RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Five Spiced Lacquered Burgers with Pickled Apples

I recently returned from a trip to Asia, along with great memories I brought home a new and exciting flavor profile. This burger is a fusion of Chinese, South East Asian and American flavors.
The five spice lacquering glaze was inspired by Chinese BBQ cooking in the open air street markets. The aromatic flavors of anise, clove, cinnamon, fennel and Schezuan peppers are combined, with other South East Asian flavors to make flavorful BBQ sauce. I used fish sauce and apple cider vinegar to pickle apples, which lighten up the burger with some added tartness, crunchiness, and coolness. The hamburger is America at its best but paired with these Asian flavors this burger is the perfect intersection of east meets west!

Ingredients 

Pickled Apples
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 Fuji apples sliced ¼ inch thick, core removed

Lacquering Glaze
1 tablespoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 tablespoon plum sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon water

Patties
2 pounds ground organic chuck (20%)
2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper

6 Portuguese rolls sliced in half
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, used to oil the grill rack to prevent the burgers from sticking

Instructions 

For the pickled apples, mix the cider vinegar, fish sauce, Sriracha chile sauce, and honey together in a large mason jar, Tupperware, or bowl with a lid. Add the apples, seal the container and shake the jar so that the pickling liquid coats the apple slices. Set the jar in the refrigerator to pickle for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour. Occasionally shake the jar to redistribute the pickling liquid over the apples.

For the lacquering glaze, combine the above ingredients in a sauce pan. To cook the glaze, heat a gas grill to medium low heat. Simmer the contents of the saucepan on low heat until the liquid has reduced by half and can coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.

For the patties, divide the ground chuck into 6 equal sized portions. Gently roll the meat into a ball and then use the palm of your hand to push the meat into the patty shape – approximately ¾ inch thick and 4 inches wide. Create a slight indentation in the center of the patties, which gives the final, cooked burger an even thickness. Set the patties aside and allow the meat to get to room temperature prior to cooking, which helps the patty cook evenly. Prior to grilling liberally season the patties with salt and pepper.

Heat the grill to high heat. Use a paper cloth saturated with vegetable oil to rub the hot grill rack. Season the patties liberally with salt and pepper and place them onto the grill. Cook the patties 3-5 minutes. Flip once during the cooking process. Coat the burgers with the five spice glaze and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, for a medium-rare/medium burger. Continue to glaze the burger with the five spice glaze. Do not press the burgers down with the spatula. This will push out all the delicious juices from the burger. Remove the burgers and set aside, under aluminum foil, to rest for about five minutes.

Spread the butter onto the Portuguese buns and grill them for at least 30 seconds, up to a minute, to establish grill marks and to toast.

Place the burger on the lower half of the bun, top with a slice or two of pickled apples and cover everything with the remaining bun. Serve with additional lacquering glaze on the side.