Sports are undoubtedly central to the culture of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, and students and fans alike trek to the Big House and Crisler Center in their maize and blue to watch the Wolverines dominate. But we truly wouldn't be the leaders and best without top notch stadium grub. Fuku, a fried chicken concept from Momofuku, has recently set up shop in our stadiums and is on a mission to change the way people think about fast food. I was able to get the real scoop from Fuku's Senior Marketing Manager and Marketing Coordinator on what Fuku is all about. 

What is Fuku?

What started as a fried chicken bun served at Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York's East village has grown into the fried chicken spot that is popping up at various stadiums across the country. Fuku serves up a variety of fried chicken dishes that embody elements of both the large, pounded down fried chicken found in the streets of China and classic Southern fried chicken sandwiches. The main mission? To serve up simple, delicious, and thoughtful food that draws on cultures from around the world. 

What is Momofuku?

Chef and founder David Chang established Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2004, and it has come to include restaurants in New York City, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and even Sydney. Momofuku also has a bakery created by award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi. All of their world-renowned restaurants have gained recognition for their innovative takes on cuisine and support of local and sustainable farmers and food purveyors. 

What kinds of foods is Fuku serving up?

Fuku is known for their Spicy Fried Chicken sandwiches, but is also serving up delicious chicken fingers and fries. The sandwich uses thighs that provide dark meat, since it holds its own and maintains the heat of the spicy habanero. It wouldn't be complete without pickles and Fuku butter, which offer a cool and tangy addition to the chicken. The chicken fingers are made of chicken breast strips brined and marinated before being coated in buttermilk. Then they're dredged in Fuku's blend of spices and fried until crispy. Additionally, their fries are the perfect accompaniment to both dishes. Dipping sauces like ranch and honey mustard are made in house, and you can taste the difference. 

Why stadiums?

In stadiums and arenas, people want accessible and craveable grab-and-go food, so Fuku felt like a natural but elevated concessions option. It's currently operating in seven stadiums and hopes to expand more into next year. Jenny Keane, the Unit Marketing Coordinator for Sodexo at U of M, says that they're always looking for ways to enhance the Michigan fan experience. They knew that Chef David Chang's culinary innovation would fit perfectly in Ann Arbor and would offer up food that fans can't get anywhere else in the Midwest. Michigan students and fans are very in tune with the global aspect of food, and Fuku surely represents that.

If you missed Fuku this past football season at the Big House right near section 11, have no fear. Their chicken sandwich is available at sections 104 and 120 at Crisler Center for basketball games. The next time you're craving a mid-game snack, try elevating your game with these fresh and unique dishes.