If you're feeling a little adventurous and are craving a truly unique burger, then this Korean BBQ Burger with Kimchi Slaw has got your name written all over it!
“Listen lady, why couldn't you just leave the classic burger well enough alone?” is what I can hear someone asking right about now, under their breath.
And believe me, I've gotten those comments in the past on other recipes where someone can't understand the point of tinkering around with something that's already “perfection” (in their humble opinion, of course), or isn't broken, if you know what I mean...
And in all honesty, it kinda makes me chuckle, because I simply can't imagine not tinkering.
But that's just me.
And so for those of you who aren't saying (or thinking) “what the...?” right about now, then perhaps, just perhaps, you're a bit like me, and I'd like to extend my hand and officially welcome you to my camp.
The slightly weird-but-harmless camp.
Interesting place, isn't it?
Here I find myself, again, with a taste for fusion, and what do I do?
I take this beloved and perfect summer-time treat, the sacred burger, insert it into my little brain, and out pops this magical concoction.
Kicked up, spiced up, sweetened up, and generally “beefed up” into this glossy, glaze-y, mildly spicy thing of beauty that you see before you, right now.
This is what I can tell you: that I love a good burger, and I love Korean BBQ.
And so truly, wouldn't it make perfect sense to put the two together?
Somehow, for me, it did.
Garlic, ginger, soy, and a kiss of sesame are added into juicy ground beef, then the seared patties are slathered in a sweet and spicy Korean-style BBQ sauce, then topped off with fresh, crisp cabbage combined with a kiss of mayo and sweetness, plus a good heaping of spicy kimchi, all on a buttery brioche-style bun—this is the Korean BBQ Burger.
And WOW, is this good!
Perhaps a bit out there, sure, but delicious? Most definitely!
So if the same-ol'-burger-blues have got you down, pick yourself right back up again with this crazy-good little Korean BBQ Burger, and throw some color and flavor back into your summer.
(And enjoy the process of not leaving well enough alone along with me.)
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Korean BBQ Burger with Kimchi Slaw
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Makes 4 burgers
• 1 ½ pounds ground beef (80/20 fat ratio)
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• ½ teaspoon grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 4 brioche hamburger buns, toasted
• Korean BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
• Chili Garlic Mayo (recipe below)
• Kimchi Slaw (recipe below)
-Add the ground beef into a large bowl, and very lightly chunk/break it up.
-Add to it all of the rest of the ingredients up to and including the black pepper, and very carefully and gingerly, combine the spices/seasonings into the meat, taking care not to work it very much (it will toughen the burgers).
-Portion out 4, 6 ounce patties, about 1” thick and slightly bigger than your buns, creating a dent in the center of each patty (this will help keep the patty from “doming up” in the center as it cooks); stack the patties with parchment paper between each patty, and place them into the fridge for at least an hour, to allow the flavors to meld and the meat to relax.
-When ready to sear, take the patties out and allow them to come to room temp for a few minutes; place a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat (or you can also grill these outdoors), and once it gets hot, drizzle in a touch of vegetable oil (or clarified butter!), and sear a couple of burgers at a time for about 3-4 minutes per side; allow the burgers to rest for about 5 minutes.
-Glaze each burger patty in the Korean BBQ Sauce (I like to just plunge them into the warm sauce using a pair of tongs), just before building your burger.
-Spread some of the Chili Garlic Mayo on the toasted buns, and add a glazed patty to the bottom bun; add some of the Kimchi Slaw on top of the patty, top with the other bun, and enjoy!
Korean BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
• ¾ cup soy sauce
• ¾ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup rice vinegar
• 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
• 1 ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon grated ginger
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons corn starch
• 1 tablespoon honey
-Add all ingredients up to and including the cornstarch to a small saucepan, and whisk to blend; place over medium-high heat, and allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes, until it becomes glossy and thickened; finish with the honey, and allow to cool slightly to warm. (Store any unused portion in fridge—great with chicken, too, or as a glaze for fish!)
Chili Garlic Mayo Ingredients:
• ¾ cup mayonnaise
• ½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
• 1 teaspoon, heaping, finely minced green onion
-Add all ingredients to a small bowl, and whisk to blend; keep in fridge until ready to use.
Kimchi Slaw Ingredients:
• 3 cups, heaping, finely shredded green cabbage
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1 cup sliced kimchi (you can purchase this fermented and spicy cabbage in Korean markets, or specialty Asian markets in the refrigerated section)
-Add all ingredients into a bowl, and gently toss together to combine; keep in fridge until ready to use.