- Finger lickin’ different
- Pot Pie
- Scoff-ee Cup
- Brown Sugar Boba Tea Tart
- Dipping Fries
- Salted Egg Chicken
- Gravy Mashies
- Potato Krisper
- Paneer Zinger
- Pachito Pasta
- Cheese Top Burger
- Popcorn Chicken Poutine
- Colonel Craft Beer
- Famous Bowl
- Tirr Cheese Balls
- Chicken and Mushroom Soup
- Deep Fried Chicken Cartilage
- Sausage & Scrambled Egg Burger Combo
- Nasi Lemak
- Nacho Box
- Zinger Porridge
- Sambal Rice Bowl
- Durian Balls
- Wasabi Rice Wrap
- Fish Donuts
- Bonito Fries
- Curry Rice Bucket
- Parmesan Truffle Chicken
- Double Down Dog
Finger lickin’ different
Think you know KFC? Think again. However encyclopaedic your knowledge of the fried chicken chain’s menu might be, it proves useless once you start looking at what’s served up around the world. Options such as porridge, spaghetti, fries topped with fish flakes, chicken and mushroom soup and even a pizza with a fried chicken base have appeared on menus, with franchises adapting their offerings to suit local tastes and traditions. Here we look at the country-specific KFC dishes that may just make you want to hop on a plane.
The flaky-crusted Pot Pie, with its warm and creamy chicken, potato, pea and carrot filling, is a classic on the menu at KFC in the US. Sold since the 1990s, it’s as everyday as Original Recipe fried chicken, gravy and fries. In other countries, such as Japan, the savoury pie has made appearances on a short-term basis along with dessert pies such as the purple Sweet Potato Pie.
Scoff-ee Cups were edible cups that went on sale at UK restaurants in 2015. The intricate construction featured an edible sugar paper wrapper branded with the KFC logo and a white chocolate inner lining that melted when the cup was filled with a hot drink. But the epic craftsmanship didn’t stop there – the consumable cups were infused with ‘mood-boosting scents’ such as coconut sun cream, freshly cut grass and wildflowers.
Brown Sugar Boba Tea Tart
Crisp on the outside, soft in the centre, Portuguese tarts regularly appear on KFC menus in many Asian markets including Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China. Then the chain mixed things up by introducing Brown Sugar Boba Tea Tarts, inspired by the trend for Taiwanese boba tea (also called bubble tea or milk tea). The creamy egg custard pastries were infused with milk tea and topped with brown sugar tapioca pearls, and went on sale in Singapore in 2019.
To solve the problem of French fries being too skinny to get maximum sauce when dipping, KFC introduced Dipping Fries to its menu in Romania. Basically hollowed-out French fries, the potato side dish can scoop up far more of your favourite condiment. Now permanently on the menu in the country, they come with a choice of sauces including sweet and sour, curry, garlic, ketchup, barbecue and salsa.
Salted Egg Chicken
Deliciously messy Salted Egg Chicken is another perfect meal for sauce lovers. It features hot and crispy fried chicken drizzled in savoury salted egg sauce. The latter is made with salt-cured egg yolks, a delicacy eaten in Asia for centuries. The dish was available in Indonesia as part of the chain’s ‘Taste of Asia’ campaign in 2018. Fans of sticky buffalo wings should approve.
Deep-fried mashed potato with a squirt of KFC gravy in the centre, Gravy Mashies were a twist on an old KFC favourite in Australia: Mashies. The beloved dish was introduced in 2009 but discontinued all too quickly. Bearing the most Australian name possible, the beloved snack was brought back with added gravy for a limited time, much to fans’ delight, in 2017. Now the chicken chain is teasing a second revival, with the original option having already made appearances in Tasmania.
When KFC moved into the Indian market, the chain adapted its menu to suit local dietary requirements. With a large proportion of the country’s population eating a vegetarian diet, KFC introduced an entire meat-free menu. Available in 2014, the Potato Krisper featured a crispy potato patty, sauce and onions in a bun. It was similar to the McDonald’s Aloo Tikki Burger, which is also sold in India. There’s still a Veg Krisper on the menu.
