Health

US vs Japan McDonald’s | Food Wars

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Joe: From calorie count to portion sizes, we wanted to find out all the differences between McDonald’s in Japan and the US. This is “Food Wars.” Hey, guys, Joe from “Food Wars.” We’re doing a new season. We’re comparing the US to Japan.

In order to do that, I want to introduce you to cohost and my man in Japan, George. Hello, guys. I’m George. I’m from Japan, and I like McDonald’s. So, in Japan, our McDonald’s sodas come in three sizes.

This is small. Small. And this is Japan’s medium. Medium. And this one is Japan’s large.

Large. In Japan, our chicken McNuggets come in five and 15 pieces. Our chicken McNuggets come in four, six, 10, 20, or 40 piece. Look at all those nuggets. Oh.

They’ve been sitting for a while. Japan McDonald’s fries come in three sizes, small, medium, and large. In the US, you can get your fries in four sizes, kids, small, medium, and large. Look at this little guy. Look at this little guy.

George: So, this is large fries, and I’m going to weigh them. Joe: We are going to also weigh a large McDonald’s fry. Wow! OK, so, so far our larges are the same. Yeah, wow.

That worked perfectly, that thing I just did there. Great job, Joe. Go home. Go! Joe: Now let’s measure the medium.

Why not? Our mediums are smaller. Huh. Interesting. So, this is a Japanese Big Mac.

Ta-da! [trumpets playing] Oh! So, this is a Japanese Big Mac. Joe: This is an American Big Mac, and we’re going to weigh it as well. Oh, we’ve got a heftier Big Mac here in the US.

That’s more like it. So, in Japan, the Big Mac value set, which is a Big Mac and medium fries and a medium drink, comes out to 690 yen, or $6.21. In the US, that same meal costs $8.54, or 948.

46 Japanese yen. That’s a 37.52% increase in price in the US. What the heck? So, here is everything you can only get at Japan’s McDonald’s you cannot get in the US.

And this is everything you can get at a US McDonald’s that you cannot get in Japan. So, we are going to start with waffle cones, right here. So, we got plain. So, plain means it’s, like, rich milk taste. And next one is strawberry.

Strawberry. Personally, I like this.

Our next one is chocolate and almond, right there. Mm. It’s not melting.

Good job, buddy. So, here we’ve got McFloats. So, McFloats means there is soda, and on top of that, there is ice cream. That’s it. That’s it.

And this is McFloats melon. Ooh! [laughs] It’s too sweet. This is grape. Coffee McFloats.

Mm. And the last one, we’ve got Coke McFloats. Mm. Oh, Joe, you definitely try this. Yes, absolutely.

I’m trying that when I go to Japan. That looks real good. Let me think here. Hang on a second. [metal clanging] OK.

We do not have McFloats here in the US, so I’m going to make my own. On the way over here, I was looking for grape soda. It’s actually harder to find than I thought. Fanta’s not very popular in the United States. But we got this.

This is Midnight Grape Kickstart Mountain Dew.

It’s grape. Haha! Left over from the Ben & Jerry’s shoot. This stuff is frozen.

There we go. [electric zapping] Yeah. I’m into this. These would do well in the US. Our cold drinks, a little bit different.

We have two exclusive slushies that you can’t get in Japan. One is a pink lemonade. Strawberry watermelon. Yeah, dude. That looks real good.

Yes, they do have McFlurries and ice cream in Japan, but one McFlurry you can get in the US is this one. It’s an M&M’s McFlurry. Sorry, it’s since melted, but it’s like those mini M&M’s. I went to one of the few McDonald’s in the country where the ice cream machine was working. Hot caramel sundae, and the classic fudge sundae.

George: So, let’s go with soft drinks, right here. Fanta grape, and here is Fanta melon.

And this one is Japanese vegetable juice. And there is, I guess, more than 20 or 30 vegetables in it. And it’s good for health, for sure.

Aah. [water running] [chimes sound] Mm. We’ve got Qoo white grape. Sokenbicha. Sokenbicha is like a Japanese blended tea.

