Fusion Burgers: A Global Phenomenon

Make your next burger experience an exotic one by replacing the conventional bread bun with rice, ramen or corn tortilla.

The origins of the quintessential American hamburger are hotly contested (and in fact, likely to be found in the German city of Hamburg, and not in the States at all). Wherever it came from, the burger is now one of the most ubiquitous American foods. It can be enjoyed everywhere – in its most basic incarnation at fast food restaurants across the world, and in varyingly exotic forms at gastropubs and haute cuisine restaurants. Let’s take a look at how the humble burger has evolved from a simple ground beef patty enveloped in a sliced bun, to one of the world’s most frequently reinvented dishes.

Gourmet Burgers, Western Style

No longer content with a slice of tomato, rounds of onion and a leaf or two of lettuce, restaurants across the western world have proven that there is no ingredient that can’t be classified as a burger topping. From the mildly adventurous (think avocado, caramelised onions and brie cheese) to the extravagantly outlandish (caviar, foie gras and truffles), gourmet burgers are now a force to be reckoned with. Some toppings are downright divisive, however. Where do you stand on the great pineapple debate? Would you put fried banana on your patty? How about peanut butter?

Global Burger Reinventions

Of course, the hamburger phenomenon has long since become an international one, and culinary cultures from all over the world have proven keen to put their stamp on this classic dish. The Mexican burrito burger is a favourite with two possible interpretations. One: Use a traditional burger setup, with a well-seasoned patty and unmistakably Mexican toppings ranging from sour cream and refried beans to coriander, salsa, avocado and chipotle dressing. Alternatively, some chefs take the concept to the next level by slicing the ingredients lengthways and replacing the bun with a soft corn tortilla. Burger heavyweights from the East include the sushi burger and the ramen burger. To make the first, sticky, sesame-studded sushi rice is moulded into bun shapes and then filled with iconic sushi ingredients including fine cuts of salmon or raw tuna, avocado, ginger and cucumber. Don’t forget the wasabi and soy sauce; then ditch the chopsticks and use your hands to enjoy this delicacy! Ramen burgers replace the rice bun with moulded noodles. To get the perfect contrast of succulent and crispy textures that defines this dish, cook the noodles first, then blend with beaten egg, cool, shape and pan fry. Voilà!

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(*) Average meal price calculated on the basis of starter and main course or main course and dessert, excluding drinks, menu and promotional offers. The average price is an estimate only, calculated according to the prices provided by the restaurant. Depending on the country, the average price may or may not include all taxes.