Tsukimi season continues to get tastier and tastier with two new sandwiches from First Kitchen.

As we turn the calendar to September, so too are Japanese fast food chains rolling out their autumn menus. For the nation’s burger joints, that means the return of tsukimi, or “moon-viewing,” burgers. So named for the way their egg toppings resemble a full moon, tsukimi burgers were once a small niche meant to play off of Japan’s tradition of fall moon-viewing parties, but are now something that just about every popular fast food chain rolls out with great fanfare, and with great joy for our stomachs.

With so many edible symbolic moons now filling the figurative fast food sky, burger chain First Kitchen has decided to do something to help them stand out by releasing not just moon-viewing burgers, but mochi moon-viewing burgers, and with extra-Japanese seasonings.

The top layer of First Kitchen’s tsukimi mochi burger is, as required for tsukimi burger qualification, egg with a creamy, melty center. And at the bottom you’ve got the patty. But right in the center is fried mochi, Japan’s version of a sticky rice cake. This mochi is simmered in a soup stock of katsuo and kombu (bonito and kelp) and slathered with a sweet sauce, and even the burger’s buns are treated with soy sauce for an enticing mix of old school Japanese flavors applied to a hamburger.

Joining the menu at the same time as the Tsukimi Mocchi Burger (yes, First Kitchen calls it “Mocchi,” for a dash of exuberant emphasis) is the Tsukimi Mocchi Chicken Tatsuta Burger.

The Tsukimi Mocchi Chicken Tatsuta has the same mochi, egg, and associated seasonings, but swaps out the patty for a chicken tatsuta, or fried chicken, fillet.

Now, if you’ve been learning Japanese vocabulary in the proper order, one of the first things you should have learned is that “karaage” is the most common Japanese word for fried chicken, so you might be wondering what this “chicken tatsuta” business is. Technically, both karaage and chicken tatsuta can be used to refer to fried chicken. In practical usage, though, restaurants that call theirs chicken tatsuta often use potato starch in the breading, while those calling theirs karaage don’t. Tatsuta is also a little more common when talking about a fried chicken fillet, whereas karaage is more likely to be used when talking about bite-sized morsels.

The Tsukimi Mocchi Burger is priced at 870 yen (US$5.95) and the Tsukimi Mocchi Chicken Tatsuta Burger at 740. Oh, and if you’re in the mood for a mochi burger, but not necessarily a tsukimi mochi burger (whether because you’re watching your cholesterol or a sun worshiper whose loyalty extends to your burger choices), you can also got an eggless Mocchi Burger or Mocchi Chicken Tatsuta Burger, each of which is 100 yen less than its tsukimi counterpart.

The whole lineup goes on sale September 7 at First Kitchen branches across Japan (with the odd exception of the chain’s restaurants that happen to be inside horse racing tracks), just in time to tempt us to eat nothing but tsukimi burgers every day to compare them to the ones from McDonald’s and KFC.

Source, images: PR Times
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