Chioggia beets

Trend Watch: Mochiko chicken, chioggia beets, yuba

By Katie Belflower

In the most recent edition of Trend Watch with Technomic, we highlight three current top menu trends across Canada. This month we are focusing on mochiko chicken, chioggia beets, and yuba, showcasing some of the restaurants that are successfully featuring these items on their menu.

Mochiko chicken

Hawaiian mochiko chicken, a dish in which fried chicken is dredged in mochiko flour is trending in independent restaurants. This type of flour (also called glutinous rice flour) gives the chicken a crisp, slightly chewy texture and is a way that operators are offering up new textures for added interest to classic dishes.

Menu examples:

  • The Bison in Banff, Alberta, served Aloha Crispy Fried Chicken with soy-marinated and mochiko-battered chicken, brown butter cabbage, and pickled vegetables
  • Miss Thing’s in Toronto, Ontario menued Mochi Fried Chicken with mochi flour-dredged, herb and buttermilk-brined chicken, katsu sauce, and mac salad

Chioggia beets

Chioggia beets are a varietal of beet hailing from Italy. The beets are also called candy cane beets because of the pink and white rings revealed inside the vegetable when sliced. This type of beet tastes similar to a traditional beet, although with a slightly sweeter flavour. Operators are spotlighting chioggia beets in salads and alongside cheeses, making for a visually striking addition to these dishes.

Menu examples:

  • Occo in Ottawa, Ontario, offered an Heirloom Salad with arcadia greens, baby tomatoes, heirloom carrot, watermelon radish, peppers, candy cane beets, bocconcini, and honey vinaigrette
  • Supply and Demand in Ottawa, Ontario, served Chioggia Beets with whipped goat’s cheese, fennel, pecans, and roasted grapes

Yuba

Also known as tofu skin, this by-product of boiling soy milk comes in chewy sheets that are popular in Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Yuba has a dense, rubbery texture and can be served fresh or dried. The tofu skin is traditionally used as a protein option in soups or noodle dishes. Canadian operators are featuring the ingredient alongside meats and seafood for added protein and texture.

Menu examples:

  • Boulevard in Vancouver, British Columbia, menued Albacore Tuna with sesame aioli, fermented cabbage, white daikon kimchee, sansho pepper, and crispy yuba
  • Stofa in Ottawa, Ontario, offered Braised Pork Belly with pickled pineapple, wood ear mushrooms, yuba, red cabbage slaw with wafu vinaigrette, sweet potato purée, toasted peanuts, and chili threads

Trend Watch is based on menu trends noted by Technomic.

Katie Belflower is Associate Editor for Technomic, a Chicago-based foodservice research and consulting firm. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. The company’s services include publications and digital products as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry, including menu trends.