McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in Asia are Getting Way Weirder Than You Can Imagine

Oh chicken McNuggets. Those things that we’re not really sure if there’s real chicken in them or not. Ok, so there is “white boneless chicken” in them, but with the amount of ingredients added to that, you are hard pressed to say that you’re eating chicken.

In Hong Kong however you can’t even get chicken McNuggets right now since the local McDonald’s has stopped selling them on account of a food safety scare at Shanghai Husi Food, where it imports some of its products. Not only that, they’ve axed McSpicy chicken filets, chicken and green salads, fresh corn cups and iced lemon tea as well.

McDonald’s would like to remind everyone that until the day they pulled McNuggets and all the other products, “all the food sold at McDonald’s restaurants conform to the food safety standard under Hong Kong legal regulations.” And the marketing team at McDonald’s would be smart to tell its customers that its food is safe; China happens to be McDonald’s third-biggest market.

Meanwhile in Japan, McDonald’s is offering up tofu nuggets; or at least a chicken-like nugget that’s made with soybean, carrots and minced fish. So wait, not even vegetarian? Just chicken-free. Minus the carrots and minced fish, it sounds surprisingly like fried tofu. Honestly if you’re going to serve fried tofu, I am positive that there are so many better places to get it in Japan than McDonald’s. But hey, maybe they’re tasty dipped in milkshakes?

McDonald’s Japan has assured the press that the idea for the new non-chicken nugget snack came to be before the Chinese chicken McNugget scandal. And even for real chicken nuggets, Japan isn’t touching the Chinese stuff; they announced earlier this year that they would be getting all of their chicken from Thailand.

Which brings us to the question? What exactly is in a chicken McNugget? You can watch this video, in which McDonald’s Canada walks you through the McNugget making process, and while it’s an attempt at calming fears that the nuggets were made from”pink goop,” it’s still pretty gross. McNuggets are only 50 percent meat at best, the rest of it is preservatives and a bunch of other tasty things you’d probably never pick off of a grocery store shelf, if those things were in fact sold at a grocery store.

So maybe the chicken McNugget ban in Hong Kong is a good thing. But you know what would be even better? A straight up McDonald’s ban.

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Image: Brandon Wang