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KOREAN BEEF BURGER WITH SPICY BACON JAM AND CRISPY ZUCCHINI STRINGS

Born and raised in NYC with a Korean heritage, I love Korean BBQ and American burgers. I infused the traditional Korean flavors of Korean BBQ beef into my Korean beef burger and added an American twist with my spicy bacon jam, zucchini strings and of course, melted cheese. So tantalize your taste buds with this spicy, sweet and savory burger today!

Ingredients 

BEEF BURGER

2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons roasted slightly crushed sesame seeds

¼ cup additional roasted sesame seeds (Slightly crushed mixed with ½ teaspoon salt) to coat the edges of burgers

3 tablespoons roasted sesame seed oil

1 ½ tablespoons white sugar

¼ cup soy sauce (prefer Kikkoman)

½ teaspoon coarse salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon Korean ground red pepper *

4 whole scallions, trimmed with tops removed and chopped (about 1 cup)

3 peeled garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

6 thick slices American Cheese (prefer Kraft American Deluxe or Sharp Cheddar slices)

6 sesame seeded hamburger buns (prefer Pepperidge Farm brand)

¼ cup melted butter to brush on buns for toasting

6 pieces of Leaf Lettuce

SPICY BACON JAM

1 package thin sliced bacon (prefer Oscar Mayer)

1 tablespoon Korean ground red pepper

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey (prefer Golden Blossom)

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

*Korean ground red pepper can be found in Asian and Korean markets

You could substitute an equal part of red cayenne pepper and sweet paprika to achieve a similar taste

CRISPY ZUCCHINI STRINGS

2 medium size zucchini

1 cup rice flour

2 cups Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ teaspoon Korean ground red pepper

½ teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions 

Prepare spicy bacon jam

1.Preheat outdoor grill to medium high heat. Cut bacon into ½ inch dice and cook in medium size fireproof nonstick skillet until crisp 8-12 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain almost all the bacon drippings leaving 1-2 tablespoons.

2.Return the skillet to the grill and add ½ cup chopped scallions, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, crisp bacon and 1 tablespoon Korean ground red pepper. Heat until bacon jam is syrupy about 1-2 minutes and remove from heat into a small bowl.

Fry zucchini strings

1.Place olive oil in a medium fireproof nonstick pot and heat on the grill to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, shred zucchini into thin strings with a hand mandolin and dredge in rice flour. Shake off excess flour and fry zucchini strings in the hot oil in small batches until crisp 5-8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle zucchini strings with salt and red pepper just before serving on burgers.

Cook and assemble burger

1.To make the patties, combine ground beef, 2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds, sesame seed oil, soy sauce, chopped scallions, minced garlic cloves, sugar, salt, ground black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon ground hot red pepper. Handle the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the seasoned beef into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.

2.Place ¼ cup roasted sesame seeds (slightly crushed mixed with ½ teaspoon salt) on a small plate. Dip edges of burgers into sesame seeds before grilling.

3.Preheat an outdoor grill on medium high heat. Spray grill grate with nonstick spray before using. Cook the beef patties turning once about 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked to preference. Add slices of cheese to melt.

4.Brush melted butter on the buns and toast slightly until light golden brown 1-2 minutes.

To assemble the burgers, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom of each bun. Then place the cooked beef patties on top of the lettuce. Spoon a generous amount of the spicy bacon jam and crispy zucchini strings on top. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers