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Five Spice Hong Kong Happiness Burger with Star Anise Guava Glaze

I discovered guava paste a few years ago when I worked at Everglades National Park, and frequented Cuban restaurants in Miami and the Keys. While outstanding in Cuban pastries, guava paste also lends itself to all sorts of other concoctions, including barbecue creations. It seemed to pair naturally with star anise, and with some lime juice and Sutter Home wine to cut its sweetness, beautiflly complements this happily textured and flavored burger.


For the Guava Glaze:
About 1/4 cup guava paste (or substitute guava jam - increase to 1/3 cup if using jam)
1/2 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
1/3 cup lime juice
1 star anise pod
Oil for greasing the grill
For Burgers:
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 spring onions, chopped (include green stems)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
1/2 cup chopped cashews (roasted and salted)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons sambal oelek
2 teaspoons sesame oil
6 Kaiser rolls (with sesame seed tops), split


Preheat a gas grill to medium high. In a medium skillet over the gas grill or on the side burner, mix all guava glaze ingredients together, and stir until guava melts and all ingredients are smoothly incorporated together. Remove from heat and set aside. With hands, lightly mix all burger ingredients, and shape into 6 patties. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side (for medium rare; a little longer if you want burgers more well done). During the last few minutes, place the split Kaiser rolls on the grill to toast. Also, remove star anise pod from the glaze, and reheat glaze over grill. To serve, place burgers on the bottom half of the bun, top with guava glaze, and top with remaining piece of the bun.


If you can't readily find guava paste (it's a little hard to find in Montana, but can be ordered on the internet), you can substitute guava jam, which is easier to locate. Sambal oelek is showing up more and more on the Asian shelves of supermarkets, but if you can't find it, substitute a small, chopped jalapeno pepper (seeds and membrane removed), but the sambal oelek adds an extra dimension beyond just hot. Enjoy your burgers with the rest of the bottle of Sutter Home Zinfandel - its spiciness stands up to, and complements these burgers.