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With a choice of meat or soy patty fillings, vegetarians and meat lovers alike will fall in love this healthy fast food option.

Japanese fast food restaurant chain MOS Burger, whose acronym stands for “Mountain, Ocean, Sun”, has been known to live up to its nature-themed moniker with a number of healthy menu options that do away with the wheat patties, replacing them with grilled rice or even two halves of a giant tomato. Now, the fast food chain is re-releasing their Natsumi series, which sees the company’s delicious burger fillings sandwiched between two mounds of crispy green lettuce.

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We stopped by to try the burger range for ourselves, starting off with a couple of meat options: the Teriyaki Chicken Burger and the beef patty-filled MOS Yasai Burger.

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The regular Yasai Burger, or “Vegetable Burger”, comes with a thick-sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, onions, a beef patty and a generous serving of tangy Thousand Island-style sauce, all sandwiched between two hamburger buns. The Natsumi version, however, does away with the buns and the shredded lettuce, and ups the vegetable quota by placing two hefty mounds of lettuce on either side of the burger filling, which really adds to the healthy feel of the meal.

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Burger aficionados may balk at the idea of substituting lettuce for wheat buns, but biting into this burger is truly heavenly. The lettuce provides a wonderful crunch, while the patty and toppings are soft and moist, providing a mouthful of lightly grilled meat flavour which ends with a tangy, fresh finish.

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Despite the prominent flavour of lettuce, this still tastes remarkably like a burger, not a salad, due to the meat element and MOS Burger’s special Aurora Sauce. While the regular version weighs in at 342 kilocalories, the Natsumi serving contains only 207 kilocalories, however, making this a healthy choice that retains all the decadent flavours of the original.

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The Natsumi Teriyaki Chicken Burger is a much simpler option, with a handful of sliced onions, some mayonnaise, and a single piece of grilled chicken buried inside, smothered in a sweet and salty teriyaki sauce.

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On the surface, there’s not much to it, but this is a great example of how fresh, well-prepared ingredients can be the star of a meal. The lettuce is so delicious and crunchy it’s as if it were plucked from the earth this morning, while the chicken is soft, moist and flavourful.

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The sweet soy marinade imparts its flavour into each mouthful, lightly moistening the other ingredients with every bite. The balance here is fantastic, with just a hint of onion and a small amount of mayonnaise accompanying the bolder taste of teriyaki chicken.

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Surprisingly, we don’t miss the buns at all. The simple combination of grilled meat, sauce and salad vegetables provides just the right amount of flavour and texture to keep us satisfied throughout the whole meal.

All that glossy sauce and fresh ingredients amount to 188 kilocalories, which is 112 kilocalories less than its bun-boasting counterpart.

Now that MOS Burger has soy patties on the menu, vegetarians can enjoy the Natsumi range too.

Using the same ingredients as the Yasai Burger, the vegetarian version replaces the beef component with a patty made from soy beans. Lightly grilled, the patty is moist, nutty and absolutely delicious.

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While delightfully soft, the thick, rounded serving of soybeans retains its texture instead of crumbling in the mouth, providing bags of creamy flavour, which blends well with the fresh ingredients.

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Not only is it delicious, it’s also the healthiest option in the range, at 155 kilocalories, which is almost half of the 290 kilocalories contained in the original Soy Yasai Burger.

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Priced at 360 yen (US$3.30), the core burgers above form part of a seven-piece collection that includes fried pork cutlet, fish, prawn cutlet and plain chicken varieties which range in price from 320 to 390 yen. On sale until mid-September this year, be sure to enjoy the healthy burgers while you can!

Photos © RocketNews24

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