Smorgasburg—the uber hip Brooklyn Flea Food Market– offers eaters the chance to nosh their way through a tasty maze of world cuisine. Lately, however, one bite in particular has taken Smorgasburg, and pretty much the entire culinary world by storm. Enter RAMEN BURGER; an audacious and intriguing east-meets-west combination of–you guessed it– Japanese ramen and the American hamburger.
Ramen Burger’s mastermind, Keizo Shimamoto, first launched his culinary mash-up at Smorgasburg during the summer of 2013. Like the Cronut, the Ramen Burger fuses two seemingly disparate cultural food icons into a single flavor profile. Ramen noodles, traditionally used in an umami-filled Japanese soup, are molded into patty form and paired with a savory all-American USDA Prime ground beef patty, then topped off with cheese, a soy and sesame based sauce and finely chopped scallion. My mouth is watering!
At first the Ramen Burger seemed like a passing trend–yet another novelty item you might find at a few food fairs. SURPRISE: By the end of Shimamoto’s first run at Smorgasburg, it was evident the Ramen Burger was here to stay. The line was wrapped around the block and the burgers sold out within the hour. Now, Shimamoto and his team happily plan ahead in order to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for his Ramen Burgers.
So much more than pure novelty, the ramen bun is toothsome, pleasingly chewy, and actually the perfect vehicle to carry the juicy burger. The cheese too was deliciously melty with an appropriate meat-to-bun ratio. It may be just a personal preference, but I found the sauce to be somewhat overwhelming, since I prefer to taste the intrinsic flavors of the star ingredients.
Though it may not replace the all-American hamburger in the hearts of die-hard purists, Ramen Burger is definitely a must try.
Featured image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Sarita Dan