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Spicy Korean Burgers w/Carrot-Cucumber Relish and Kimchi Mayo

This recipe was inspired by my love for Korean food. This love was born out of two young Army lieutenants eating their way through Korea on a one year tour. My twin sister and I both drew Korea as our first duty station. With a penchant for all things edible, we dived right in to this new culture and its cuisine. The BBQ Beef, kimchi, and spicy stews were enough to make us want to extend our tour. Unfortunately, we were not able to extend and left this new found love too quickly. We long for a return trip; but find solace in seeking out and enjoying all things Korean, wherever we are. This burger is an adaptation on the meal every Korean food novice cuts their teeth on- Bulgogi and cabbage kimchi.

Ingredients 

Carrot-Cucumber Relish:
1 tablespoon Korean Red Pepper Paste (Kochuchung)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup julienned English cucumber
Kimchi Mayo:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cabbage kimchi, finely diced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Patties:
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground sirloin
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon rice wine (mirin)
1/2 tablespoon kiwi fruit puree
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 sesame seed buns, split
6 Romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions 

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. To make the relish, combine red pepper paste and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. With a whisk, mix until smooth and free of lumps. Fold in carrots and cucumber until well coated. Refrigerate until serving. To make the kimchi mayo, combine the mayonnaise, kimchi, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Refrigerate until serving. To make the patties, combine chuck, sirloin, soy sauce, 2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, rice wine, and kiwi puree in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions into patties to fit the buns. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and grill until browned on the bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip patties and continue grilling until done, about 5 minutes longer. Patties should register 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. During the last few minutes of cooking, place both halves of buns, cut side down, on grill until warmed through and lightly toasted. To assemble the burgers, spread kimchi mayo on the cut side of both the bottom and top buns. Top bottom buns with one lettuce leaf and one patty each. Top each patty with an equal amount of the carrot-cucumber relish. Cover patties with bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.

Comments 

We fully stand behind this burger (and the healthful properties of kimchi) and feel that it is a must try and a winner!