RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Ono Island Burger

As a military brat, I had the great fortune of living in some of the most beautiful places in America – not the least of which was the Hawaiian Islands. Growing up with a seemingly endless supply of perfectly ripe tropical fruits and garden fresh vegetables really spoiled me for anything less. I remember visiting friends who lived on an avocado orchard. I was so impressed to see all those huge green fruits just waiting to be picked and turned into something ono – the Hawaiian word for delicious.

The Ono Island Burger draws upon those fond childhood memories – tasting all those wonderful island flavors. Mahalo! I appreciate the opportunity to share it with you.


Teriyaki-Sesame Mayonnaise:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

King Kamehameha Salad:

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
Several drops Jalapeño Tabasco
1/4 cup finely grated Maui onion (or any sweet variety)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
Sea salt, to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup crushed fresh pineapple
1/2 large mango, finely diced
1 small red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the bias
1/4 medium Napa cabbage, thinly sliced, about 2 cups
1/2 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles, crushed
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds


2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1 cup pureed fresh papaya
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Several drops Jalapeño Tabasco
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire sauce
1 cup toasted bread crumbs (Preferred: Hawaiian bread toasted and grated)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 large California avocado, sliced
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 bakery quality hamburger buns with sesame seeds, split


Step 1: Prepare Grill

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Step 2: Make Mayonnaise

Whisk the mayonnaise, teriyaki sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Step 3: Make King Kamehameha Salad

Whisk the sesame oil, rice vinegar, Tabasco, grated onion, lemon zest, garlic, ginger, ground mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl; set aside. Toss together the bell pepper, pineapple, mango, red onion, cilantro, green onion and cabbage in a medium bowl. Toss with the dressing to coat. Cover and refrigerated until use.

Step 3: Make the Patties

Combine the chuck, papaya, cilantro, green onions, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the buns. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Step 4: Grill Burgers

Brush the preheated grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

Step 5: Finish Salad

Toss the ramen noodles and sesame seeds in the King Kamehameha salad.

Step 6: Assemble Burgers

Spread desired amount of the teriyaki-sesame mayonnaise over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place an equal portion of the King Kamehameha Salad, followed by a grilled patty and avocado slices seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. Add the top bun and serve.


The Ono Island Burger is perfect for outdoor entertaining. The mayonnaise, dressing, salad, and patties can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Dress the salad just before serving and you