The Latest Food Craze: Ramen Burger

Unless you have been living under the rock, or don’t use facebook (Who doesn’t? Even Frank got hooked after calling it FaceSuck for how many years…), you must have heard of the latest Food Craze in New York right now: The Ramen Burger. Created by Chef Keizo Shimamoto (who’s a certified ramen addict), the craze kickstarted on the 3rd of August, with hundreds of people standing in line to get a bite at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg on Saturdays.

What’s a Ramen burger, you might ask. If you have tried the Rice Burger made famous by MOS Burger, this is a similar concept by shaping Ramen noodles into “Buns”. The original Brooklyn version has Arugula at the bottom, followed by a fresh USDA Prime ground beef chuck patty, accompanied by a special shoyu sauce (said to have been cooked down for hours), and some chopped spring onions (scallions). And here’s what a Ramen Burger look like:

Mmm.... Sexy!
Mmm…. Sexy!

Well, since New York is a little far away from me, and so far noone in KL is selling it yet (the geeks at myburgerlab have been experimenting so you might want to keep your eyes firmly on their updates), so I have decided to make it in my own kitchen. There are quite a few YouTube videos with clear instructions on shaping the Ramen buns, and my favourite would be the one by Popsugar, followed closely by the Sorted Food. Since this is my first attempt, I wanted to make it as close to the original as possible.

I love that beautiful browned top.
I love that beautiful browned top.

The focus here obviously, is on the Ramen buns. To shape them, you will need to use decent ramen noodles. The best is obviously freshly made Ramen noodles like the ones used by Shimamoto. Failing that, a good ramen brand like Nissin (that’s what I used) would work well. In fact most of the YouTube chef used this brand too. You’ll need something to bind the noodles after they are cooked (to packet’s instructions) and drained. So that’s when the humble egg comes into the picture. Ok, I shall let the pictures do the talking this time.

Forget about mixing it with a fork, do it the Chinese way!
Forget about mixing it with a fork, do it the Chinese way!

Mix it well, mix it good. Add a pinch of salt for good measure, as noone wants bland noodles, right? Then find something that’s the side of your desired ramen buns. My ramekins are small, so I use these small bowls.

Perfecto!
Perfecto!

Line the bowls with Cling wrap and divide the noodles in half. Wrap them up and press them down with something heavy enough to shape the buns. Leave them in the fridge for an hour or two to set.

The noodles are set!
The noodles now set.

Now we are ready to fry the Ramen ‘buns’.

Waiting for the magic to happen....
Waiting for the magic to happen….

Leave them untouched for 2-3 minutes. Then flip!

That looks promising!
That looks promising!

Once they are sufficiently browned on both sides, remove and drain on absorbent paper. I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want a greasy burger.

Burger Patty time!
Burger Patty time!

For the meat, I’ve used a 110g Beef Patty (minced chuck, 80/20 ratio), added some panko breadcrumbs as binder, seasoned with a touch of soy sauce, 5 spice powder and a dash of sesame oil for that oriental twist. And fry them on both size. The pro tip is to salt the side just before you grill (fry) it, which is what I did. Salt the other side just before you are ready to flip. Tada! Perfectly cooked burger patty!

The sideline.
The sideline.

For the rest of the toppings, I’ve used some fresh Arugula, chopped spring onions and some fried shallots for that extra aromatic kick. I read somewhere that the Shoyu sauce contains shallots so I thought this might help me to complete the picture. And now…. it’s time to build our Ramen Burger.

The exiciting part, or is that when you are actually eating it?
The exciting part, or is that when you are actually eating it?

Start with the bun, add some arugula…. well, that’s obvious, so I’m going to fast forward a bit.

Almost there.
Almost there.

Followed by the Beef Patty, slice of Irish White Cheddar (not in the original burger but I like my burgers with cheese), spring onion, fried shallots, and a squeeze of Okomoni sauce… That’s what you’d use for Okonomiyaki usually, it’s sweet, savoury and a little tangy, a bit like Tonkatsu sauce. Teriyaki sauce should work well too (but you might need to add something acidic to balance it up), and you can add some Kewpie Mayo if you swing that way… Finish with the top bun, and there you have it!

Such a beautiful thing... .I don't even.
Such a beautiful thing….I don’t even.

Would you like to see a cross section? Well I’m sure you do.

