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Home Grown Idaho Burger

Let's make a few things clear about my qualifications as an American.  I prefer hockey to football.  I don't own a gun.  And I hate McDonalds.  I expect immigration to be at my door any day now.  But thanks to reports from overseas, I have learned that the menu at many American restaurant staples do not hold true in Asia.  To that end, Japan has been introduced to The Idaho Burger, a sad mix of processed food and stereotypes.  It's only available for a limited time, so given that my plans to visit Japan require both winning the lottery and developing the ability to download a language directly into my head, I'm not going to get to sample this one any time...at all.

But America is also know for its ingenuity, so to that end I took it upon myself to recreate this treat with home grown ingredients.  Using the review from my friends at SuperHappyAwesome as a go by, I first broke down the Idaho Burger:

Starting at the bottom, we have:

  • Bun
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Cheese
  • Burger
  • POOOOOOTAAAAAAATOOOOOO (in the form of a hashbrown)
  • Bacon
  • Onions
  • Honey Mustard Sauce
  • Bun

Elements, all of which can be acquired for the low low price of about $15, and my dignity when ordering all this stuff at once.  The American breakdown is below:

You may have already noted some weaknesses in my plan.  The bun appears to be a unique, sesame seedless bun, which ain't going to happen in the US.  Also, with no real way to sample the sauces, I had to go with McDs nugget sauces.  I will tell you right off the bat that putting this stuff on a burger is a mistake you will regret for years to come.

Since the components of an Idaho Burger are hidden within these packages, we need to breakdown the burgers.

I would like to note the good ol' American attention to detail, in that they squished the side of the Quarter Pounder with the box.

For those of you who eat at McDonalds, you have perhaps never seen a McD's burger in the buff.  I apologise for the following graphic images.


I have more than I need here, so some dissecting is required. First, the Angus Bacon and Cheese, which is used primarily for the bacon.

And that is some sad, sad bacon.  Not even full strips!  But I have acquired a bun and "bacon", so moving on.

Now, we could debate which burger to use, as the angus is actually a bit different from the quarter pounder, in texture at least.  I am assuming a real beef, All American burger would overwhelm the Japanese sensitivity, so I went for the normal fry disk that masquerades as meat in a McD's burger.

The biggest pain here is that the onions, like everything else, are drenched in ketchup.  There are no reports of ketchup on a true Idaho Burger, so I actually had to clean the onions.  Not peasant.

Much like a Voltron of sadness, the elements start to come together.




AND I'LL FORM the gastro-intestinal monstrosity that should not be unleashed on this Earth.  Dear God what have I done?

Here's the scary part - they don't look all that much different.  One of the features of a true Idaho Burger is that the meat hangs over the bun, cause everything is BIG in America!  Except it's not, so I don't get that effect.  The hash brown also doesn't look designed to fit in the burger, so in addition to the bun being different, the hash brown is more prominent in the faux version.

And the taste?  Oh the taste...

This is as far as I got.  To be fair, it's just a McDonalds hamburger with a hash brown on it, but as I predicted, nugget dipping sauce on a burger is a crime of biblical proportions.  That's where plan B is formed.

I want you, my Japan residing readers, to get me some details.  What do these sauces remind you of?  What's the feel and taste of the bun?  Let me know the details, and next time we will try to recreate this monolith with actual ingredients.  Allez cuisine!

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Reader Comments (6)

Good write-up son, good write up.

February 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthe soul of Japan

Regretfully, I think the Idaho Burger's era has passed and it is now Miami Burger's time to shine. I could be wrong, though.

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