Also launched in India in 2014, the Paneer Zinger featured a paneer (Indian cheese) patty filled with spicy sauce. The meatless dish was backed by a huge advertising campaign. Sadly, from 2016 onwards, the company decided to move away from investing in its vegetarian offering and this spectacular fried chicken alternative was discontinued, much to fans’ dismay.
In Vietnam, KFC restaurants serve spaghetti topped with tomato sauce, grated cheese and (of course) the famous fried chicken. A permanent item on the menu, you can get a portion of Pachito Pasta at any time of day, all year-round. Although its lack of authenticity may upset pasta purists, we’d happily give it a try.
Cheese Top Burger
Who says the cheese has to go inside the burger? KFC Philippines certainly didn’t think so when it introduced this game-changing dish. It features an otherwise regular Original Recipe chicken sandwich, with garlic Parmesan dressing, but with a slice of melted American-style cheese on top of the bun. Despite some criticism of the topsy-turvy creation, it was said to sell well when it was launched in 2012.
Popcorn Chicken Poutine
If you’re a KFC fan and have a thing for the Canadian national dish, poutine (French fries topped with melted cheese curds and hot gravy), this might just be your ideal fast food. Sold in Canada, it came in two versions: one topped with Popcorn Chicken and another topped with Spicy Popcorn Chicken. Sadly, it was available for a limited time only.
At KFC restaurants in South Korea, the menu goes way beyond fried chicken, burgers and tenders. Rice dishes are common at branches of the chain in Asian markets and Tender-Rice, featuring crispy chicken tenders over flavoured grains, is one of its latest creations. The Korean name for the dish is chibap, meaning fried chicken and rice. You’ll find variations eaten in restaurants and homes all across the country, usually served spicy.
Colonel Craft Beer
Fried chicken and a refreshing beer is a match made in heaven and Hong Kong residents were able to enjoy a line of KFC-branded alcoholic drinks, Colonel Craft Beers, at concept stores in Causeway Bay in 2019. The bottled pale ale citra was hoppy with zesty grapefruit and lychee notes. In fact, many KFC markets serve beer, including Japan, Korea, Canada and some countries in Europe.
The mysteriously named Famous Bowl is a permanent fixture on the KFC menu in the US and a few other markets including the Philippines. The dish is a bowl of mashed potatoes topped with gravy, Popcorn Chicken, sweetcorn and cheese. If it’s not sold in your country, fear not. You can simply purchase KFC mashed potatoes, gravy, Popcorn Chicken and sweetcorn separately, assemble the dish yourself at home and sprinkle on some grated Cheddar.
Tirr Cheese Balls
Fried cheese balls seem to be especially popular in South Korea, as evidenced by the fact that KFC has permanently added its take, Tirr Cheese Balls, to menus in the country. They combine many of South Korea’s favourite cooking elements: cheese (in this case chewy mozzarella), deep-frying and spice. The sweet and savoury treat is finished with a sprinkling of spicy chilli seasoning.
Chicken and Mushroom Soup
Somewhat surprisingly, soup is common on KFC menus around the world and particularly in Asian markets. Do you remember the Deep-Fried Corn Soup sold in Japan in 2013 that sent the internet into a frenzy? Corn, mushroom and chicken soups are all regularly sold at KFC Hong Kong in the winter months. Described as “fragrant and creamy”, this chicken and mushroom combo is a great when it’s chilly outside.
Deep Fried Chicken Cartilage
Nose-to-tail eating reached the fast food market when KFC Hong Kong introduced Deep Fried Chicken Cartilage for a limited time in 2021. A common bar snack throughout Asia, it’s crispier and chewier than Original Recipe chicken and nicely seasoned with spices.
Sausage & Scrambled Egg Burger Combo
McDonald’s isn’t the only chain that offers a stand-out breakfast menu. KFC Hong Kong has a great selection in the morning providing toast, hash browns, scrambled eggs, sausage, fried chicken, milk tea and hot coffee before 11am. The Sausage & Scrambled Egg Burger Combo, featuring pork tenderloin, scrambled eggs and a slice of cheese in a soft sesame seed bun, is reminiscent of a Sausage & Egg McMuffin. KFC breakfast has been tested in other markets such as the UK, but has never really taken off.
