Is this East-West combo as majestic as a bald eagle soaring past Mt. Fuji, or an abomination that should be buried at the bottom of the Pacific?

There’s no more quintessentially Japanese food than sushi, and no food more emblematic of the U.S.A. than hamburgers. We’ve got a love for both in our stomachs here at SoraNews24, and so it was only a matter of time until we held a pan-Pacific stomach summit of scrumptiousness where both edible icons are simultaneously represented.

However, while hamburgers are showing up with a full-sandwich delegation, sushi is sending just a single envoy, in the form of sushi vinegar, since the word “sushi” technically refers to vinegared rice.

▼ Sushi vinegar is similar to rice vinegar, but it’s enhanced with salt and sugar for a more complex and satisfying flavor.

For the hamburger side, we hit up our local McDonald’s for three different sandwiches: a cheeseburger, a teriyaki burger, and a Filet o’ Fish, each with a different rationale.

Our initial idea to pair hamburgers with sushi vinegar came about because pickles are a standard hamburger ingredient. Since a certain amount of sourness is already part of the traditional burger flavor, might enhancing it with the sourness from sushi vinegar make it even more delicious? So we wanted to start our test with a baseline burger.

▼ As for why we got a cheeseburger specifically, the answer to “Do you want cheese on that?” is always “Yes!” when your boss is paying.

As for the teriyaki burger and Fillet o’ Fish, they have strong sweet and sour flavors, respectively, from their teriyaki and tartar sauces, and we wanted to see what kind of flavor profile would come from mixing them with the sushi vinegar.

Taste-testing duties fell to our reporter P.K. Sanjun, and he started by adding a few drops of vinegar to the cheeseburger and taking a bite. Unfortunately, he couldn’t detect any change in flavor from a normal, non-vinegared cheeseburger, so he added a few more drops, but again to no avail.

Then he decided to go all-in on the concept and use the vinegar as a dip instead. Pouring some onto a plate, he dabbed the cheeseburger into the vinegar, almost like he was eating a French dip (Japanese dip?) sandwich, and then…

the magic happened! “Being totally honest here: They’re soooooo good together!” gushed P.K. as he unlocked the true potential of a sushi vinegar burger. “Like I expected, it really enhances the pickle flavor. It’s on a whole other level of deliciousness beyond a regular cheeseburger.”

Next up was the teriyaki burger, which presented a bit of a challenge. Since the teriyaki sauce itself has a strong flavor, neither adding drop of vinegar to the sandwich or dipping it was quite enough for the vinegar notes to break through. So finally P.K. just poured a bunch of sushi vinegar directly onto the sandwich, and that gave it a lovely tang.

Unfortunately, the Filet o’ Fish kept our idea from going three for three.

Mind you, adding sushi vinegar didn’t make the fish sandwich taste bad. But no matter what P.K. did, the extra ingredient just seemed to get absorbed and assimilated into the pre-existing tartar sauce taste, so really the sandwich would have tasted pretty much the same if we’d just eaten it as-is from McDonald’s.

Still, two out of three isn’t bad, and to double-check that it wasn’t just P.K.’s palate that could appreciate this, our boss Yoshio joined in (after seeing that his employee hadn’t died or vomited), and he concurred: sushi vinegar cheeseburger so good he wants another, sushi vinegar teriyaki burger also great, and sushi vinegar Filet o’ Fish pretty much indistinguishable from regular Filet o’ Fish.

So really, we learned two surprising things today. One, sushi vinegar and hamburgers are a viable combination, and two, it actually is possible for P.K. and Yoshio to work on a project together and not end up wearing underwear on their faces.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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