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Dim Sum Burgers with Rice-Wine Cucumber Slaw and Wasabi-Avocado Sauce

This recipe was inspired by my love for Japanese and Chinese food. It occurred to me that the key flavors could be adapted to the American tradition of grilled burgers by using the standard dumpling filling of pork, along with some of the seasoning of both dumplings and sushi. After some experimentation, the recipe took shape.


Rice-Wine Cucumber Slaw:
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced, peeled, seedless cucumber
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
5 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons light agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Wasabi-Avocado Sauce:
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and mashed
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 teaspoons wasabi powder
2 pounds ground pork
5 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark toasted sesame oil
vegetable oil for brushing the grill rack
6 sesame-seed Kaiser rolls, split


To make the rice-wine cucumber slaw, combine the cucumber, red onion, rice-wine vinegar, agave nectar, salt, and black pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir until vegetables are well mixed. Chill the slaw in a refrigerator (or a cooler partially filled with ice) for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to develop. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the wasabi-avocado sauce, combine the mashed avocado, mayonnaise, and wasabi powder in a small mixing bowl. Stir until smooth. Set aside. To make the patties, combine the pork, green onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, being careful not to compact the meat. Divide the pork mixture into six even portions, and form the portions into round patties that fit the Kaiser rolls. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Carefully place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook until patties’ undersides are lightly brown, about 4-5 minutes. Turn the patties once, and let them cook another 3-4 minutes to brown the remaining side (or until done to preference). During the last 1-2 minutes of cooking, place the Kaiser rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast them lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread 1-2 tablespoons of the wasabi-avocado sauce on the cut sides of each Kaiser roll (on both the tops and bottoms). On the rolls’ bottoms, cover the sauce with a patty; then cover the patty with about 1/3 cup of the rice-wine cucumber slaw. Add the Kaiser rolls’ tops to the burgers and serve.


I have found these burgers to be accompanied well by an appetizer of hot-and-sour soup, a side dish of vegetable tempura, and cups of freshly-brewed green tea. Thank you for the opportunity to share my recipe. I wish you the best for your contest.