was pretty curious about this chicken, but it’s a lot tastier than I’d expected. For those used to diets with salad chicken, it feels like you’re having a cheat day or something. If there are no downsides to the Tanchiki, then it’s fine to include it in your diet. I want to try it in a bun, with some shredded cabbage and mayonnaise…”

As expected of a man who is always looking for ways to improve food, Go Hatori’s final comment was surprisingly astute; as it turns out, the guys at Lawson share the same opinion as him and have brought out the ‘Mochi Mugi Bun‘, also low in carbs and with dietary fibre, to go with the Tanchiki.

So, Takashi dutifully followed Go’s suggestions and started assembling the bun.

It didn’t take long, as all Takashi needed to do was place the shredded cabbage and mayonnaise on one of the bun halves.

Once the Tanchiki was inside and the bun was assembled, it was hard to believe that such a tasty looking thing could be part of a healthy diet.

As for the taste, the Tanchiki sandwich was delicious, and Takashi could have happily eaten it for all three of his meals that day. Occasionally sinful thoughts would drift through his mind like “This would be outstanding if I had some tartar sauce instead of mayonnaise…”, but Takashi was determined to keep his sandwich as healthy as possible.

Unfortunately, such sinful thoughts got the better of Go Hatori, who went out, bought another Tanchiki and bun, and added tartar sauce to his own sandwich!!

All in all though, the Tanchiki was full of flavour, tasty and filling, but was also low in complex carbs. The oily texture seemed to put some people off, but for anyone interested in enjoying a healthy diet without depriving yourself of flavour, give the Tanchiki a try!

Photos © SoraNews24 unless otherwise stated
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