Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Korean Burgers

     Since the most popular post so far was my pulled pork recipe, I've decided to go ahead and share another perennial favorite, Korean Burgers, (made from real Koreans.) Unfortunately for some people, I don't really work with measurements, since I've learned to do everything to taste, but I'll do my best to approximate. It may take you a few tries to get it just right. 

     If I am bothering to make these, it usually means I have people coming over for a BBQ, or I intend to freeze the majority of them, so I make a good-sized batch. Why so many people don't understand that their freezer is for more than ice cream and vodka (noble use though that is) is beyond me. Cooking decent food is a lot of work, but when you can pull it off, you can save a lot of money by actually wanting to eat at home. One way to lessen the work is to make large quantities of something, freeze it in small batches and pull it into the fridge a day or so before you need it. We do this with bread, chicken stock and burgers, three of the five food groups (vodka and ice cream being the other two). All you need to do to freeze burgers is wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then throw that in a large freezer storage bag (to slow freezer burn). You can do this with regular burgers too, and then thaw one or two to make meat sauce, nachos, or anything else with ground beef. The money you save on not regularly throwing out that other half of the package can then be pocketed, or used to buy organic meat the next time, because taste-wise, there is no comparison. (Some people get all wound up about hormones and stuff, too.)

Anyway, on to the recipe:

Korean Burgers
For 2-3 lbs of 80-85 % (any leaner is for people who expect to live forever) ground beef (enough for 6-10 burgers)
1 Small Onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 Scallions, sliced across
1-2 Tbls of Soy Sauce
1-2 Tbls of Sesame Oil
1 Tbls of Rice Wine Vinegar (Substitute Cider then Red Wine)
1-2 Tbls of Sesame Seeds
1 Tbls of Cumin
1 Tbls (at least) of Kung-Pao Rooster Sauce (Chili-Garlic Sauce)
Pinch of Salt and Pepper (easy on the salt, since you are using Soy Sauce) 

Good Buns (FFS don't skimp here people. A burger is only as good as the bun it is served on.)
Kim-Chi- without this you're just eating soy flavored burgers. Kim-Chi is essential.
Whatever condiments you usually go with.

      Separate into as many burgers as you desire. Three per pound is a fair-sized burger, if you are all big eaters, two per pound makes a really good-sized burger. Form the burgers on a cutting board into solid hockey-puck shapes. Burgers are NOT meatballs that you elbow-dropped off the top rope.The best way to cook burgers is always on the grill, outside with a Maine-brewed beer while your dog forgets her gender role and mounts all your friends' dogs. These burgers will blacken a little more on the outside than a typical burger, because of the sugar in some of the ingredients.

      For the best burger, it is important to warm the Kim-Chi, which can be done in a pan on med-low, and to toast the buns, preferably in butter in a pan, or buttered and in the oven. Always serve with a decent beer, but I don't think I need to justify that.

      Since it's currently winter in Maine, I'll bump this post come summer time. However, some friends are currently down-under or up in the Himalayas, and at least one of them I have had to email her this recipe at least twice, so here it will stay.


  1. Just found your blog, Rob, and glad to know you're already posting about my favorite food! I think it's about time to introduce George to the delishness (once it stops raining here for long enough to actually pull out the barbie!)

  2. I also enjoyed the tomato on bread thing you made for Joel's pre wedding get together.

  3. Bruscetta? How do you even remember that?