We compare rice burgers from three of the top fast food chains in Japan!

Back in 1987, Japanese fast food chain Mos Burger released its very first rice burger, and for a long time it was one of the company’s signature products, standing proud against the competition as a testament to the chain’s desire to cater to local tastes.

Recently, however, Mos Burger’s competitors have been weighing in on the action, with McDonald’s releasing its own lineup of rice burgers, packed with familiar fillings like teriyaki and cheese.

The first McDonald’s rice burgers made their debut in January last year.

Back when McDonald’s released their rice burgers, our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun was there to taste them, and his finely tuned palate deemed them to be second-rate compared to the originals from Mos Burger.

▼ Mos Burger’s rice burgers remain the best on the market, in P.K.’s eyes.

However, there’s now a new contender on the scene, as burger chain Lotteria is releasing their first-ever range of rice burgers this October, and you can bet P.K. was there to try them. In fact, he decided to buy as many rice burgers as he could from Mos Burger, McDonald’s, and Lotteria, rating all seven against each other to find the best ones of the lot.

So, without any further ado, let’s introduce the participating players:

▼ Lotteria’s Shrimp Rice Burger (510 yen)

Lotteria’s Superb Cheese Rice Burger (510 yen)

Mos Burger’s Yakiniku Rice Burger (420 yen)

Mos Burger’s Seafood Kakiage Rice Burger (370 yen)

McDonald’s Garlic and Black Pepper Chicken Rice Burger (410 yen)

McDonald’s Spicy and Delicious Spicy Shrimp Rice Burger (440 yen)

McDonald’s Teriyaki Rice Burger (390 yen)

McDonald’s currently has three rice burgers on the menu, while Lotteria and Mos Burger each have two. Out of all of them, however, the ones from Lotteria stand out immediately as being different — in both looks and ingredients — to the other chains, and that’s because they have seaweed in them.

▼ Or around them, in the case of the Superb Cheese

Having never tried the Lotteria rice burgers before, P.K. started with these, and he immediately felt they had a lot to offer, although they reminded him of onigiri rice balls rather than rice burgers.

The Superb Cheese was really impressive, displaying a perfectly harmonious balance between rice, beef patty, and cheese, and it turned out to be the juiciest out of all seven rice burgers.

The Prawn Burger wasn’t bad either, with the prawn and tartare sauce being a tasty combination, but P.K. couldn’t help but feel they both missed an opportunity to really use the seaweed to their advantage. Instead of highlighting the very Japanese ingredient, which made these two unique from the others, the flavour of the seaweed became lost in amongst the sauce and other ingredients.

▼ They were undoubtedly good, and very tasty, but it’s just that they didn’t live up to P.K.’s high expectations.

Next up to the plate were the rice burgers from McDonald’s, and they too, had a distinct look that set them apart from the others.

▼ These sinful creations had ingredients spilling out from inside them.

P.K. likened their showy appearance to illegal construction work, saying they displayed no regard for the sanctity of the rice burger, which he believes is best enjoyed with more even portions of rice and filling.

▼ And that’s why, at the end of the day, Mos Burger’s rice burgers once again come out triumphant.

For P.K., Mos Burger’s rice burgers do a terrific job of showcasing the rice, unlike the ones from the other two chains, which attempt to drown the grains in sauce or overwhelm them with other ingredients. Rice is treated like a side dish in those burgers, whereas the Mos Burger ones strike the perfect balance between sauce, rice and fillings.

Despite the competition muscling in on Mos Burger’s rice game, P.K. is convinced that they just can’t beat the original creators of the rice burger. They play a good game, and sure, they’re all tasty, but if P.K. had to choose between all of them, he’d choose Mos Burger time and time again.

Now we just have to wait and see if KFC and Dom Dom will take up the challenge to add rice “buns” to their burgers in future. After all, KFC have already tested the waters with fried chicken bento boxes and Dom Dom loves to create weird offerings, so it’s definitely possible!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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