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).
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.
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.
> THE GROWTH OF RAMEN IN JAPAN, PRE- AND POST- WORLD WAR II
*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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