This is one product that’s too good to be kept a secret.

When it comes to Japanese convenience store chains, the top three players, Lawson, Family Mart and 7-Eleven, tend to get most of the attention, but for our reporter Seiji Nakazawa, Ministop also deserves a look-in.

He visits a convenience store at least once a day, and he reckons the prepared foods at Ministop are particularly delicious, with their bento boxes being some of the best amongst the top chains. However, the other day he was completely blown away by one product he purchased at Mini Stop, and it was too good to keep a secret so he decided to share it with us.

▼ Say hello to the Juicy Chicken Pao (Plain), which costs 302 yen (US$2).

This Pao, or steamed bao bun as it’s commonly known in English-speaking countries, contains a slice of cheese and a big hunk of Ministop fried chicken.

Seiji initially purchased this on a whim because it looked easy to hold in one hand without getting his fingers oily. However, he wasn’t prepared for the sublime combination that would tantalise his taste buds upon first bite, as the thick, juicy chicken crunched beneath his teeth, spreading its meaty juices throughout the palate while complementing the sweetness of the bun and the umami of the cheese.

After his first bao bun, he was hooked, and returned the next day to try the spicy version. In his opinion, it wasn’t as great as the plain version, though, as the spiciness dominated the palate, detracting from the flavour of the chicken.

▼ Seiji recommends trying the plain version.

Quick, easy and satisfying to eat, this is like a secret street food hiding out on the shelves at Ministop. It does seem to have a following amongst those in the know, though, as it’s sometimes totally sold out when Seiji stops by.

So if you’d like to taste a fried chicken snack that ought to be as well known as the fried chicken at other convenience store chains, don’t forget to give MiniStop a look-in. It’s also a great place for fries, ice cream, and putting together a senbero on a budget.

Photos © SoraNews24
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