|The Toku Rice Burger Photo: The Japan Centre|
Imagine a burger and you might think of juicy beef, pickles and melted cheese inside a sesame seeded doughy bun. Not exactly healthy, you might admit. But chefs at Toku, in London's Japan Centre might just have the answer - in a rice burger. The rice burger contains no bun, but consists of two patties of rice filled with meat, fish, vegetables or salad, wrapped in a sheet of nori seaweed.
They describe the new, healthy burger as 'mouthwatering' - served with lettuce, onion, nori seaweed, teriyaki or sesame lemon sauce, and Japanese mayonnaise. You can choose between brown or white rice patties and any of the following: Piri Piri Yakiniku Beef, Hot and Spicy Chicken, Hot and Spicy Pork, Teriyaki Chicken, Chicken Cutlet, Prawn Kakiage Tempura, Kinpira Gobo, Salmon Tempura and Vegetarian Tempura.
It's certainly healthier than a regular burger - it's not dripping with melted cheese, for one thing. The Japan Centre says that the rice burger has taken London 'by storm', but can it really compete with the standard burger for the lunchtime rush? The rice burger is much healthier, and cheap too - at £3.49 each. But do we love a burger purely because it feels naughty and somehow a special treat? If so, while there's no doubt it's healthier, it might be defeating the object a little. Personally I'm up for anything new, and healthier foods can only be a good thing. I'd definitely try a rice burger if I got the opportunity. Those flavours - the teriyaki sauce, spicy meats and crunchy tempura sound amazing.
Toku is at the Japan Centre in London's Regent Street. For more information visit their website.
What do you think? Have you tried a rice burger? Do you think it could ever replace the traditional burger?