Dump the steamed bird and pay deep-fried respect to your ancestors with Bonchon’s ‘Wai Jao Chicken’

With Chinese New Year just around the corner (Feb. 12 this year!), a popular South Korean-style, deep-fried chicken franchise jumped into the market with an odd bird that might impress, or disgust, Thai-Chinese celebrating the occasion. 

Bonchon this morning announced its new crispy twist on tradition in the form of Wai Jao Chicken, a whole chicken glazed in garlic sauce, double fried for extra crunch-crunch and formed into a peculiar bird shape. 

“It’s deep-fried chicken now? Will my grandpa and grandma get high levels of cholesterol in heaven?” Rachanon Wisetwongsa wondered on Facebook.

The THB688 (US$23) item is available for pre-order from now until Feb. 5 and will be available for offering up the Chinese spirits on Feb. 11. 

The festivities routinely see those of Chinese descent gathering to honor their ancestors and respected Gods with food offerings. Food plays a critical role in Chinese culture, and for the biggest celebrations such as Chinese New Year, it is considered a good fortune and a great renewal to have dishes that represent positivity, from noodles symbolizing longevity and steamed fish believed to bring prosperity to tangerines for good luck.

The crispy bird is a departure from the customary, whole steamed chicken which is considered auspicious and denotes family unity.

Within an hour since, the chain’s announcement was shared more than 4,600 times, with a majority of younger generations giving their approval to the change of tradition.

“Papa, can I have Bonchon deep-fried chicken this year? Eating steamed chicken this year, you must already be bored of it,” Jittrapron Rungriitdach wrote on Facebook.

“The ghost offering industry will be shaken. But it’s so tempting. I don’t know if our ancestors will be happy with this, but the kids definitely will,” Optra Job commented.

Read more Coconuts Bangkok stories here.


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