The SPAM Ramen Burger Was Everything I Could Hope For

Every time I have SPAM I'm impressed. Smash that between two ramen noodle patties and I'm officially committed to the cause.

The SPAM Ramen Burger Was Everything I Could Hope For

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Ramen burger with SPAM and kimchi

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Maybe you already know about the SPAM ramen burger, but apparently I had been living in the dark ages. For the uninitiated, it’s everything you could hope for—crispy, chewy, umami-laced, and bursting with flavor. For an unconventional mid-week meal, make your family (or yourself) some SPAM ramen burgers.

Although I wish I had been the creator of this porky burger, I’m happy enough to be a humble follower. The idea is to make a couple ramen burger “buns” and fill it with a fried piece of SPAM along with any toppings you like. The recipe I used comes directly from the SPAM-source, and the patty is topped with kimchi. I took one bite and was truly impressed. The ramen makes a surprisingly sturdy bun, and the kimchi’s fermented snap complements the SPAM’s salty fried pork flavor.

How to make SPAM ramen burgers

The ramen burger "buns" have a couple steps, but the SPAM part takes but a moment.

1. Cook the noodles

You’ll start by cooking the ramen noodles as usual. Add a cup of water to a small pot along with the seasoning packet and the dry noodles. The water will be discarded so you don’t have to make it soupy. 

Two bowls with ramen noodles inside.

Left: Shaping the patty with no plastic, Right: Shaping the patty with plastic assistance. Both are fine. Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

2. Shape the patties

Once the noodles are soft, drain out the broth and dump the noodles into a bowl. Let them cool for about five minutes. Add an egg (this will help bind the noodles later) and stir it all around to coat the noodles evenly. Line two regular bowls with plastic wrap, or you could just lightly oil the bowls. Divide the noodles between two regular bowls. Use the plastic wrap’s overhang to wrap the noodles and compress them slightly into a patty. Though the recipe says to use a weight, you don’t need to: Just smooth the noodles down with a rubber spatula and put the bowls into the fridge. The recipe also instructs to wait two hours, but I only waited 45 minutes and it worked out well. 

A ramen noodle patty in a frying pan.

The egg binds the noodles, allowing for a tender interior and crispy browned exterior. Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

3. Fry the “buns”

Once the noodles feel firm, remove the patties by lifting out the plastic wrap. If you didn’t use plastic wrap, use a spatula to carefully loosen the sides and scoop or flip them out. Fry the ramen patties in a buttered frying pan until both sides are crisp and browned. Set them on a plate.

4. Fry the SPAM

Pan-fry a slice of SPAM in the same frying pan. Place the meat slab on one of the buns and add your toppings of choice. The recipe on the SPAM website suggests topping it with kimchi, which I did and I highly suggest it, but you can go anywhere with this burger. Try a classic American-style burger with American cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. Keep it simple with mayo and pickles, or lean into the umami with mushrooms and caramelized onions.

SPAM Ramen Burger Recipe


1 packet instant ramen noodles

1 egg

Butter for coating the pan

1 slice of SPAM

Kimchi or other Assorted toppings

1. Cook the ramen according to the package directions. Drain out the excess broth and pour the noodles into a medium mixing bowl. Let them cool for five minutes. Add the egg and mix the noodles to coat them. 

2. Oil two soup bowls lightly, or line them with plastic wrap. Divide the eggy noodles between the two bowls. Press and smooth the noodles with a rubber spatula to form the patties. Put the bowls in the fridge to firm up for an hour. 

3. Once the patties feel firm enough to hold their shape, add enough butter to a small frying pan to coat the bottom. Over medium-low heat, fry the ramen patties until the sides are crisp and lightly browned. Place them on a plate.

4. Fry the plank of SPAM in the same frying pan to brown it. Top one “bun” with the spam slice. Add burger toppings and top it all with the other ramen patty. Enjoy immediately. 

Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Staff Writer

Allie has been Lifehacker’s Food Writer since 2021. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Ithaca College in drama and studied at the Institute of Culinary Education to earn her diploma in Pastry and Baking Arts. Allie worked professionally as a private chef for over a decade, honing her craft in New York at places like Balthazar, Bien Cuit, The Chocolate Room, Billy’s Bakery, and Whole Foods. She spent evenings as a chef instructor, and also earned a master’s degree at Hunter College for teaching English. Allie’s YouTube channel, Thainybites, features recipes and baking tricks. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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