What I found at … is a series that tests and vets intriguing store-bought foodie finds. It’s the wide-angle parallel to KaSnack attack!, our series reviewing made-in-Hawaii snacks.
What: Mochiko Chicken Mix
Where: Near cash register at Zippy's
Cost: $9.95 for a 16-ounce package
Q: Can Zippy's mochiko chicken mix make mochiko chicken as good as Zippy's restaurant version?
While picking up my Zippy’s party platter for a potluck for the holidays, I discovered Zippy’s has begun to sell some convenience food! There to the right of the cash register were four different packages: Zippy’s Pancake Mix, Fried Chicken Fry Mix, Mochiko Chicken Fry Mix and their own Zippy’s 10% Hawaiian Coffee Blend. I immediately picked up the Mochiko Chicken Mix. Those who know me know I love mochiko chicken.
The mix is Hawaii-exclusive, compact and perfect for omiyage gifts to the mainland and abroad. Every package is 16 ounces, mixes with about 3 pounds of chicken and costs $9.95.
So I pick up some chicken thighs and bring this bad boy home. The recipe in the back calls for only ⅓ of the Mochiko Chicken Fry Mix per one pound of cubed chicken, which constitutes one serving. Quite the serving! You will also need a large egg.
After cubing the chicken, I mix the egg with ⅓ of the Mochiko Chicken Mix (approximately ¾ cup). They say the batter will be stiff and they are not joking! You might have to use those forearms you’ve so masterfully sculpted from years of playing on your phone. Mix, mix, mix until you get a real batter.
Then I add the cubed chicken. The instructions say to marinate 12-24 hours. I marinate the chicken for 18 hours. So far, the process has been quick and easy and has used up a mere 10 minutes of my life.
From the refrigerator, the batter has loosened up quite a bit. I heat up a pot with a shallow amount of vegetable oil. The oil should be around 350ºF. Then I slowly add the chicken pieces, making sure not to splash or overcrowd.
Since the chicken is cubed, it doesn’t take long for them to be ready. In a minute or two, they are golden brown. I cut into a few pieces to make sure they are fully cooked. I place the fried chicken on a paper towel to catch the excess oil. And of course, I taste.
A: Yes! Tastes like the real thing!
It is legit good! The chicken isn’t too salty, too sweet nor is the batter too thick; it’s just like the real thing. In fact, if I do say so myself, it might be better! It could be because I used organic free-range chicken thighs, or because I used new oil, but I also think it was especially good because I made it when I wanted it. Zippy’s doesn’t always have mochiko chicken on their menu, but it's often available as a special.