FEATURE: Cooking With Anime - Giant Burger and Fries from "ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept."
GIANT burgers and GIANT fries, i.e. American-size food.
Something that surprised me about my first time in Japan was how extremely small the food portions were (except for ramen. Ramen is always a huge portion.). For example, my friend stopped in at a McDonald's to get a drink. She ordered a small size and, when she got it, it was legitimately a SMALL SIZE. I'd guess it only held 8-10 fluid ounces. Compare that to the American size small, which is 16 fluid ounces.
So, when I saw this episode of ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. with the giant food in it, I couldn't help but think: Is this big compared to Japanese tastes in food, or is it just super-sized in general? The main character, Jean, goes to inspect a district to make sure everyone is reporting and conducting business as they should be. One of the districts he goes to specializes in growing HUGE food. Indeed, some of the pictures look really huge, but then from other angles it's kinda hard to tell- some pictures of the food just look like American-sized versions.
Maybe I eat out at crazy places, but I've honestly seen burgers and fries about this size served up in normal restaurants in America.
This presented me with a bit of a dilemma. Should I recreate this food and make it huge compared to American standards, or huge compared to Japanese standards? In the end I made my decision based on the hamburger bun: I had to choose the biggest one I could find, or spend an entire day making a super-sized one from scratch. Being a lazy grad student, I departed immediately for the grocery store to pilfer through the bread aisle.
Jean eats a burger and fries, among other things, at a famous local restaurant, so I decided to recreate that meal. In the recipe below, I've put together a basic (HUGE) burger recipe featuring all the ingredients seen in the burger in the show. I also experimented with making super-sized fries. As it turns out, there aren't a lot of recipes online explaining how to make giant french fries, so I had to experiment a little bit. I found that, using the double-fry method, the perfect giant fry can be achieved with 10-15 minutes of fry time at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, followed up with a 90 second dip into oil at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures a crispy outer crust with a melty potato interior.
At the end of the day, I wasn't able to eat a giant burger on my own. Nor was I able to finish all the fries, even with my friends helping me. Whether or not this recipe accurately depicts the size of the food from ACCA, one of these giant burgers and a handful of fries are certainly more than enough for one person.
You can read that as a challenge. If you would like to challenge that statement, I require photographic evidence of food completion. Prize for successfully consuming an entire burger and all of these fries is to be decided.
Check out the video below for a visual on instructions. Ingredients and picture instructions are listed just below.
- 3 large (~3 lbs) Russet potatoes
- Vegetable oil (1 whole container, for frying, or enough to be two-three inches deep in your pan.)
- Cold water
- 1 lb ground beef (80% beef, 20% fat)
- 1 large tomato
- 1 large onion
- Slices of cheddar cheese
- 4 Buns
- Condiments of choice
1. Start with the potatoes. Peel and cut into large sticks. Trim the ends for a more square effect, like in the anime.
2. Place cut fries into cold water and let sit at LEAST two hours. You can let it sit overnight, if preferable.
3. Prep veggies for the burgers- slice tomato and onion into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Tear off frilly part of lettuce.
4. Form the meat patties- separate meat into 4 sections, and pat patties into circle. Push down to spread out the meat, but don't over-work it.
5. Heat oil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat french fries dry before placing in oil. Cook fries in batches- don't crowd the pan. During the first fry, cook ~10-15 minutes or until potato is soft and fry is golden color. Drain in between frying.
6. Raise oil temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry the fries for a second time, at about 90 seconds per batch, or until nicely golden brown. This step is to make sure the outer layer of the fry is nice and crisp. Drain on paper towels, and salt. Set aside.
7. Set a pan over medium heat. Cook patties, about 3 minutes each side. Melt cheese over the top if desired.
8. Assemble the burger and place the fries out.
13. And now it's done!!