Keizo Shimamoto marks the seasons with noodles. For the ramen chef behind New York’s now-legendary Ramen Shack and the ramen burger, a absolutely sure signal that summer months has arrived is not just the warmth or humidity, but the sudden presence of hiyashi chuka.
This Japanese-Chinese chilly noodle dish is served with a range of toppings, from shredded egg crepe to tomato wedges, and doused in a vinegary, sweet shoyu dressing sauce.
“In the summertime, my mother always manufactured it,” he states. “That is kind of the issue. When summertime rolls about, a great deal of aged-school ramen shops in Japan commence serving hiyashi chuka.”
A 2nd-era Japanese-American, Shimamoto grew up feeding on Tokyo-design and style shoyu ramen on numerous spouse and children outings to Japan. Soon after shedding his career for the duration of the 2008 economic downturn, he begun a ramen site, Go Ramen!, where by he documented his lunch excursions to ramen outlets throughout southern California.
In 2009, he left on a month-extended ramen pilgrimage to Japan, consuming 55 bowls in 21 cities around 28 times, from the northernmost Hokkaido prefecture to the southernmost Kyushu prefecture. His trip, he says, was akin to a religious working experience. So substantially so that the following tumble, Shimamoto stop his work and moved to Tokyo to examine ramen.
“I felt like I experienced a calling,” he remembers. “After shedding all the things in the subprime property finance loan crisis, I just made a decision to go for it. It was definitely on a whim—I had no culinary training, but I felt like I had to choose the jump. I ended up expending four yrs in Tokyo researching at distinct ramen retailers.”
In 2013, Shimamoto built his way to New York Town, in which he garnered viral fame soon after serving his now-famed ramen burger at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg foodstuff industry. Matters only escalated from there: he leveraged his newfound ramen burger fame to open Ramen Shack in New York in 2015, which developed a cult subsequent among the ramen heads across the country for its numerous and at any time-shifting menu.