Friday, 2 July 2010

Ramly Burger

Summer is upon us, and with that comes the holding of barbecues. What one eats at a barbecue would vary from region to region. While the most popular item to be had from a grill pit on the seaside back home would be chicken wings, if one were to join a summer party held in somebody's backyard in London the order of the day would almost certainly be burgers.

It is hardly surprising then, that Sainsbury's would introduce Basics Beef Burgers in the fresh meat aisle, to capitalise on the season and the current economic downturn. One look at this burger though, and the prospective consumer might think twice.

For a start, the burgers are small, and are grey in colour. Even if one were to buy in bulk, for 50p more per packet one would be able to choose from a range of juicy-looking Quarter Pounder Beef Burgers, or even venture to the Taste the Difference range. Unless you're catering for a large number of people that you resent, yours truly would strongly encourage you to spend a bit more and have a more enjoyable barbecue.

That said, this blog serves two purposes. Since this post has fulfilled the first, it can proceed with the second, to attempt to provide students from my home country with the means of using Basics items to create meals they are familiar with back home or might encounter here. This time, we shall write on the former.

The Ramly Burger is a curiosity from Malaysia, perhaps the country's answer to the American McDonald's. In reality the term refers to the burgers served up at stalls run by Ramly Moknin and his franchisees, but ask anybody in the know and they would almost immediately think of the variant where the patty and condiments are wrapped in egg. As Mr Moknin does not appear to want to enforce consistency between franchisees, the burgers served between stalls may vary highly; Wikipedia notes that some burgers might be cooked with condiments as interesting as curry powder.

We are in London though, and the British might not be as adventurous. As such, we will stick to the items that we can find in my refridgerator, and that would be the grated cheese from my previous post and the Basics mustard.

Preparation is straightforward. Cook the patty using your usual method. If frying, you might be interested to know that some Ramly franchisees might slice the patty lengthwise to form a butterfly shape, to speed up cooking. This method is controversial, critics saying that doing so would result in a dry patty.

When done, fry two eggs as you would a sunny-side up, trying to spread the white as much as you can.
Add your condiments, and then the patty. Attempt to wrap the egg around the patty and flip over to seal the package.

Not bad, for a first try, in my opinion. The patty consists of 70% beef, and certainly reminds me of the burgers I've had whilst at various fairs in the UK. It was a good idea then, that I prepared a Ramly burger, or at least, a cheap knockoff of it, because on its own it would probably have been rejected, if not by me, then at least by my stomach.

Given London's reputation as a major gastronomical city, I think the Ramly burger could catch on, especially if marketed as authentic street food, which it is, and affixed with an upmarket price tag. There is a Malaysian restaurant that would be well-positioned to do this - the Awana in Sloane Street. A delegation was sent from my country to study the feasibility of a state-coordinated effort to introduce its cuisine on a long-term basis to Londoners. Perhaps Malaysia should follow suit.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Beef Burgers£1.504 x 100g
+£0.97 (+£0.50 if on offer, see notes)Higher meat content, quarter-pound patties, healthier looking burgers. Currently on 2 for £4 offer.

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