For any of you that personally know me you know how much I LOVE hamburgers. I am not sure where it all began, perhaps at my first job at Burger King, or when I discovered the incredible taste a charcoal grill can give to a burger. Regardless, I love burgers! When we were living in Thailand and craved a burger we had to go to the Hard Rock Cafe to get an American style burger. In Thailand, a “hamburger” was often times a pork patty with some sort of melted something that resembled cheese. It was a shock the first time I got a “hamburger” in Phuket. Needless to say I didn’t order too many of the Thai style “hamburgers” again.
We recently went on a road trip to Salt Lake City and while driving the Husband and I were talking about ideas for my next blog. He gave me the inspiration for fusing two of my favorite things – a burger and korean bulgogi. Here was my version of my bulgogi inspired burger.
What you will need:
1 lb ground beef, 80% lean
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 green onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T sesame seeds
1 yellow onion, sliced in 1/2 thick slices
Hamburger buns of your choice
Red leaf lettuce leaves
For the marinade:
1 asian pear, juice only
4 T light soy sauce
3 T brown sugar
3 T toasted sesame oil
3 T rice vinegar
1 T crushed red chili flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
What you will do:
1. Mix the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. In a separate bowl, add the ground beef, the egg, garlic, sesame seeds and green onion. Mix to incorporate but do not overwork the meat. Set aside.
2. Slice yellow onions and use some of the marinade (see picture below). Let sit while you heat up your grill. Reserve some of the marinade in a separate container. Meanwhile, form your burger patties, set on plate and brush with a little marinade on each side.
3. When grill is ready, carefully place patties and the onions on grill and cook according to your preferred doneness. As patties are cooking, baste with more of the bulgogi marinade.
4. When patties are cooked, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes so the juices can redistribute. With the reserved marinade brush the patties again for added flavor. Be sure to use the reserve so you are not contaminating your meat. As the patties are resting, toast your buns (ha ha!).
5. Assembly time! Add some gochujang to each side of the bun. Next add a layer of the red leaf lettuce on the bottom bun, add the burger patty, the fried egg and the grilled onions. Viola!
The sweetness of the brown sugar in the bulgogi marinade helps the onions to caramelize beautifully on the grill. TIP: try to keep the onions in a full ring and use a spatula to flip, these two things will help save your onions from falling between the grates.
Gochujang can be found at any Asian market. Gochujang is a Korean condiment made from fermented soybeans, chilies, glutinous rice and salt. It has a pungent smell but a subtle taste. I used this to enhance the Korean flavors of my burger instead of ketchup. For some it has a bit of a kick but for me it is almost sweet spicy. Give a little taste before you smother your buns.
I first learned of a fried egg with food in Thailand when it would always come with my pad gra praow gai. Delicious! I had the brilliant idea to add a fried egg to this burger because the yolk mixed with the gochujang would create a creamy and rich sauce. Ooh yeah!
How good does this look??
I find nothing better than a burger and baseball! We ate our burgers and watched the Oakland A’s…for the win!
Cheers and happy eating!