We get one hand on each One Hand On.

Japanese snack maker Koikeya has come out with some innovative ideas over the years, from milk-and-toast-flavored potato chips to pork-free fried pork snacks. And they are always hard at work to come up with new ideas, such as a project to encapsulate the taste of meals like beef bowls into a convenient, bite-sized snack.

It’s called One Hand On (Wan Han Don) which is a play on the English “one hand” meaning you can eat it with one hand as well as the Japanese suffix “-don” to denote a food served on top of a bowl of rice. For example, “gyudon” is beef on rice, “unagidon” is eel on rice, and “Kentadon” is Kentucky Fired Chicken on rice.

So it makes sense that One Hand On is available in a “gyudon” flavor as well as the curiously specific “soba restaurant curry-don” as opposed to curry on a bowl of rice served anywhere else.

▼ Gyudon (left) and Soba Restaurant Curry-don (right): The pixelated design is meant to appeal to gamers who might enjoy the convenient way to experience these tastes.

However, these products are still in development and not yet sold in stores. Instead, a limited supply of 3,000 bags is being sold directly by Koikeya on their website. One box containing two bags of each flavor can be purchased there for 1,220 yen (US$8.44) while supplies last.

Our taste-tester Daiki Nishimoto managed to get a hand on a set of One Hand On himself and tried it out. Starting with the gyudon bag, Daiki found about 12 balls of puffed rice inside.

True to the product’s name, he felt these were really easy to eat with one hand. It also didn’t leave a powdery or greasy residue like other snacks, which would make it pretty ideal to eat while playing games or using a smartphone.

As for the taste, it took Daiki a moment to get past the un-gyudon-like crunchy texture, but that sweet and salty taste of a beef bowl along with a refreshing zest of pickled ginger hit his taste buds. It really did feel like a beef bowl condensed into a little puffed rice ball and didn’t leave an overbearing aftertaste that would make him rush for a drink after each one.

And the soba restaurant curry-don flavor was on a whole other level. Daiki was pretty much just expecting it to be curry-flavored, but the attention to detail was staggering. He could detect slight notes of Japanese dashi, a soup broth made from umami-rich foods like kelp or mushrooms.

There was no mistaking that this was flavored like a curry-don you would find only in a Japanese soba restaurant. However, this might not be as good for eating while gaming because you would be too engrossed in the flavor to pay attention to what you’re doing.

Both flavors were great and Daiki especially liked alternating between each one. It made him feel like a little kid again having a messy meal in a food court.

In conclusion, One Hand On hit all the right notes as a faithful reproduction of its flavors and as a satisfying way to enjoy the taste of these meals in a light and clean way. Hopefully, the day will come when they become a permanent fixture in convenience stores and everyone can get a hand on One Hand On.

Related: Koikeya
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