8 Weird New Developments in Japanese Fast Food

Lately there have been huge fast food shake-ups here in the United States: Wendy's rolled out the pretzel burger, McDonald's now offers — GASP — vegetables, and Burger King unleashed Satisfries while trying to convince everyone on Twitter that their new name is "Fries King" (it's not). Still, when it comes to innovations in chain dining, it’s almost impossible to top Japan. Earlier this month, the Japanese chain Lotteria unveiled a new "everything" burger with a pretty extensive ingredients list. Check it out.

1. Cheeseburger patty

2. Rib patty

3. Fried shrimp patty

4. Beef patty

5. Egg

6. Cheese

7. Pickles

8. Teriyaki sauce

9. Lettuce

10. Ketchup

11. Mayonaise

That's eleven layers of sandwich, not including bread or additional condiments. That's like a sandwich-within-a-sandwich, Inception-style creation. How are American brands ever supposed to match up? Lotteria has also made headlines for their Spaghetti Panda Burger, Five-Patty Burger, and ramen burgers (try it with 10 extra servings of ramen).

Here are 8 recent ways American chains are trying to compete within the wonderfully bizarre Japanese fast food scene. Hint: past efforts include the McDonald's Bacon Potato Pie, Burger King Meat Monster, the Pizza Hut Double Roll (only 646 calories per serving).

Image: Wendy's via Facebook

by Kara Freewind

Deep Fried Soup

Corn potage soup has been insanely popular in Japan this year, so KFC decided to take the next logical step and deep fry it.

Image: KFC Japan via Facebook

Azuki Bean Ice Bars

This matcha green tea ice cream bar, a part of 7-Eleven’s “premium” snack collection, is filled with sweet azuki beans.

Image: 7-Eleven Japan

Barbecue Hotdog Subs

To celebrate grilling season, Subway concocted these hot-dog-barbecue-sandwich fusions. Sadly (thankfully?) they were only available during the month of August.

Image: Subway Japan via Facebook

Booze at Burger King

In order to boost sales in select Tokyo locations, BK introduced three affordable cocktails (mojitos, Cuba Libres, and — wooooo! — Long Island Iced Teas). The catch? Locations only offer 30 of each per day...between 6pm and 11pm...with a mandatory rib specialty dinner. Bummer.

Image: Burger King Japan

Potato Parties

This week rabble rousers in Korea were kicked out of a McDonald’s for having a “Potato Party”, which includes ordering ginormous heaps of fries and not leaving until every single one is eaten, or your friend barfs all over the table. The trend originated in Japan this year when McDonald’s launched the limited edition Mega Potato, a single $5 order of frites equivalent to two larges.

Image: ncwellsnw via Instagram

French Fry Delivery

You know that feeling when you finally get your hot, greasy food and trek all the way home and you’re so pumped to start chowing and then you open the bag and search and search and you’re like “they’ve gotta be in here somewhere” and then finally you realize there are NO FRIES??

In Japan, McDonald’s will now deliver lost/missing items, no questions asked.

Image: photoscenical via Instagram

$10 VIP Burgers

FINALLY, a McDonald’s burger for the elite. The new Quarter Pounder Jewelry collection includes three $10 options: Gold Ring, Black Diamond, and Ruby Spark. The best part? They all come in a gift box and grant access to VIP sections in some locations. Make it rain!

Image: McDonald's Japan

Ninja Burger

For Burger King's Ninja Burger, a black bamboo charcoal bun sandwiches a Whopper patty, hash browns, a tongue-like slab of bacon and squid-ink ketchup. Because who doesn't love black food?

Free Random Gifts

For peons who can't afford the Jewelry collection: if you order a "Value Set" on a Monday morning between October 7th and November 18th, you'll receive freebies like surgical masks, chewing gum, orange juice, glue, and bandaids. Because everyone wants to find a bandaid in their Happy Meal.

Image: McDonald's Japan