Mmmmm..... heavenly!
Mmmmm….. heavenly!

I’m really pleased with my first attempt. I am also pleasantly surprised that the Ramen buns do hold very well together. The layer of arugula stops the burger patty from soaking the bottom buns, but you do need to eat quite fast. FYI, I was actually holding half of this burger bun and walking around the apartment while eating it (to recreate that street side eating, you see) and apart from a couple of poor spring onion, nothing else fell off. What about the flavours, you ask? I love the eggy ramen buns that are slightly crispy on the outside but soft with enough bite. The toppings work fabulously with the beef patty and the buns. I would probably add some hot sauce if I wasn’t trying to stay away from spicy food this week. The only thing though, is that the whole burger is rather big, so just as well I divided it into two. I had the second half as my dinner instead. Still quite delicious and no soggy bottom! Wait, that doesn’t sound very good. Never mind. Just for your viewing pleasure, here’s another one after I’ve taken a couple of bites. Haha.

Bite mark
Not too messy, right?

So, I guess it would be nice to add one fried egg on top of the patty, and you might want to add some bacon. Just like the regular burger, the possibilities are endless. For our vegetarian friends: perhaps a tofu or a quinoa patty? Smashed chickpeas with curry spices would be fantastic too.

So what’s your thought about the Ramen burger and would you try it?

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40 thoughts on “The Latest Food Craze: Ramen Burger

  1. I will definitely try it and make it with teriyaki sauce. I think it will match so well with the ramen and stay Japanese 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers,
    Eva
    spicytone.com

    1. Yeap! Teriyaki sauce would be fabulous! The Okonomi sauce I have has been sitting in my fridge because I hardly make Okonomiyaki at home. It’s sweet and savoury so it’s almost like teriyaki sauce too.

  2. This looks very special and tempting! Yea, agree, teriyaki sauce should work better, maybe add some bonito flakes for the extra bite too

    1. The sauce they use is a special shoyu sauce. I think should not be too far from the taste of Teriyaki sauce but maybe with more depth of flavours. Okonomi sauce is brown sauce you use for Okonomiyaki so it’s also similar, but with a bit of tang too which is also nice. Works for me la.

    1. Definitely! And takes so e gorgeous photos while you are at it. The noodles only need to be mixed with eggs and shaped. I would advice salt and maybe other seasonings to make the buns tastier. 🙂

  3. ooo, i is truly impressed! it seems like an ambitious experiment to do at home, but it looks like a delicious success! can start serving this already, since it’s still not available anywhere else in kl yet 😀

    1. The buns are actually quite straight forward to do so I don’t think it will be long until someone starts to sell their version! Me….. I will do it for my friends I guess.

      1. Bahahahahaha thanks for showing me the posts, they actually don’t look too bad. Try searching #ramenburger on Instagram and there are some really funny ones! As long as you don’t overcook your noodles, bind it with beaten egg, shape and make sure you put something heavy on top, and let it cool down properly to set, it shouldn’t fail!

    1. Not sure where they will move to next: I believe the flea market thing was only for a month…but with their popularity, I’m sure they will be opening a store soon! Meanwhile you can always make one at home. Hehe.

    1. Hahaha I don’t think it is as tasty as the original but if this is even remotely close, I’m not surprised they are so popular. Hahahaha I will need to figure out a way to make in bulk though.

  4. Saw your comment over at Shannon’ s and was suitably intrigued by your ‘just posted’ Love this idea and already thinking of a veggie filling! PS I’m the last remaining FB holdout. Not a clever stance for a food blogger 😉

    1. Yeah, I think a protein rich patty like firm tofu would be nice, otherwise it can be a bit too carb-y. Or just go with a big portobello. Yum! Hehe you must be the last one because even my grandmother uses it (scary thought). Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Hi Kelly, thanks for sharing this. It really looks cool, I will need to give it a try too for one of our burger nights.. Your ramen burger looks really good, especially the cross section photo.

  6. Firstly, I LOVE the step by step pictures and the clear cut instructions, such lovely pictures too! Will definitely try this out next weekend with a bit of spice when cooking the Ramen 🙂

  7. Hi Kelly,

    Congratulation that your delicious ramen burger is featured in AFC!!!

    I remember that rice burger was a hit a couple years ago and now it is ramen burger! Brilliant!

    Zoe

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