It’s healthy. And Japanese people drink this on a daily basis. So, next one, we’ve got Earl Grey iced tea. Let me show you. Wait, there is something.

[beep] There’s a mosquito. I have to make a complaint, Japan McDonald’s! Next one, we’ve got oolong tea.

So, this is not actually Japanese tea. It’s a Chinese tea that’s good for health as well.

For health, we do have a mango pineapple smoothie and a banana strawberry smoothie. Smoothies have fruit in it, right? Oh, yeah. I can just feel the nutrients coursing through my veins! So, let’s start with this Hawaiian menu.

This is limited. This one right here is Cheese Loco Moco. Ooh, it’s messy. It’s a demi-glace sauce. Man.

And it’s also got round egg, right there, beef patty, and some cheese. I’m hungry, actually. Mm! Oh, this is good! Oh!

[laughs] This is [speaks Japanese], which means really, really delicious. All right, so, next one, we’ve got garlic shrimp, and it’s also got interesting bun. There is sesame on there. And deep-fried shrimp. Hawaiian barbecue potato and beef.

Demi-glace sauce again. It’s gonna be good. This is called barbecue burger, right? But I don’t taste barbecue at all. All right, so, next one, we’ve got Hawaiian pancake with triple berry sauce.

Two pancakes. Hello! Mm, smells so sweet. Ooh. Let’s go.

Ooh. Too sweet. McFizz blue Hawaii. Wow. It has bright blue color.

This is McFizz cassis and orange. I would get this. I would get this. So, congratulations, this is the worst. OK.

Breakfast time. This is a breakfast burrito. Ugh. Neon-yellow egg, Mexican-style salsa. Not to be confused with, what, Canadian salsa?

This is actually the same burrito from the US-UK thing we shot over a year ago. So. Let’s go on to these breakfast sandwiches here. Japan does have the McGriddles, which are a favorite of mine, so unfortunately we will not be talking about those today. Sad face.

I love you, McGriddles. So, what they don’t have, and also the UK did not have, were our breakfast biscuit sandwiches.

I don’t know how to describe a biscuit, other than it’s dry, it’s baked. Maybe they’re made with cornmeal? According to the internet, this is not a scone, so there you go.

Sausage, egg, and cheese. Our egg is like this fluffy, folded scrambled-egg egg. So theirs are, like, sunny-side up? Ours are scrambled. I can tell this was folded over.

You can see the fold lines there. This is how we do it in the US. Bacon, egg, and cheese. Is there a better breakfast combination in the world? I don’t think there is.

Then they just have a sausage, no egg, no cheese, just sausage and biscuit.

We have regular-sized hotcakes, and we have a hotcake-and-sausage combo. And, of course, comes with syrup and butter. Very natural pose. Very natural feeling right now.

♪ Always up for a pour, yes! ♪ Breakfast is served. Oatmeal. On the side, to be mixed in, cranberries and raisins and diced — oh! Diced apples.

[slurps] And here we’ve got Mega Muffin. Pork patties. That’s huge one. Mini pancakes. Oh, cute.

It comes with apple cream sauce. Ooh. Ooh, this is perfect for breakfast. I would get it.

Bacon egg McSandwich.

So, it’s got bacon and round egg and cheddar cheese. That’s it. And you might be surprised, we’ve got Filet-O-Fish. Ta-da! So, Filet-O-Fish is on the breakfast menu.

I guess Japanese people tend to eat fish for breakfast. Three exclusive burgers here in the US are variations on the Quarter Pounder with cheese. Yes, we’ve all seen “Pulp Fiction,” we know about the whole Quarter Pounder thing. Does not exist outside of the US, I don’t think. So, probably why they don’t have Quarter Pounders in Japan.

The classic Quarter Pounder with cheese. Look at this guy. I mean, this was maybe my go-to one for a decade. The Quarter Pounder with cheese deluxe. I don’t know.

I feel like this is pretty close to a Whopper.

I’m not a big Whopper guy, but there you go, a deluxe Quarter Pounder with cheese. The double Quarter Pounder with cheese. Look at the size of this thing! Yes, sir.

