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Is the Ramen Burger the next Cronut?

Lifestyle and LeisureCookingMedia IndustryJapanKrispy Kreme Doughnuts

Croissant-doughnut hybrids, test tube lab burgers, Krispy Kreme sandwiches and now, the Ramen Burger. What's the food world coming to with all of these Frankenstein creations? We're not exactly sure, but at least it keeps things interesting. 

The Ramen Burger is a new hybrid food from Keizo Shimamoto, a ramen enthusiast who spent some time in Japan, but currently resides in New York City. According to his Facebook page, it's a USDA Prime ground beef chuck patty and two "craftily" formed buns made of ramen noodles. It looks like someone smashed a bunch of noodles together and formed them into patty shapes. 

The burger patty is topped with Shimamoto's special sauce and your choice of vegetables. 

"I've always loved burgers, and it wasn't until I started living in Japan that I really started craving them," said Shimamoto. "I would try to make Ramen Burgers in Japan, but since beef is so expensive over there, I never really tried to put them on the menu.  Now that I'm living in New York, I just felt that it was time to give it another try. And once I did, I just knew I had to introduce it to the world."

Shimamoto debuted the Shoyu Ramen Burger at the Brooklyn Smorgasburg food festival this past weekend. A long, Cronut-wait-like line formed with about 500 curious customers willing to wait two hours in the rain for a taste of the new burger. Shimamoto announced beforehand that he'd dole out only 150 burgers. 

"I can't believe how fast news can travel," said Shimamoto on his blog GoRamen.com. "In just two days, the Ramen Burger went from dream to Internet superstar before I even sold a single one."

No word yet on whether a ramen burger will be available elsewhere or ever again, but Shimamoto is originally from L.A. and says he'd like to bring the burger here. Judging from all the Cronut copycats popping up every day, I'm sure we'll at least see something similar to the burger on a menu soon. 

Shimamoto also has a couple variations on the Ramen Burger posted on his Facebook page. One features a patty smothered in melted cheese and another made with pork belly and green onion. 

Could this burger spark the next Cronut-like craze? Maybe this new creation will lead to a spaghetti burger somewhere. Only time will tell. I definitely wouldn't mind a bit though.  

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[Updated August 7, 2013 at 9 a.m.: This post was updated with a quote from Keizo Shimamoto, who spoke with the Times via email late Tuesday evening.] 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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