Step right up and feast your eyes on these Great Feats of Pizza. These pies from far and wide will astonish you with their ingenuity, creativity, and deliciousness.
Presenting our next feat – the Devour Ramen Pizza from Tony Boloney’s in New Jersey. This wondrous marriage of hangover cures uses a noodle crust and a litany of Japanese ingredients to make one of the craziest food creations you’ll ever see. Read on, if you dare to face this monster mashup.
Few would have the hubris to try and conquer pizza and ramen in the same sitting. Even fewer would have the stomach to fuse the two together, but three brave souls did just that.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Devour Ramen Pizza, the belly-busting brainchild of Instagram food couple “Devour Power” and Tony Boloney’s owner Mike Hauke. After sampling 30 of the region’s best ramen shops, Hauke embarked on one of his most insane inventions to date.
Hauke hurried into his lab with the goal of representing both top-end ramen and Top Ramen in his pie. Like Thomas Edison before him, this New Jersey-bred mad scientist wasn’t afraid to experiment and get weird.
“I had to keep messing around with how long I soaked the noodles for, all different ratios,” Hauke explained. “There’s a million different variables that go into it. Each ingredient has hundreds of options. Which nori do I use? Should it be pre-dried or not? Am I supposed to toast it? Do I pre-crumble it? Do I use the ones with more moisture? And that’s just the seaweed.”
After several different iterations, Hauke found the perfect recipe to make his freakshow pizza into something that was “[freakin] awesome.”
The base of the ramen pizza begins with mountains of fresh ramen noodles that are soaked for four hours before being combined with standard variety instant ramen noodles. Then, they’re tossed in a cauldron of miso stock, soy sauce, and rice wine, plus scamorza cheese to strengthen the slippery foundation. In one bite, those who gleefully spend $20 on bowls of ramen are reminded of their humble dorm room roots.
This is no ordinary pizza, so Hauke reasoned that this pie could not be topped with an ordinary cheese. Instead, he dry-ages his own cheese in-house and blends it with a mix of spices to make a “Japanese mozzarella” that is unlike anything else you’ve ever tasted. After the cheese is strewn across the dense base, it’s blessed by a tomato-based chili sauce and topped with all the best ramen fixins, including scallions, sesame seeds, crumbled nori, and soft boiled eggs.
Some would be content to blanket noodles in regular old pizza sauce and cheese, post it on Instagram, and call it a day. That’s not the case here – Hauke tasted, toiled, and tinkered until he found the right ingredients to boldly establish the essential ramen flavors. The pie delivers a one-of-a-kind experience, though it’s not necessarily built for delivery.
“We try to prohibit that. We tell people that it doesn’t handle moisture well,” Hauke explained. “It’s like taking ramen noodles to-go – once you close the lid, it’s gonna steam out and the noodles will turn to mush. Also, it’s a heavy-ass pizza. But, some people want it, so we do it.”
Though the Devour Ramen Pizza is proudly displayed in Tony Baloney’s counter, many have wondered whether it’s a pizza at all. Do crispy noodles qualify as dough? Is the spicy tomato-chili sauce really a pizza sauce? These are questions that do not keep its creator up at night.
“Everyone always asks that,” Hauke said, after a moment of reflection. “Yeah, it’s a [expletive deleted] pizza.”