8 Asians

McYummy or McYucky?

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japan33_mcdonalds4.jpgGrowing up in America with immigrant parents meant we ate food that my Mom knew how to make. In my lucky case, this meant Chinese/Taiwanese foods. (No matter what, the yummiest food anywhere is food made with love by Mom!) I can honestly say that until I was 18, I had McDonald’s less than a dozen times in my life.

It’s been 10 years since I’ve been back to Taiwan and one of my favorite parts of going back is the cheap and yummy food you eat off of carts. It was always trippy to go into Taipei and people would want to take me to McDonald’s or Pizza Hut or Sizzler because people thought I preferred “American foods.” I would oblige to be polite, but aside from not liking any of these places too much in first place, the “American foods” served there tasted weird. I did not enjoy the cut corn pieces on my Taiwanese Pizza Hut pizza. And the cheese on my Taiwanese McDonald’s cheeseburger always tasted too sweet. But hey, I know they’re catering to “local tastes,” so whatever. The point is, eating at a McDonald’s while travelling didn’t seem too appealing.

Fast forward 10 years and the knowledge from Will Work For Food’s post about special McDonald’s foods from around the world. Here’s a sampling:

HONG KONG
* McDonald’s sells chicken and pork burgers, fried chicken wings and nuggets. In some restaurants, a separate counter sells ice cream and desserts to pedestrians. Some restaurants have a section for the McCafé. Apart from the general menu, it also promotes some other foods seasonally or longer, like spicy french fries, the Shogun Burger (a pork bun served with Japanese Teriyaki sauce and cabbage), Grilled Chicken Burger, twisted macaroni breakfasts, salads, soups, pineapple or red bean sundae, pineapple pies, taco flatbreads with pork, beef or chicken, rice fan-tastic (a burger-like entree with rice patties in place of buns) and many others.

INDIA
* Beef and pork products are not served to cater to Indian religious sensitivities. Chicken (that too, only non-Halal) along with fish are the only meat products used.
* The Big Mac is replaced by the Maharaja Mac, which was originally a mutton burger, but is now a chicken burger.
* In India, vegetarian and meat dishes are prepared in separate areas of the restaurant in respect for vegetarians, and cooks preparing vegetarian dishes wear distinctive green aprons.

JAPAN
* Teriyaki McBurger: Ground pork sandwich with mayonnaise, lettuce, and teriyaki sauce.
* Ebi-Chiki Set: 2 shrimp nuggets and 3 chicken nuggets.
* Ebi Filet-O: Shrimp burger similar to a Filet-O-Fish.
* French Fries can be purchased in barbecue, seaweed, and Italian basil flavors.
* Ume Nuggets: Chicken McNuggets with sour ume sauce for dipping.
* Chicken Katsu Burger: Breaded chicken sandwich flavored with soy sauce and ginger.
* Salsa Burger: Breaded chicken sandwich with salsa,
* Koroke Burger: Sandwich with breaded mashed potatoes, shredded cabbage, and katsu sauce. Served with or without cheese.
* Tamago Double Mac: Hamburger with 2 beef patties, pepper sauce, bacon, and a poached egg. Served with or without cheese.
* Green Tea-flavored milkshakes
* Macaroni and Cheese Burger

KOREA
* Has the Bulgogi Burger (pork patty in bulgogi marinade, as of 5/07), McBingsoo(Korean Shaved Ice), as well as the Shrimp burger similar to Ebi-Filet-O in Japan. Also interesting is that there is a deposit levy charged on cups (100 Won) which is refunded on return of cup to any McDonald’s location for recycling or reuse.

PAKISTAN
* There is a Spicy McChicken burger that has chutney in it. There is also a McChutney Burger, a meatball sandwich called the McKofta, and strawberry custard pie. A pineapple-flavored sundae, pineapple pie, and a mango-flavored milkshake are seasonal menu items. Also, McArabia was recently introduced, with a chicken patty rolled up in Pita bread.

PHILLIPINES
* McDonald’s sells spaghetti (to compete with local fast food franchise Jollibee), which is called, unsurprisingly, McSpaghetti. In 1993, a popular combo featured spaghetti with fried chicken wings. Also unique to the Filipino menu is the Burger McDo, a ground pork burger served with a Thousand Island dressing like sauce to cater to local tastes. Also sells “Rice burgers” chicken fillet or beef burger served in rice toasted to shaped like buns.

Personally, I’d like to try me a Maharaja Mac, a Bulgogi Burger, and the Ebi Filet-O. I’m not sure if they’re McYummy or not, but I’d definitely try them once to find out.

(See the whole post here.)

h/t: Ernie

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