RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Korean BBQ Burger

As a Korean-American family, we enjoy having Korean BBQ to bring family and friends together. I wanted to add the spicy yet sweet flavors of Korean BBQ to the American Burger.

Ingredients 

Korean BBQ Sauce:
1/2 apple (preferably Gala) peeled, seeded, and sliced
1/2 pear (preferably Asian or Bosc) peeled, seeded, and sliced
1/2 kiwi peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 shallots sliced
3 pieces white part of scallions sliced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt)
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorn
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup sake
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (can be substituted with canola oil)
2 fresh red chili peppers cut into 3 pieces each
Gochujang Aioli (Korean Fermented Red Chili Pepper Paste Aioli):
3 large egg yolks only
2 tablespoons gochujang
5 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
12 tablespoons grapeseed oil (can be substituted with canola oil)
1/2 tablespoon honey
Cucumber and Onion Salad:
1 sweet onion (preferably Vidalia), halved and thinly sliced (soaked in ice water for 10 minutes, drained well)
3 medium sized cucumbers (preferably Japanese or Kirby) thinly sliced
5 tablespoons ponzu sauce (citrus seasoned soy sauce)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
Patties:
2 pounds ground chunk
3 tablespoons of Korean BBQ Sauce (see above)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon salt (preferably sea salt)
1/2 tablespoon grounded fresh pepper
1 tablespoon sake
Others:
12 red leaf lettuce leaves
6 kkaennip leaves shredded (Korean Perilla) OPTIONAL
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 Kaiser rolls, split

Instructions 

(1) To make Korean BBQ sauce, combine the apple, pear, kiwi, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, sugar, salt, peppercorn, soy sauce, and sake in a blender and process until well blended. Add oil to a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to high heat and then add blended mixture and peppers. Continue cooking in high heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn down heat to medium, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and reduced. Put sauce pan with cooked mixture in a large ice bath to cool down for 30 minutes or until cool. Remove cooled mixture into jar and refrigerate until serving.

(2) To make gochujang aioli, combine the egg yolks, gochujang, garlic, and rice vinegar in blender and process until well blended. Add in oil and process until well blended. Add in honey and process until well blended. Remove the mixture into jar and refrigerate until serving.

(3) To make cucumber and onion salad, combine the onion, cucumber, ponzu, ginger, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and sesame seeds into a large bowl. Mix well and leave for 15 minutes. Drain salad and refrigerate until serving.

(4) To make patties, combine the beef, Korean BBQ sauce, ginger, salt, pepper, and sake in a large bowl and mix well. Form into 6 equal patties slightly largely than the dimensions of the rolls and make a slight depression in the middle of the patties.

(5) Preheat gas grill to medium high. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack and grill 4 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip the patties gently and cook an additional 4 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. During the last few minutes of grilling, arrange the buns around the edges of the grill to toast lightly.

(6) To assemble the burgers, spread gochujang aioli on both sides of the toasted buns. Place patties on top of the roll bottoms and spread Korean BBQ sauce on top of the patties. Place 2 folded red leaf lettuce leaves on top. Place equal portions of cucumber and onion salad on top of lettuce. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.