Shimamoto said his inspiration for the burger came from a traditional Japanese dish that uses pork instead of beef. According to NPR, Shimamoto is testing out the idea for a full ramen burger-themed restaurant.
“I wanted do something with beef. I grew up loving ramen, and I grew up loving burgers,” he said, adding that he only uses fresh ramen noodles from supplier Sun Noodle in New Jersey–not that instant stuff you buy in the supermarket.
Shimamoto debuted the Shoyu Ramen Burger at the Brooklyn Smorgasburg food festival on Aug. 3, where he quickly sold out of his 150 burgers at $8 apiece.
The Post notes the following weekend he was there again. Soon a long-cronut-wait-like line formed with about 500 people waiting in the rain to get a taste of the new burger. About 350 burgers were sold that day.
And if a Ramen Burger doesn’t ignite your Asian Fusion appetite, how about a burger creation from a Chinese ex-pat restaurateur who teamed up with a chef from a Vietnamese refugee camp to open Nom Nom Burger, an Asian-flavored burger joint in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Nom Nom Burger has many offerings, but their signature dish is the Nom Nom burger, made with a beef patty glazed with teriyaki sauce, a thick slab of provolone cheese, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, caramelized white onions rings and ginger orange marmalade.
In fact, our well-traveled FriendsEAT co-founders Blanca Valbuena and Antonio Evans were recently there, and Blanca described her experience:
NOM NOM Burger is located in a strip mall (as many restaurants in Charlotte are). I expected a mere burger place, but when I opened the menu, to my surprise…I was presented with a Korean-American (really more Pan-Asian-American) menu.
On the menu were items such as a Kalbi Burger (ground beef, Kalbi marinade, kimchi, fried egg, sesame roasted nori, with a spicy aioli), a bahn mi (grilled chicken, lemongrass and curri aioli, pork pâté, Asian slaw, pickled veggies, fresh herbs, jalapeños, and NOM NOM sauce), and a Peking duck sandwich (Peking seasoned duck, pork belly, cilantro, scallions, cucumber, hoisin sauce, served on mini lotus buns).
Antonio opted for the NOM NOM burger ($10). My sandwich was delicious, his was better. Imagine biting into incredibly juicy ground beef patties that are glazed with homemade teriyaki sauce.
There was provolone cheese and sautéed shiitake mushrooms for a touch of umami, and caramelized onions with a ginger orange marmalade. I took a bite, then asked for another, and soon Antonio found himself fighting me off from eating his lunch.
You can read the rest of Blanca’s review of Nom Nom Burger here.