Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Korean Barbecue Burgers


I never quite know the best way to start a post. Just start talking about the recipe because that’s what we’re here for? Tell a funny anecdote relating to the recipe? I feel like I have multiple side stories related to these burgers. But first things first, let it be known these burgers are some of the best burgers I’ve ever made. And oddly enough, the reason I found this recipe in the first place is because I was googling other recipe uses for the quick pickled red onions I had made to go with brisket tacos. We had so much left over after eating the tacos, I wanted to put them to good use and I have so say, we sure did!

These burgers have so much depth of flavor using basic ingredients. There is a slightly sweet flavor, due to caramelizing of the brown sugar in them; slightly salty flavors thanks to the soy sauce, and tons of fresh exotic aromas thanks to the scallions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and toasted sesame oil. I had everything for the burger patties on hand already except the scallions. See? Nothing too crazy there. Toasted sesame oil is a great thing to keep on hand if you like Asian flavors. Just a little bit adds tons of flavor. One of the most important DO NOT SKIP things about this burger is the miso mayo. To make that, just combine mayo (I used Duke’s), miso paste, & sriracha. I did have to run out to the international market for miso paste, but it was totally worth it. It’s fermented so it can hang out in the back of my fridge pretty much forever, or until I run out because I’ve made these burgers so many times. It gives the umami flavor, which if you’ve never heard that term, it’s hard to explain. But once you taste this burger, you’ll get it. Combine the burger, miso mayo, a bit of lettuce, the pickled onions, and a fried egg (if you dare!) sandwiched between a slightly sweet potato bun, and this burger can’t be beat. I was surprised how quickly it all comes together. So much flavor without too much work!


Drool-inducing drippy egg.

It’s funny that the reason I found this recipe is because I wanted to find a way to use up pickled red onions. I despise raw red onion. It ruins salads, sandwiches, and burgers. I can’t even stand the smell of my food after I’ve removed raw red onion from a sandwich. But pickle it, and I’m all about it! I like to use this super affordable & easy to use Oxo mandolin slicer to get my onions completely uniform in size. I use the widest setting. When I pickle red onion, I prefer the flavor using a mixture of white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. I personally like the hint of sweetness from the apple cider vinegar. The first time I made them for homemade bibimbap I was amazed with how much the flavor changed with even just an hour of soaking in the vinegar mixture.


Because these burgers were so easy to throw together, I had time to go in search of sweet & spicy Korean ketchup to dip our fries in. That recipe is coming next on the blog!

These burgers were made using fantastic local beef I picked up at Porter Road Butcher, raised without hormones or antibiotics. I gotta admit, it was some pretty nice looking ground beef. And I am not one to usually say that about raw meat!

I’ve made these burgers a few times now. We’ve enjoyed these cooked on a cast iron skillet, as well as grilled on a charcoal grill. Either method works great! Most recently I invited my family over to our friends’ house by offering to bring these burgers for a low-stress throw on the grill meal. Our good buddy, Wingo, loves to grill nearly every night, so I knew he would be game to cook these burgers for us. This is a great recipe for entertaining friends, because literally every single thing can be prepped well before it’s time to eat.


Thanks for manning the grill! Now hurry up and start your own blog.


Korean BBQ Burgers

Yield: at least 6 burgers, we got more

Prep Time: 55 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Loaded with flavor, and pretty simple to prepare. These burgers will be the hit of the barbecue!


1 medium red onion, peeled, sliced into very thin rings, rings separated
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used Duke's)
2 tablespoons miso paste
1/4 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce

2 1/2 pounds ground beef
½ cup scallions (5-6), root end and 2 inches of green end trimmed off, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root (1 1/2 inch chunk)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

green leaf lettuce
potato buns, buttered & toasted
fried eggs


Combine vinegars, water, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook just until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat. Put onions into a medium sized bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over and stir. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 3 days.

Whisk mayonnaise, miso and sriracha. Store in the fridge up to 3 days

Mix ground beef, scallions, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and black pepper in large bowl until just combined. Shape into burger patties. Grill for about 6 minutes per side over medium-high heat for medium rare. Toast the buns for a minute or so. Spread miso mayonnaise on the bottom of the bun. (It is my personal belief that sauces on burgers should touch the meat and not just toppings and bun. I think it brings flavors together. Umami baby.) Serve burgers, topped with pickled onions and lettuce leaf.

Adapted from, originally adapted from Cooking Light

  Pin It

Leave a Comment