Trader Joe’s calls often calls itself “traders on the culinary seas,” and that’s not just being flowery. Their buyers and product developers really do trot the globe in search of inspiration for new treasures and treats. For example, on a recent visit to Tokyo, we happened upon an unforgettable savory mochi appetizer at an udon bar. That got them thinking about the fascinating possibilities of crisp, chewy mochi and sweet, spicy chicken, which started them working with one of their trusted suppliers, which resulted in Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls, the latest and greatest appetizer invention.
Each Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Ball is about the size of a golf ball and develops a beautifully crisp, brown exterior when baked. After the initial crunch of that first bite, you’re immediately treated to the soft, chewy texture of the mochi’s interior, and then the delightfully sweet and spicy sensation of the Kung Pao sauce, followed quickly by the tender chicken and veggie medley inside. It’s an overall exhilarating hors d’oeuvre experience, especially when coupled with a quick dunk into TJ’s Sweet Chili Sauce.
It’s also an experience you can only find at Trader Joe’s: were nine-ounce boxes of Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls sell for $3.99, every day.