Japan’s exclusive burgers. Teriyaki McBurger, which is my most favorite one. My body is made of McTeriyaki burger. [angelic singing] So, it’s got mayo right there, and lettuce, pork patties, dip it into delicious teriyaki sauce, and it’s covering whole pork patties perfectly. Joe, when you come to Japan, please try this.

You will thank me later. Everything that they have looks so good and sounds so good. Man, when I go to Tokyo, first stop, I’m going to McDonald’s. Sushi, ramen, get it out of my face. I want the teriyaki burger.

That’s the first thing I’m getting when I get there. Mm! I’m getting full, actually. [laughs] Slow down, George. We got a lot of food to cover.

[dance music] All right, so we’ve got bacon lettuce burger right here. It looks sad. Egg cheeseburger, but we also call it Eguchi. Eguchi is an abbreviation for egg cheeseburger. Japanese people love abbreviation.

It’s got ketchup and pickle, round egg, and cheddar cheese and beef patties. Next one.

Spicy beef burger. Ooh, look at this! Oh, it looks so spicy!

It has spicy mayo or something like that. So, here we’ve got Samurai Mac. Samurai! Samurai Mac? Yo, that sounds awesome.

And this blue one is called roasted soy sauce double thick beef. We’ve got roasted soy sauce bacon tomato thick beef. So if you want a little bit more, like, healthy veggies, go for it. Uh, yeah, George, I don’t know if that makes that much healthier there ’cause it also has twice as much meat and cheese. If you’re looking to be healthy at a McDonald’s in Japan, I’d stick with the vegetable juice.

And this one right here is called Teriyaki chicken Filet-O. Wow. So much sauce. So, next one, we’ve got ebi Filet-O. Ebi means shrimp, so it’s a shrimp Filet-O.

Oh, yeah. It’s got aurora sauce. Aurora sauce is like ketchup and mayonnaise. So, it’s got a lot of shrimp in there.

Mm!

So good. So good. In the US, we have about four exclusive chicken sandwiches specifically. I didn’t see this on the menu, but apparently you guys don’t have a McChicken, which is just chicken sandwich. Regular bun, mayo, chicken.

Yeah. We also have, check this out, spicy McChicken. So pretty much the same McChicken, but they put spicy coating on the breading on the chicken. Every fast-food chain in America right now is having what we’re calling the fried-chicken-sandwich wars. Popeyes, Burger King, of course McDonald’s, all of them are at this arms race to have the best chicken sandwich.

I think ’cause Chick-fil-A has edged everyone out. These are the three that are currently available. I don’t know for how long.

You have the crispy chicken sandwich. I think it’s a brioche bun, pickles, and no sauce, which I think is strange.

So, like, the whole flavor is just the chicken. Spicy chicken sandwich. Same deal, but, of course, spicy sauce. And the spicy chicken deluxe, which, to George’s point, has more vegetables on it. You know, to be healthier.

OK, so when it comes to side menus, we’ve got Shaka Shaka Chicken, and we have two fla — [thunder rumbles] oh! Two flavors. Can you hear that? Thunder, thunder, thunder! ‘Cause it’s rainy season in Japan.

It’s the sunny season here in Southern California. And here is red pepper. And this one is cheddar cheese. [thundering] Thunder, stop! So, all you have to do is just put the powder into the bag and shake it.

[paper rattling] And the powder should be covering the whole Shaka Chicken. [thundering] Ooh, big one! Like this. This I’ve seen before. This I want.

That’s the thing I want the most at a Japanese McDonald’s. US McDonald’s, we have the bags, we have the chicken. Just get the spice packets. Throw it in. George: We’ve got side salad, and it comes with this roasted sesame dressing.

Let’s go! Ooh. That was cool. Now put it all in the garbage. We’ve got edamame and corn.

Yogurt, and there’s cow, cow. Exclusive sauces. It’s sauce talk time. Sauce Talk. We have sweet ‘n sour sauce.

They gave me hot mustard. This was supposed to be honey mustard. You guys have hot mustard? I know you don’t have honey mustard. Of course, ranch.

