Bacon replaces the traditional sliced pork for a smoky, just-salty-enough effect. Photo via Samurai Noodle.

Samurai Noodle often changes up its menu with seasonal bowls, but the local ramen chainlet (which happens to be expanding to Jakarta, Indonesia) typically stays true to the styles created and popularized in Japan.

“There’s a really strong tradition behind keeping the core flavor intact,” says Samurai head chef Jackson Fischer. “But otherwise it’s a really versatile dish.” So versatile, in fact, that Samurai Noodle last week debuted its “first ramen where we brought in a little bit of an American tradition.”

That American tradition? Bacon. As a society, I hope we have moved beyond the point of freaking out any time bacon shows up in unexpected places. But sweet mother, look at that ramen.

Fischer tried a few combinations, and found that the bacon balanced nicely with Samurai’s traditional tonkotsu broth, which is made with pork and thick enough to stand up to the salty, smoky meat. The thick strip of pan-fried bacon replaces ramen’s traditional sliced pork topping. This version also gets topped with corn to lighten up the bowl a bit.

The bacon tonkotsu is a seasonal item at all three Samurai Noodle locations. While Fischer was pleased with this foray into American-styled ramen, he warned that patrons shouldn’t expect hamburger or hot dog versions on the menu any time soon.

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