In Japan’s largest prefecture, we found what just might be it’s largest hamburger steak.
Among the classifications of food in Japan is one called yoshoku. Literally meaning “Western food,” yoshoku could more accurately be described as Japanese-oriented reworkings of commonly used Western ingredients and/or cooking styles, which results in things such as omurice rice omelettes.
One of the most popular types of yoshoku is simply called hamburg, a patty of ground meat that’s flat-grilled and eaten like a steak. The typical hamburg is about as big as the patty you’ll find in a hamburger, but at one restaurant in the city of Sapporo, they do things a little bit differently.
Called Hokkaido Spanish Spoon, the restaurant, located in the Susukino entertainment district, doesn’t limit itself to Spanish cuisine. Instead, it offers a variety of fusion cuisine, but its most attention-grabbing menu items are the Beer Can Chicken and Beer Can Hamburg.
▼ Beer Can Chicken
Both get their names from placing the meat around a can of beer when cooking, which allows the malty beverage to steam its way into the meat, making it moist and flavorful. After placing our order, we had to wait 30 minutes for our Beer Can Chicken, but our patience was rewarded with a full bird’s worth of juicy, succulent meat.
On the other hand, the Beer Can Hamburg doesn’t use an entire cow. Still, it’s a shockingly large portion, with more visual impact than even the Beer Can Chicken.
This massive mound of Hokkaido-raised meat is the largest hamburg we can recall seeing. Weighing in at roughly one kilogram (35.3 ounces), it’s definitely meant to be shared, so we grabbed a knife and began divvying it up amongst our dining party members.
▼ Sliced in half, we could see the indention left over from the beer can.
Like its chicken counterpart, the Beer Can Hamburg is moist and tasty all by itself. Hamburg is customarily eaten with sauce, though, so we slathered some on and settled in for a meal that got full marks for both quantity and quality.
Due to the gargantuan size of these items, Hokkaido Spanish Spoon is only able to serve three Beer Can Chickens a day. Conversely, if it’s the Beer Can Hamburg that’s got your stomach growling, you’ll have to make a reservation and request it two days in advance. On the bright side, for such large portions they’re very reasonably priced at just 1,780 yen (US$16) each, meaning that as long as you’re willing to arrive early or plan ahead, you can your friends can have a meal that’s both affordable and unforgettable.
Hokkaido Spanish Spoon / 北海道スパニッシュ スプーン
Address: Hokkaido, Sapporo-shi, Chuo-ku Minami Sanjo Nishi Nichome 7-1, basement
北海道 札幌市 中央区南3条西2丁目7-1
Open 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
[ Read in Japanese ]