What do you reckon is the craziest makeover you can give a burger? The trend that’s caught the West Coast in the US by storm these days, ladies and gents, is not your conventional burger. Picture this—your burger bread, is not bread. Rather it’s two disks of cooked crispy on the outside soft on the inside buns, made of noodles and in between you have your meat patty with some fresh greens and a very secret sauce.
We’re taking about the very popular Ramen Burger. The genius behind this is Keizo Shimamoto, 35, the creator of the Ramen Burger and a former computer programmer who quit his day job in 2009 to devote himself to ramen and to blog about it at GoRamen.com.
“I didn’t expect it to be this popular,” he says toady, when asked about his phenomenal success.
This fad food, the Japanese-American mash-up, to date, has been available on three occasions—the past few Saturdays at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg food market—and each time, it’s been sold out in just a few hours. More than 1,000 people have waited in lines, and some from the night before, just to be the first to sample the newest craze. And all of this was handled by two men who manned the ramen browning station, and another who grilled the meat, then Keizo and a cook who assembled the burgers with lettuce, green onion and Keizo’s secret sauce. The burgers were then wrapped into paper folded origami-like. Simple yet not enough for all those who waited and many who went home disappointed, as they were all sold out.
■ 1 packet of Ramen noodles
■ 1 egg
■ 1 burger patty- can make one from ground meat, nutrella keema, or any other vegetarian substitute
■ 1 tbsp light soya sauce
■ 1-2 tsps sesame oil
■ Handful of chopped spring onions
■ Oil to fry
■ Argula or Bok Choy
■ Wax paper for wrapping the burger
1. Start with making two discs of Ramen for the buns. You can use any regular Ramen noodle packets. Boil noodles in salted water, but do not add the seasoning packet. Drain and leave to cool slightly for a minute.
2. Crack an egg into a bowl and beat. Toss the noodles into the beaten egg, divide in two, and press each half into a plastic-wrap-lined mould the same size as you want your burgers to be (4-5” across).
3. Fold the plastic wrap back over the noodles and place a weight on top to compress as they cool.
4. Slice the spring onions and mix into the meat mince/vegetarian burger patty with the noodle seasoning, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Form two patties, a similar size to your buns, keeping them thin.
5. Heat three frying pans. Fry burgers in one pan with a shot of oil for a minute or so on each side. Remove chilled ramen buns from the wrap and fry in a shot of oil in the second pan for two minutes on each side till golden and crispy.
6. Crack egg into the third pan and fry. Mix together ketchup and hot sauce and adjust to suit taste. Wash and quarter bok choy and steam very quickly in a pan with a dash of water. Drain all the frying greasy items on kitchen paper and construct your Ramen burger with a slice of cheese on top of each burger patty.