As we near the end of The Summer of Food That Should Not Exist, we must take a moment to look back at 2013's Frankenstein food creations: The cronut (a croissant mixed with a donut). Pepsi-flavored Cheetos. Taco Bell's Waffle Taco. The Twilly (a hot dog in a Twinkie bun, covered in bacon). And then we must look to the future:
The ramen burger?
If creator Keizo Shimamoto has his way, the ramen burger will become the biggest food craze this year—or at least since the aforementioned cronut. Both creations come out of New York City, with the ramen burger making its debut at the Smorgasburg flea market in Brooklyn.
First, what is the ramen burger? The name covers most of it: An all-beef burger patty between two ramen noodle buns, made from fresh ramen and not the instant ramen you find at grocery stores. It's garnished with a secret Shoyu sauce as well as arugula and green onions.
"I cook the noodles and form the bun, and then when we put the burger together, we lightly pan fry it," Shimamoto told Fox News. To The Daily Beast, he further explained, "The juices from the patty soak into the ramen noodles and it resembles a ramen soup."
Other variations of the burger exist, including a ramen cheeseburger and one made with pork.
Shimamoto, who was inspired by the ramen burgers in Tokyo (which do not use beef patties), brought his first batch of ramen burgers, 150 in total, to the flea market and was surprised to find over 250 already in line.
"I can't believe how fast news can travel," Shimamoto blogged on GoRamen.com. "In just two days, the Ramen Burger went from dream to Internet superstar before I even sold a single one."
And the battle to be the biggest craze on the NYC food scene came to a head when, in line for a ramen burger, one man tried to bribe his way to the front by offering up two cronuts from chef Dominque Ansel's bakery. No one was willing to trade.
(For the record he ended up trading for three cantaloupe juices. Downgrade.)
Shimamoto upped the amount of burgers the next week and returned to another lengthy line. He plans to keep coming back to Smorgasburg every Saturday, until its run ends on Nov. 24, then hopes to make his creation bicoastal, introducing it to L.A. and starting a ramen burger restaurant.
Which is why Shimamoto is keeping his recipe to himself: "I experimented with different recipes to get the perfect bun. People think it's crispy because they see it on the grill, but when you bite into it you notice that the noodles are still quite soft," he told ABC News. When asked why the bun doesn't break he played coy: "That's a secret."
Meanwhile, copycat ramen burger recipes have already started popping up.