Is there any food that can’t be improved by turning it into a waffle?

We at SoraNews24 love our food, but if there’s one thing we love more than food it’s finding unconventional ways to eat it. While our most recent escapade involved a sushi bazooka, we’re talented hands at using regular foodstuffs in regular kitchen equipment to make culinary experiments as well — and few of our gastronomic creations were as successful as the Maffle, which is our boss’ fancy name for the McDonalds hamburger he toasted in a waffle iron.

The Maffle was such a smash hit that it actually inspired more of our staff to rush out and purchase a waffle iron, and by “more of our staff” we specifically mean food enthusiast Masanuki Sunakoma.

But Masanuki didn’t just want to recreate the Maffle. Oh, no.

He wanted to topple it from its throne.

▼ Masanuki is a formidable force once he sets his mind on something.

It was for this reason that he purchased a variety of foodstuffs from his local 7-Eleven convenience store. To find the newest king of waffle-fried fast food, he would have to obey the same parameters for cooking a Maffle: heat the product in the iron from both sides, medium heat, for a minute. He also gave himself one more bonus rule: he couldn’t add anything to the products in question, aside from a gentle coating of butter before they went into the iron.

Challenger 1: Lunch Pack’s Deep-Roasted Peanut Butter Sandwich (138 yen, US$ 1.28)

With its plump, bouncy bread already forming a perfect seal around its luxurious peanut filling, Masanuki was most confident that this would make a match for the Maffle. Truly, it looked sumptuous on the way into the iron…

And once it emerged it produced a fluffy, toasty treat with a rich sweet aroma.

Masanuki christened his new creation the Lunch Puffle and deemed it a rousing success. The crispy, crunchy exterior paired beautifully with the creamy peanut filling… A decadent experience, and a great source of protein to boot!

Challenger 2: Imagawayaki (278 yen)

Imagawayaki is a common sight at festival food stalls: a thick, round cake stuffed with sweet red bean paste. Delicious when eaten as-is or toasted gently in the microwave, Masanuki chose to toast his gently in a waffle iron instead.

The Imagawaffle looked and tasted wonderful on completion, but unfortunately couldn’t stack up to the might of the Maffle or Lunch Paffle.

▼ Masanuki prefers his Imagayaki soft and fluffy on the outside.

Challenger 3: Curry Bread (120 yen)

This was Masanuki’s top pick for a winning contender, but unfortunately, it tasted a little too much like he imagined it would when he took a bite. That’s not to say that toasted curry bread is bad — it’s delicious, of course. But it didn’t have the verve, the je ne sais quoi, to go head-to-head with the Maffle. A shame.

Challenger 4: Fried Rice Ball (125 yen)

See above. Masanuki was starting to get depressed. Listen, of course fried rice tastes good squished into a waffle shape and toasted, but he wanted something more. Was that too much to ask for?

Challenger 5: Chestnut Dorayaki (138 yen)

Dorayaki, whatever the flavor, is a beloved snack across all of Japan — Doraemon loves them enough that his name starts with the same first two syllables. But here…they were just “fine”. In fact, Masanuki wondered if they might taste better without the waffle maker. All he’d succeeded in doing was taking a chestnut dorayaki and making it warm and kind of square-shaped. Pitiful.

Challenger 5: Steamed Cheese Cake (88 yen)

Masanuki hadn’t put much faith in this convenience store standard. Steamed cakes are good, but they’re not really exciting, you know? However, his tune changed completely when he saw it emerge from the iron, utterly transformed.

▼ You can practically hear this picture.

Upon lifting the lid he was greeted with a disc of waffle, shaded with a perfect blush of caramelized brown pockets.

Its visual change was stunning, but the taste…? It was like night and day, or no…it was more as though the childish steamed cheesecake had matured into a fully-realized version of itself. One bite allowed the rich, concentrated flavor to spread across his tongue. It easily ranked alongside the Lunch Packs and McDonalds Hamburger versions.

▼ Chef’s kiss!

Challenger 6: Gomoku Inari Sushi (125 yen)

“Gomoku” means “five different things”, and “inari sushi” is sushi rice cooked in a pouch of deep-fried tofu. Since he regretted not cooking the fried rice for longer, Masanuki made sure to toast this sushi a while longer — breaking the rules, but so what? It was a success, and that’s what really counts.

The crispy, chewy outer layers provided a great texture here. When Masanuki bit into it his mouth was flooded with the flavors of vinegar rice and dashi steeped in deep-fried tofu…a success all around. Bravo.

So… Who’s the real winner here? In Masanuki’s opinion, it’s anyone who owns a waffle maker. Pressing your food flat and toasting it up will let you experience it in a completely different way, reveal facets you’d never thought possible… And hey, if you don’t have a waffle maker, a hot sandwich maker will do just fine!

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