Investigating The Mystery of Mushroom Rice

Why is it a Hong Kong fast food item and where is it from??

Shirley Lee
6 min readMar 25, 2018


This post does not seek to provide answers. It only serves to present a mystery.

The mystery of Mushroom Rice.

The Beginning

It began when I visited Jollibee in Tsuen Wan for the first time. My friend Angel Tin, a proudly self-proclaimed Jollibee KOL (Key Opinion Leader) confidently brought me into the Filipino fast food chain and introduced me to the Sweet Jolly Spaghetti, and actual smoking-hot fried chicken from a fast food chain.

That’s when I noticed the mushroom rice on its menu.

It’s called Burger Steak with rice, but you can see the mushrooms clearly

“Is this on the Philippines menu?” I said, pointing at the mushroom rice.

“Ya, but I never bothered to try it,” said Angel. “You can only have Jolly Spaghetti in Jollibee, but you can always have mushroom rice in KFC.”

KFC Hong Kong and Mushroom Rice

No one in Hong Kong likes the cold and bland “fried” chicken from KFC. If you ask Hong Kong people to rank the food items in KFC, the Original Recipe Chicken would always be ranked the last.

The top two should be Portuguese egg tarts and mushroom rice.

Everyone knows that the egg tart is the result of glocalization and is probably from Macau. But no one questions the origin of mushroom rice. No one questions why KFC started selling it.

Mushroom rice has been on KFC Hong Kong’s menu since there are KFCs in Hong Kong. We thought it was on the original US menu. We all know the taste: gravy with black pepper, coupled with sliced mushroom, on top of rice. The rice is sometimes mushed together, but the savoury sauce makes up for anything.

Screen grab from KFC Hong Kong

Even the Hong Kong KFC website said it’s a signature product of KFC. But no, it isn’t a signature product. Not in anywhere else other than Hong Kong anyways.

Gravy, Mushroom and Rice