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Eat and Drink

Hey Hey Canteen's ramen-crusted fried chicken sandwich is the stuff dreams are made of

You're not dreaming. Fried chicken and ramen have indeed come together for an epic food item.

It's time to take a trip back to your younger days: Brooklyn's Hey Hey Canteen, located on the border of Park Slope and Gowanus, is cooking up a ramen-crusted fried chicken sandwich.

It took Canteen owner Kay Ch’ien, executive chef Carlos Barrera and consulting chef Irene Khin Wong about three months to perfect the Hong Kong Fried Chicken Sandwich, but their big breakthrough came when they figured out the crust: crushed ramen noodles and how to keep it crispy.

The instant noodles used for the chicken’s crust are the restaurant's “one naughty food item” said Ch'ien, a Hong Kong-native; from crushing the ramen for the breading to spicing up their flour mixture with the little flavor packets, the whole instant noodle package is used to make this one-of-a-kind sandwich.

The restaurant, which opened on June 8, serves lunch, dinner and afternoon tea with an upscale Chinese takeout twist. Ch'ien noted that most of the menu is fairly wholesome, with picks like chrysanthemum caesar salad, spicy matcha soba noodles and turmeric-ginger cayenne tea. The restaurant uses tamari, rather than soy sauce, making it possible for many of their dishes to be completely gluten-free while maintaining that traditional fermented flavor.

"It satisfies that Chinese takeout craving, but you feel good afterwards," Ch’ien said of the majority of the menu.

The name for Hey Hey Canteen plays off of the Cantonese idea of “double happiness”: “happy” is pronounced like “hey” in Cantonese.

We went behind the scenes to see how the sandwich gets made:

Breaded with the whole ramen package

Before it even nears the noodles, the chicken
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Before it even nears the noodles, the chicken is marinated in Tamari and palm sugar ahead of time. The chicken breast is then breaded with flour and spices (including that flavor packet from the instant noodle package), egg wash and crushed ramen.

Those buns are steamy

Executive chef Carlos Barrera steams the house-made bao
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Executive chef Carlos Barrera steams the house-made bao buns for the Hong Kong Fried Chicken Sandwich while the chicken is frying, sprinkling a few sesame seeds on top partway through the process.

Gotta have aioli...

Barrera spreads the aioli with shallots on the
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Barrera spreads the aioli with shallots on the bun.

It's topped with fresh flavors

Once the chicken is fried, it's placed on
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Once the chicken is fried, it's placed on the steamed bao bun with aioli and topped with green mangos, pickled radish and cilantro.

That crust is made of the finest instant noodles around

That's one beautiful ramen-crusted fried chicken sandwich.
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

That's one beautiful ramen-crusted fried chicken sandwich.

So crispy and colorful

Ramen-crusted fried chicken sandwich, yum!
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Ramen-crusted fried chicken sandwich, yum!

International comfort food

Hey Hey Canteen's owner Kay Ch'ien grew up
Photo Credit: Georgia Kral

Hey Hey Canteen's owner Kay Ch'ien grew up eating a similar sandwich in Hong Kong; glazed chicken is a "comfort food" there, both at home and in restaurants.

It's yours for $10.99

Take a bite!
Photo Credit: Emily Schienvar

Take a bite!

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