Ooh, spicy Buffalo. Now, these might be promotions ’cause of that singing group BTS, but we have right now a Cajun sauce and a sweet chili sauce. This sauce is fantastic. This is the sauce. This has to stay on the menu.

So, these two are new ones. This one right here is soy sauce, best sauce. Man.

This is fantastic! Good job!

Very good taste. So, this one right here is called Louisiana hot sauce. Ooh, it does look like very spicy one. This is not spicy at all. Actually, we were supposed to have bai burger options, but unfortunately you can only get them from 5:30 p.

m. But let me explain what bai burger is. Bai simply means double in Japanese. So if you order a normal Big Mac, it has two beef patties, right? But if you order bai Big Mac, it has four beef patties.

But not only Big Mac, but all burgers adopts the bai burger options. That’s funny. You can only get double the meat after 5:30, that’s really funny. That would not stand in this country at all. People would lose their minds.

Four patties? On a Big Mac? So after shooting this video, I’m going to order bai Big Mac. And then bye-bye, health. You ain’t gotta tell me, George!

Bye, health! All right, here are all the ingredients for a US Big Mac.

Oh, God. The bun. It has: enriched flour, which is wheat flour, [fast-forwarding] vinegar, and contains wheat.

On to the beef patty. 100% pure USDA inspected beef, no fillers, no extenders! Prepared on the grill with seasoning, salt and black pepper. There you go. There you go.

Try the lettuce ingredients, lettuce. Nice. The Big Mac sauce ingredients. Soybean oil, [fast-forwarding] extractives of paprika, soy lecithin. [burps] The pickle slice ingredients.

Cucumbers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, alum, potassium sorbate as a preservative, natural flavors, polysorbate 80, extractives of turmeric for color. Onion ingredients. Onions. There you go. A few things I want to note.

Alum is used to dissolve steel. Polysorbate 80 has been linked to colon cancer in mice. Cue the dancing mice. [dance music] And caramel color is on California’s list of chemicals that may cause cancer and reproductive toxicity, good God. Counterpoint.

They all taste fantastic. So, McDonald’s Japan doesn’t disclose their ingredients in the Big Mac. However, they do tell us where the ingredients come from. If you order a Big Mac in Japan, you’ll eat beef from Australia or New Zealand; buns made from wheat imported from the USA, Canada, and Australia; and pickles made from cucumbers grown in Turkey, Sri Lanka, or India; onions grown in the USA or India; sliced cheddar cheese made in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, or Japan; and lettuce grown in Japan, Taiwan, the USA, or Malaysia.

The only ingredients that come from Japan are the cheese and the lettuce.

And even then, McDonald’s still imports some lettuce and cheese from other countries. So this is a very international burger. Thank you, world! In Japan, our Big Mac is 525 calories and 28.3 grams of fat and 1,007 milligrams of sodium and 41.

8 grams of carbs and 26 grams of protein. In the US, our Big Mac is 550 calories, 30 grams of fat, 1,010 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of carbs, and 25 grams of protein. So the US has a slight increase on everything except protein. So, in Japan, our five-piece nuggets is 270 calories and 17.2 grams of fat and 506 milligrams of sodium and 13.

1 grams of carbs and 15.8 grams of protein.

Broken down, each nugget is 54 calories. We don’t have a five-piece here in the US, but we do have this, a 10-piece. Let’s get those stats on the screen.

Go ahead and divide everything by two, and, yes, now we have the stats for a five-piece. Pretty smart, eh? If we want to divide all that by, I think, five, you’ll get the stats for one nugget. [sighs] This is so exhausting. In Japan, if you order a Big Mac meal with large fries and a medium chocolate shake, the grand total will be 1,405 calories.

And in the US, adding medium fries and a medium chocolate shake to a Big Mac, the grand total is 1,660 calories. And that is a calorie increase of 18.14%. If you’re wondering why we’re using a large fry but a medium chocolate shake, it turns out that in Japan, you can’t get a large chocolate shake.

They’ll only sell it to you in medium.

I’m assuming because they don’t want you eating that much ice cream. Hey, thanks for watching. If you enjoyed this US versus Japan McDonald’s episode, check out our US versus UK McDonald’s episode right here..

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