If you've ever visited FamilyMart, one of Japan's most popular convenience store chains, then chances are you've seen Famichiki in the display case near the cash register. Famichiki, short for FamilyMart chicken, has come to be known as a symbol of convenience store excellence. These inexpensive, juicy fried chicken fillets with crispy savory breading sealed in yellow-and-white striped paper bags have been a hit ever since they were first sold 16 years ago.

You can eat them immediately, ripping off half of the bag along the perforated line to reveal the hot contents within, or you can take them home and heat them up later since the bags are microwave safe.

But what if you want to make your Famichiki or any of the other tasty fried foods FamilyMart offers and turn them into a meal?

As it turns out, FamilyMart has a solution for that: Famichiki Buns!

Making meals with Famichiki Buns

For the reasonable price of 82 JPY before taxes (.57 USD at today's rate), you can get tasty buns pre-filled with tartar sauce and turn it into a burger!

We decided on two hot food choices to try with these buns. We like our chicken spicy, so we were hoping the FamilyMart branch we visited would have the Famichiki (Habanero Hot), but since they were out of stock, we settled on their Crispy Chicken (Habanero Hot). It's a bit smaller than the Famichiki, but it's perfect for spice-lovers. Our second choice was a new product which just went on sale on September 6th, 2022, their Fish Fry with tartar sauce inside. We also bought a bag of pre-shredded cabbage which was conveniently available at FamilyMart.

Photo by grape Japan

Famichiki Buns with Crispy Chicken (Habanero Hot)

This is what the Crispy Chicken (Habanero Hot) looks like unsheathed from the bag. It already looks good...

Photo by grape Japan

The chicken was a bit small for the buns...

Photo by grape Japan

Now, all we needed to do was add a bit of shredded cabbage, and we had ourselves a habanero fried chicken burger!

Photo by grape Japan

The buns are soft and mildly sweet, almost like shokupan (milk bread) and the addition of tangy tartar sauce, although we would have appreciated a bit more, created a good contrast with the spicy Crispy Chicken (Habanero Hot). Next time, we definitely want to try it with the Famichiki version. We could also imagine a slice of cheese (also sold at FamilyMart) there too, since it was a bit on the dry side.

Total cost: Famichiki Buns (82 JPY) + Crispy Chicken (Habanero Hot) (149 JPY) + shredded cabbage (100 JPY) = 331 JPY (2.31 USD at today's rate) before taxes.

Famichiki Buns with Fish Fry

Fortunately, we had another package of Famichiki Buns for our second choice, the Fish Fry. To be honest, we were inspired to try it when we realized that the Famichiki Buns contained some tartar sauce inside, which made us think of fish. Even though their Fish Fry also contains tartar sauce, we imagined it wouldn't be too much. Only one way to find out.

Here is our Fish Fry, peering out from the bag. As you can see below, there's only a small amount of tartar sauce spread on the buns:

Photo by grape Japan

The Fish Fry was the perfect size for the Famichiki Buns...

Photo by grape Japan

Once again, we added some shredded cabbage and finished making our fish burger. Time to dive in!

Photo by grape Japan

Although we enjoyed the Spicy Chicken (Habanero Hot) version, this was our favorite by far. Made with Alaskan pollock, the Fish Fry was flaky and delicious and the breading was thin and crispy. As we expected, the tartar sauce was a perfect match for the fish and it was just the right amount, making the burger moist and easy to eat.

All in all, it was a great combination. The mild sweetness of the buns, the flavorful fish, the tartar sauce and the cabbage all came together to make a surprisingly good fish burger considering how inexpensive it was.

Total cost: Famichiki Buns (82 JPY) + Fish Fry (204 JPY) + shredded cabbage (100 JPY) = 386 JPY (2.69 USD at today's rate) before taxes.

We had plenty of shredded cabbage left over, so we added some non-oil shiso dressing we had at home and made a side salad too.

If you enjoy fried chicken and other fried foods and want to make a meal out of it, and you're on a budget or want to save money, Famichiki Buns are a great solution. Why not give them a try the next time you stop by FamilyMart?

By - grape Japan editorial staff.