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Ramen buns add fun twist to burger

Behold the ramen burger, a meat patty stuffed between two pan-fried ramen “buns.” It sounded so weird (and fun) when I read about it on Huffington Post that we just had to taste-test one.

Lauded as the “new Cronut,” the dish was created by ramen blogger Keizo Shimamoto.

Adapted from YumSugar.com.

Chicken Ramen Burgers

4 packages ramen noodles (I used chicken flavor)

4 eggs

4 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed

4 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons sriracha

1 pound ground chicken

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soy sauce

Sesame oil

4 slices provolone cheese

1 cup arugula

4 fried eggs (optional)

4 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias

Cook ramen according to directions on package (including the seasoning), then drain off the liquid. Let cool to room temperature. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs until no streaks of yolk remain. Add ramen, tossing thoroughly to coat with the egg. Divide the egg-dressed ramen into 8 portions, and place each portion into a ramekin or bowl.

Cover the ramen with plastic wrap, and weigh it down with a can of soup to compress it into a bun shape. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Add the oil to a skillet, and set over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, unmold the ramen “buns” into the pan, two at a time, and cook until the bottom is a dark golden brown. Flip both of the patties, and cook until a dark golden brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining ramen buns. You may need to add more oil.

Whisk together the sriracha and ketchup in a small bowl.

Season the ground chicken with salt, pepper and a couple of splashes of soy sauce and sesame oil. Form meat into four patties. Wipe out the skillet, and cook the burgers over medium-high heat until brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Finish with another splash of soy sauce and sesame oil. Top with a slice of cheese.

Wipe out the skillet, and lower the heat to medium.

Assemble the burger in this order: Ramen bun, arugula, ketchup, burger patty (cheese side up), fried egg (optional), scallions and the second ramen bun. Wrap in wax paper for easier eating, and serve hot. Makes 4 burgers.

– Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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