A dish featuring rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf (a fragrant dried leaf), served with sambal (spicy chilli), anchovies, peanuts, cucumber slices and a hard-boiled egg, nasi lemak can be found everywhere in Malaysia including KFC and McDonald’s. At the former, the country’s unofficial national dish is served with a fast food twist: the chain’s signature Original Recipe fried chicken.
Popcorn Chicken took an already brilliant snack to delicious new levels. And KFC’s Nacho Box added the crisp chicken balls to a platter of corn tortillas topped with shredded cheese and salsa. The American-Mexican fusion food was sold in Australia alongside the Nacho Burger – a chicken sandwich stuffed with corn tortillas, salsa and nacho sauce – for a limited time in 2014.
Another delicious savoury breakfast option, Zinger Porridge is a serving of oatmeal topped with chicken pieces, crispy shallots and sesame oil. First available in 2014, it joins the Zinger Riser (a crispy chicken burger topped with a fried egg), Twister Lite (a breakfast wrap stuffed with a chicken fillet, scrambled eggs and sliced tomato), Nasi Lemak and more on the pre-10am menu in Malaysia. Porridge is also available in Singapore and Indonesia.
Sambal Rice Bowl
If you happen to be at a KFC in Malaysia at breakfast time, you’ll be faced with a menu that offers dishes you can’t get anywhere else. The Sambal Rice Bowl – rice topped with sambal sauce, Zinger Fillet chunks, cucumber and a sunny-side up egg – was launched in 2017. Sadly it’s no longer available, though Zinger Porridge and Nasi Lemak make pretty decent replacements.
Soft, creamy and delicious on the inside with a golden, crispy shell on the outside, Durian Balls were introduced at KFC in Malaysia for a limited time in 2020 and 2021. The fruity dessert is made with D24 durian, a popular variation of the spiky-skinned, notoriously funky-smelling tropical fruit. Lovers of the food no doubt found it delicious.
Wasabi Rice Wrap
The Wasabi Rice Wrap was a toasted tortilla wrap encompassing savoury seaweed rice, spicy wasabi mayo, crunchy cucumber strips, diced tomato and crispy chicken. Available for a limited time at KFC in Malaysia in 2016, the rule-breaking on-the-go meal was targeted at the younger generations.
Not the first time the chain has replaced carbs with fried chicken, Chizza is, of course, a twist on pizza. The base is a round, flat piece of Original Recipe fried chicken topped with tomato sauce, cheese and various other ingredients such as pepperoni, peppers, ham and pineapple. It was initially introduced in the Philippines in 2015 and subsequently made short appearances in Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and the UK.
Fish Donuts were savoury fish cakes shaped like ring doughnuts, and they were sold at branches of KFC in Singapore in 2012. The savoury snacks were battered and deep-fried, then seasoned with sesame seeds and served with tangy tartare sauce. Just like the sweet treat they mimicked, the savoury snacks came in packs of six. The same year, the brand also sold Shrimp Stars – shrimp nuggets shaped like stars.
Taking inspiration from Japan, KFC Singapore launched two new items in 2018: the Tori Katsu Burger and Bonito Fries. You may have tried chicken katsu, but more surprising were the Bonito Fries. This take on loaded fries was artistically drizzled with katsu sauce and mayo, then topped with a heap of salty bonito flakes, made with dried bonito, a fish from the mackerel and tuna family.
Curry Rice Bucket
You’ve heard of Bargain Buckets and Wicked Variety Buckets, but you may not be familiar with Curry Rice Buckets. This unique dish, featuring Popcorn Chicken served over fragrant chicken rice and topped with creamy potato curry, went on sale at KFC in Singapore in 2015. It was a hit with customers but no longer features on the menu.
Parmesan Truffle Chicken
This fancy fast food was available in Singapore for a limited time in 2016 and 2019. It featured chicken pieces that had been marinated in spices, fried until golden, then sprinkled with grated Parmesan. But it didn’t stop there. The decadent dish was served with truffle-flavoured sauce on the side.
Double Down Dog
The Original Double Down was first sold in select markets including the US and Canada in 2010. It featured bacon and a slice of cheese in a fried chicken bun. Although it was an internet sensation, it wasn’t made permanent. However, KFC has since experimented with variations on different continents. The Double Down Dog, featuring a cheese-stuffed hot dog topped with mustard in a fried chicken bun, debuted in the Philippines in 2015.