If you currently live in Japan or if you have lived in Japan you know that companies love to do limited-time seasonal things here. There are so many different kinds of sodas/chu-hi (boozey club soda, shochu, and, often, fruit flavored drinks)/dishes/knick-knacks for each season or holiday. For example, during sakura season (which is already in full swing here in Okinawa but starts towards the end of March/early April in the mainland) Starbucks Japan has all manner of sakura-themed mugs/tumblers and sakura-inspired drinks and you start to see sakura-printed goods everywhere, sakuranbo (a cherry flavor) flavored sodas and chui-hi, sakura mochi (a sort of flowery/cherry-flavored mochi, typically wrapped in a pickled sakura leaf), and even Baskin Robbins gets a sakura ice cream with a flowery (hard to describe but tastes like flowers smell haha) sour-sweet-salty cherry flavor. The McDonald’s here often get into the spirit as well with limited-time sandwiches for all kinds of seasonal fun (in Autumn during moon-viewing time, a.k.a. Tsukimi, McDonald’s has a tsukimi burger featuring a large round egg patty along with the other hamburger fixin’s; the egg is supposed to be reminiscent of the full moon…fun right???). They’re also known for having special kinds of burgers here that you just can’t get anywhere else and one of those, which is new to me but which Google tells me is a long-time favorite of the locals and expats who have lived here a long time, is the Chicken Tatsuta Burger. Apparently McDonald’s at one point had been bringing this burger out seasonally and it was well loved but they ended up replacing it with a more Americanized burger, the Chicken Fireo (Filet O’Chicken). Tatsuta fans were not pleased! Now it’s back and I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty well received.
So what is the Chicken Tatsuta Burger? Well, it’s new to me so I had to look into what it was like in the past and what it currently is like, per the McDonald’s webpage’s description. It seems that it starts with a fluffy handmade egg bun (an oft-complimented feature of the burger if you read people’s accounts of eating it in past years), a chicken patty cooked tatsuta style (which, as a little research uncovered, basically means it was deep fried with a coating of katakuriko – potato starch) and flavored with a soy sauce/ginger marinade, shredded cabbage, and a slightly spicy wasabi-mayo type of sauce (in the past I saw that it had ponzu, a citrusy sauce, in it…not sure if that will be the case this year but McDonald’s Japan does love to pair fried stuff with shredded cabbage and ponzu mayo I’ve learned over the years), and, if you order the “tartar” version, a tartar sauce that includes chopped up egg. I gotta say the tartar sauce one is calling my name and I WILL be trying it in a few days when it comes out! As for the bun, which followers of the Facebook page I admin keep asking about when they see the picture (“Wth is up with that bun?” “Is that a tumor?” etc.), I have no idea why it looks the way it does in the promotional pictures. I have a feeling it’s just the angle of the picture because a Youtube video I saw of someone trying the sandwich years ago showed the bun and it was simply folded in a criss-cross pattern (which may have made it look raised on one side in the pictures). That said, if I find out any significance to it I will definitely come back and edit this article with that information! I love some useless trivia. 😀
Who has enjoyed the Chicken Tatsuta Burger in years past? Who is going to have it this year (or who, for those who read this later, tried it)? What did you think?