McDonald's Japan offering fish rice-burgers

Published on
March 23, 2021

Tokyo-based McDonald's Japan Co. has brought back its Rice Teriyaki and Rice Bacon Lettuce rice-burgers, and has added a new item to the series: Rice Fish Japanese-Style Black Pepper. McDonald's stores nationwide will offer the three items from 10 March until early April, but only after 5 p.m.

The initial two items first appeared in February 2020 for a limited time, and were well-received by customers, prompting a return and an extension of the line. The new fish burger – with grilled rice from Fukushima Prefecture replacing the bun – has the same patty and cheese as a Filet O' Fish, but the seasonings have been changed so that the tartar sauce includes soy sauce, coarse ground black pepper, and roasted garlic powder. The cost is JPY 390 (USD 3.58, EUR 3.01), or JPY 690 (USD 6.34, EUR 5.32) for a “value meal” set.

McDonald’s in Japan uses Marine Stewardship Council-certified Alaska pollock caught in the Bering Sea for its fish patties. The fish supplier is Tokyo-based Delmar, which in 2010 became a subsidiary of Nissui, also based in Tokyo. The pollock was previously shipped to Thailand for processing, which involved thawing, deboning, forming, and refreezing. However, since 2019, they have been processed in Alaska and are single frozen.

The first use of rice as a substitute for hamburger buns was by Japanese burger chain MOS Burger, in 1987. The idea then spread across East Asia. The success led to rapid overseas expansion in China for the MOS Burger. Other chains in Japan, including McDonald’s, eventually came out with their own rice burger offerings.

McDonald’s is doing well in Japan, despite the pandemic. Even though dining in the restaurant after 8 p.m. was banned in areas of Japan that were under a COVID-19 state of emergency, all-store sales increased by 1.7 percent and same-store sales in February increased by 1 percent compared to the same month of the previous year.  

Photo by Chris Loew/SeafoodSource

Contributing Editor reporting from Osaka, Japan

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