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FOOD FUN: Make A Ramen Burger For National Ramen Day

April 4th is National Ramen Day. It’s also National Burrito Day, National Carrot Day and National Cordon Bleu Day.

In case you’ve never had a ramen burger, it’s a hamburger where fried ramen, formed into a bun shape, replaces the bread bun.

The American version of the ramen burger (photo #1) was created in 2013 by Keizo Shimamoto, a ramen blogger turned ramen chef (his ramen shop closed last week).

He had inspiration from ramen burgers he saw while in Japan. Restaurants there used ramen noodles to form a top and bottom, although the top and bottom “buns” were not as solidified as Keizo’s ramen buns.

Instead of a beef patty, the Japanese filled the ramen buns with chashu pork.

Chashu pork is pork belly braised in soy sauce, sake, and mirin (rice wine*). The inspiration is that bowls of ramen soup are often topped with slices of the braised pork belly.

Creating a Japanese-American fusion, Keizo sandwiched a beef burger slathered in a “secret” shoyu sauce (soy sauce seasoned with brown sugar, garlic, ginger and shallot) instead of ketchup.

Arugula and a scallion garnish taking over for lettuce and onion.

Here’s the whole story.

The ramen burger started a craze among food bloggers everywhere, who created their own versions.

After checking out different recipes online, we chose this one from Pigamitha Dimar (photo #2).

Different bloggers add different touches; for example, cheese and/or a fried egg (photo #2 (bottom burger) and photo #3).

If you just want to know how to make the ramen “buns,” here’s the scoop from Nona Lim:
Add tomato or pickled vegetables.

  • Japanese pickles are called tsukemono. You can buy them at Asian food stores.
  • American pickles of all kinds work, too.
    There’s also gari, the pinkish pickled ginger served with sushi.

    Consider Kewpie brand mayonnaise†, Japan’s favorite mayo.

    Any burger works: beef, grain, lamb, turkey, veggie, etc.You can even make it a double, as in photo #2.


    Ramen Burger
    [1] The original ramen burger (photo © Keizo Shimamoto | Ramen Shack).

    [2] A double ramen burger created by Pigamitha Dimar. Here’s her recipe (photo © Pigamitha Dimar).

    Ramen Burger
    [3] This ramen burger adds cheese and a fried egg. Here’s the recipe from Sarah N Spice (photo © Sarah N Spice).

    Whatever burger you choose, you can add Japanese condiments and spices to the chopped meat for extra flavor.

    Ready to create your own ramen burger? It’s a fine way to celebrate National Ramen Day.

  • Asian Chicken Salad With Ramen
  • Pho & Ramen Breakfast
  • Pork Ramen Soup
  • Quick Ramen Soup
  • Turn Ramen Noodles Into “Fine Cuisine”


    *Mirin and saké are both called “rice wine.” Both are fermented from rice; mirin has a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content (as an analogy, think of sweet and dry vermouths. If you have saké but no mirin, make a substitute by adding a half teaspoon of sugar to the saké, and warm it slowly to dissolve the sugar.

    †It’s made with more egg yolks, rice vinegar instead of distilled white vinegar, and MSG.


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