We try McDonald’s Japan’s new teriyaki burgers
Written by tokyoclub on May 27, 2021
A celebration of local flavours to mark half a century of the Golden Arches.
Just last week, McDonald’s announced they would be adding extra teriyaki items to their menus nationwide to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the chain’s arrival in Japan.
This was epic news for our burger-loving reporter Seiji Nakazawa, who hotfooted it down to his nearest McDonald’s as soon as the new items were released on 26 May. After happily handing his money over for all the teriyaki burgers on offer, he took them back home and laid them out on the table to admire them all.
They all looked scrumptious, but how would they taste? Seiji decided to start with the classic Teriyaki McBurger first, which has been on the menu as a local specialty since 1989. It was a harmonious combination of soft pork patty, lettuce, sweet and spicy teriyaki sauce, and mayonnaise.
▼ Delicious, as always, and the cheapest of the bunch, at 340 yen (US$3.12).
With his taste buds reacquainted with the classic teriyaki burger, it was time to move on to another regular item, the Teriyaki Chicken Filet-O (370 yen), which debuted in May 2018 before becoming a mainstay from October of that same year.
▼ This juicy morsel has the same ingredients as the Teriyaki McBurger, only with a big chunk of fried chicken inside, instead of a pork patty.
The Teriyaki Chicken Filet-O was fantastic, as always, but now it was time for Seiji to give his taste buds a blast from the past with the Oyako Teriyaki (390 yen), which previously appeared on menus in Japan for a limited time in 2019.
This one — which adds teriyaki sauce to chicken and egg, the two main ingredients in oyakodon (literally “parent-child bowl”) — was the biggest of the lot, with its thick fried egg poking out the side of it.
▼ Fantastic flavours, great textures, and highly recommended for those looking for a filling meal.
Now we come to two brand new, never-before-seen burgers, which Seiji was most excited to try. The Kurokosho Teriyaki (“Black Pepper Teriyaki”) is similar to the original Teriyaki McBurger, with the addition of smoky bacon, spicy black pepper and garlic-rich mayo sauce for even more of a flavour kick.
▼ The black pepper works really well in this burger, complementing both the mayo and the teriyaki sauce.
The other new burger in the lineup is the Akakara Teriyaki (“Red Spice Teriyaki”), which builds upon the original Teriyaki McBurger with a slice of spicy cheese, made with red chilli powder, and a spicy mayo sauce made with dashi fish stock and shichimi togarashi (seven-flavour chilli pepper).
▼ Seiji was expecting this to be mildly hot to appeal to the masses, but he was thrilled to find it was actually spicy!
This was hotter than any other McDonald’s burger he’d tasted, and the heat seemed to be coming mostly from the mayo sauce. It was definitely the highlight of Seiji’s Teriyaki McTaste Test.
Strangely, after trying all the new burgers, Seiji found he had a greater appreciation for the humble Teriyaki McBurger. Other fancy teriyaki versions may come and go, but only the best combination, often with the simplest of ingredients, is able to last the test of time.
Was McDonald’s Japan’s celebration of teriyaki too much of a good thing? Well, in a word — no. Seiji loves teriyaki and he loves burgers, so he has room in his heart — and his belly — for each one of these limited-edition offerings. He might even pay them a return visit for another round, and next time he’ll be grabbing the Teriyaki-flavoured fries and the morning-limited Teriyaki Muffin too.