Consider the cronut, the franken-dessert that took the culinary world by storm.
It established a simple formula: Take two delicious things that foodies are obsessed with, and combine them into one unholy, yet marketable product.
Now comes growing buzz over the Ramen Burger, created by Keizo Shimamoto, who moved to New York City after managing Bassanova Ramen in Tokyo.
It merges two of the hottest food trends to appear in major American cities over the last few years — gourmet hamburgers and genuine ramen noodles (as opposed to the instant kind).
Shimamoto cooks up a hamburger patty, tops it with a secret soy sauce-based "special sauce," scallions, and arugula, and then slips it between two "buns" made from ramen noodles pan-fried in sesame oil.
If a piece of meat stuffed between ramen noodles sounds like something you would make while inebriated, you would be right. Before the Ramen Burger debuted in America, a slightly tipsy Shimamoto made a pork version for the VICE crew in Japan.
Now that he has tweaked his recipe, the reviews are coming in. Scott Lynch described the experience of eating it to Gothamist:
As for the Ramen Burger itself, it tastes (and mouth-feels) exactly as you would expect: plain ramen, slightly crunchy but mostly soft and noodle-y, sealed together for hand-holding, but then it all comes apart pleasantly in your mouth, a nifty trick; good burger, cooked medium rare, juicy and rich; "secret sauce" which brings both sweetness and salt to the party. [Gothamist]
Interest in Shimamoto's creation has exploded. New York has footage of hundreds of people waiting for it in the rain at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the only place it's currently sold. The Ramen Burger even made a recent appearance on Good Morning America.
So can it make the jump from quirky novelty to bona fide food trend? Perhaps — it has already inspired a pulled pork sandwich, and people on the West Coast can now get a beefy "Ramenburger" at Nombe in San Francisco.