Keizo Shimamoto marks the seasons with noodles. For the ramen chef at the rear of New York’s now-legendary Ramen Shack and the ramen burger, a confident indicator that summer months has arrived is not just the heat or humidity, but the sudden existence of hiyashi chuka.
This Japanese-Chinese chilly noodle dish is served with a assortment of toppings, from shredded egg crepe to tomato wedges, and doused in a vinegary, sweet shoyu dressing sauce.
“In the summertime, my mother generally designed it,” he suggests. “That is type of the factor. When summer rolls around, a good deal of aged-college ramen shops in Japan start off serving hiyashi chuka.”
A second-generation Japanese-American, Shimamoto grew up having Tokyo-fashion shoyu ramen on a great number of loved ones journeys to Japan. Immediately after dropping his task all through the 2008 recession, he commenced a ramen blog site, Go Ramen!, exactly where he documented his lunch excursions to ramen retailers across southern California.
In 2009, he remaining on a month-lengthy ramen pilgrimage to Japan, ingesting 55 bowls in 21 metropolitan areas in excess of 28 times, from the northernmost Hokkaido prefecture to the southernmost Kyushu prefecture. His trip, he claims, was akin to a spiritual working experience. So a lot so that the next fall, Shimamoto stop his job and moved to Tokyo to study ramen.
“I felt like I had a contacting,” he remembers. “After losing every thing in the subprime property finance loan disaster, I just decided to go for it. It was genuinely on a whim—I experienced no culinary teaching, but I felt like I experienced to acquire the leap. I ended up investing 4 a long time in Tokyo finding out at unique ramen retailers.”
In 2013, Shimamoto made his way to New York Metropolis, wherever he garnered viral fame soon after serving his now-popular ramen burger at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg foods market. Items only escalated from there: he leveraged his newfound ramen burger fame to open up Ramen Shack in New York in 2015, which designed a cult following amid ramen heads across the state for its numerous and at any time-modifying menu.