The ramen burger, the newest food frenzy that's attracted a cult following in Brooklyn, has New Yorkers waiting in line for hours to sample the teriyaki-style hybrid sandwich.
The brainchild of 35-year-old Keizo Shimamoto, a second generation Japanese-American, the ramen burger features a regular beef patty sandwiched between two "buns" made of compressed ramen noodles. A smear of secret shoyu sauce and a sprinkling of scallions complete the masterpiece.
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A former computer programmer who quit his job to study ramen with local chefs in Tokyo, Shimamoto unveiled the ramen burger at Brooklyn's Smorgasburg food market three weeks ago. All 150 burgers sold out in just a few hours, so he returned the following Saturday armed with twice as many. Again, the ramen burgers were immediately scooped up.
"I have no idea how this happened," Shimamoto told the New York Post.
Fans of the ramen burger applaud its creativity.
"It's a perfect mix of ramen and hamburgers, two of my favorite things," Eugene Kung told the Post. "This is what New York City is all about — having new experiences and eating something you can’t have anywhere else!"
Experts liken its mass popularity to that of the cronut, the doughnut-croissant creation invented by NYC's Dominique Ansel Bakery, which has since been featured on the "Today" show, "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," and "Good Morning America."
For now, the ramen burger is only available at the food market, but Shimamoto hopes to one day open up his own restaurant.
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