I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the Ramen Burger, last summer’s craze in New York City. Even with all the buzz and every intention to make it over to Smorgasburg, I never got my butt over there. I figured I wasn’t missing much. Food trends come and go, right?
As I mentioned before I recently got a new job so my posts have been a little sporadic. I’m finally settling into a routine and even managed to work out regularly. I know, miracles of all miracles. Which is even a better reason to indulge on such dishes as a ramen burger! So what is a ramen burger? The original Ramen Burger was created last summer by Keizo Shimamoto and it is a hamburger where the “buns” are made or formed with ramen noodles.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that Spam is my guilty pleasure. I’ve even made it from scratch. Today I’m swapping out the burger with a slab of Spam coated in a sweet soy glaze. I garnished it simply with some chopped cabbage kimchi.
- 1 brick of dried ramen noodles
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon mirin
- 1 slice of Spam, ¼" thick and cut lengthwise so that you have a square-shaped slice
- Cooking oil
- ¼ - ½ cup of finely chopped cabbage kimchi
- Cook the ramen noodles according to package instructions - in a small saucepan add the ramen brick and add enough water to just cover the noodles. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil and let the noodles cook for 1-2 minutes or until al dente. If the noodles are overcooked, they will become too mushy.
- Drain the noodles in a strainer or sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain.
- In a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the cooled noodles and toss until the noodles are completely coated with the egg.
- To form the ramen "buns", get a couple of round forms. Ziploc storage jars work perfectly for this. They are close to 4-inches in diameter. Line the jars with 12 x 12 sheets of plastic wrap.
- Add half the amount of noodles in each jar. Fold over the ends of the plastic wrap to completely cover the noodles.
- Nest one of the containers on top of the noodles. If you have a third container, nest that container on top and place a small weight inside that container. I used a small spice jar as a weight. If the weight is too heavy, it'll mush the noodles a little too much.
- Refrigerate the noodles in its forms for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and mirin. Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brown the Spam and flip. Add the soy sauce mixture and let cook. Spoon the sauce over the Spam as it's cooking and make sure the Spam gets fully coated with the sauce. The sauce will caramelize as it cooks. Once it caramelizes, take the skillet off the heat and set aside.
- Once the noodles are ready, heat a medium-sized (10-inch) non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer, carefully slide the "bun" out of the container and onto your palm with the plastic wrap intact. Unwrap the noodles, carefully flip the "bun" so that the exposed side lands on your other palm. Carefully slide the "bun" into the pan. Repeat for the second "bun".
- Brown the first side for about 4-5 minutes. It needs to brown so that the egg cooks and the noodles start to bind together. Carefully flip the "bun" and brown the other side a little more than the first side.
- Slide one "bun" onto a plate. Place the Spam slice on the "bun", garnish with chopped kimchi, and top with the other "bun".