When Burger King first rolled out its black hamburgers in Japan in 2012, we thought the company had gone insane. It turns out Burger King really is crazy…crazy like a fox. And not just any fox, but some sort of super-intelligent fox with an advanced degree in marketing, since the black burgers caught the attention of media outlets around the world and were such a hit that they’ve been brought back in multiple updated forms.
The black burgers will once again be returning to Japanese Burger King locations in 2015, but before they do, this summer the chain is debuting a line of bright red burgers with crimson cheese and something called “Angry Sauce.”
July 3rd may be one day before the American independence day, but it’ll also be the day Burger King starts serving two sandwiches with very Japanese names and ingredients. First up is the 690-yen (US$5.50) Aka Samurai Beef.
That’s Aka as in aka, the Japanese word for “red,” and not “also known as.” Those bold vermillion buns are the result of using flour mixed with tomato powder. That same special ingredient is what gives the cheese (seen directly on top of the patty) the bright red hue of ketchup, but that’s not the popular tomato-based burger condiment dripping down from the thick-sliced onion.
Instead of ketchup, the Aka Samurai Beef is dressed with Burger King’s original Angry Sauce, a spicy miso-based concoction with tobanjan chili sauce and togarashi pepper.
The 540-yen Aka Samurai Chicken keeps the same buns, cheese, and Angry Sauce, but swaps a chicken patty for a beef one and replaces the Aka Samurai Beef’s onion with lettuce and tomato (just in case it wasn’t red enough).
Both Aka sandwiches will be around until mid-August, but soon after they’re gone the Kuro (Japanese for “black”) burgers will be taking their spots on the menu starting August 21.
The 690-yen Kuro Shogun has Burger King’s now traditional bamboo charcoal-infused buns and cheese. It also has what Burger King is calling Black Hashed Sauce, a mixture of red wine, squid ink, onions, tomato, and crushed garlic. Adding even more gourmet appeal are slices of grilled eggplant.
Rounding off the eye-catching quartet is the 590-yen beef patty Kuro Taisho (Black General). Filling the vegetable roll this time is a wedge of hash browns, and it says something about how quickly we’ve gotten used to Burger King’s outside-the-box sandwich design that hash browns are suddenly standing out more than the unorthodox bun colors.
The Kuro Shogun and Kuro Taisho will be occupying Burger King until early October, and odds are the start of their run won’t overlap with the end of the Aka Samurai Beef and Chicken. If you really want to mix the two colors, though, there’s an option to do so on the dessert menu.
From July 3 to early October, customers can order the Twin Pie pack. Apparently they’re fraternal twins, as one has a bamboo charcoal crust with a salted caramel and pear filling, while the other shows far less guile with a cherry powder flour crust and cherry filling.
Just 150 yen gets you both pies in a combo pack. It’s an extremely attractive price, and should leave you with plenty of yen left over to order one of the whiskey cocktails Japanese Burger Kings will mix for you.