Ditch the dollar menu and grab your renminbi. Our photo theme this week is China Menu: outside-the-box fast food options you won’t get at your local spot.
Today’s selection comes from the Shanghai outpost of world-famous tiny burger supplier, White Castle. Chef and food writer Christopher St Cavish explains:
Lettuce. Tomato. Onion. Ketchup. Mustard. Cheese. These are the things that go on top of burgers. But now, as the burger competition in China’s F&B market heats up, there is another, less obvious topping to slide between two soft buns: tofu.
That’s right, tofu — and not just any tofu, but a riff on Sichuan dish mapo tofu, or pock-marked grandmother’s tofu, a chili-infused classic from southwestern China. This isn’t a vegetarian special, either: it’s the latest in burger localization from a venerated American chain as it enters China.
Contrary to what you might be thinking, the tofu slab on this China-exclusive White Castle burger replaces not meat, but cheese. Jason Poon, General Manager for White Castle’s joint venture in China, tells Radii: “Our challenge was that a ‘tofu burger’ sounds like it would be vegetarian… But we were trying to surprise people — instead of substituting tofu for beef, we were using it instead of cheese.”
Surprise! Read more here: