Ramen chef, Keizo Shimamoto first introduced the world to the “ramen burger” last summer at Smorgasbord food market in Brooklyn, NY. I was immediately intrigued by this hybrid fad, and was somewhat envious (for once) of my New York friends who had such easy access to such a unique food item. This envy intensified after my friend and fellow food lover reviewed her ramen burger experience in a blog post. She enjoyed the burger, and agreed that it was a novelty that should be experienced if you have access to it – which I did not. Alas, I had since forgotten about the ramen burger until KDD sent me a pic of one last week… from a restaurant that is a ten minute walk from our apartment. Could it be true? Do I finally have immediate access to this culinary delight that has taunted me for months?
It is true. The restaurant is Shabu Club, located on the corner of Clement and 11th Avenue in the Inner Richmond district of San Francisco. They primarily serve shabu-shabu, a Japanese hot-pot dish that allows you to cook vegetables and thinly sliced meat in two different flavored broths (also delicious). But Sunday through Thursday they serve the $9 Club Burger: a 1/2 lb angus burger sandwiched between a crispy ramen bun and topped with red pepper aioli, scallions and arugula. The burger was surprisingly not very hard to eat, and I loved the crispy exterior texture of the bun with the soft noodles in the center. The red pepper aioli was creamy and savory, and it tied the burger together perfectly. I definitely would not have this with cheese because I don’t think it would fit well with the other flavors in the burger, but the addition of a fried egg might be interesting.
I’m not sure how the bun is made, but YumSugar suggests using an egg to bind the cooked ramen noodles, then molding and pressing it in ramekins to be refrigerated for 15 minutes before frying in a touch of vegetable oil. I may attempt to try this at home, but in the mean time I’ll happily devour the $9 version at Shabu Club.