Cucumber Kimchi Burger with Bulgogi Glaze and Citrus Chili Drizzle

Pairs well with:


Get cozy and get pouring. Our Merlot is the wine for long weekends and lengthy chats.


People are polarized when it comes to kimchi – they either love it or hate it. I have really liked the new Korean influence in lunch carts in US cities (Korean tacos for example). I wanted to use the ubiquitous condiment in Korea on a burger but, make it fresh and not so strong. I found that by cooking the raw garlic a minute prevents the “death breath” people can get from raw garlic and by using a cucumber for the kimchi it makes it a nice fresh condiment alternative to the pickled and fermented original. The glaze uses ingredients that are typically used for a BBQ (Bulgogi ) marinade but thicker in this case with the use of hoisin. Preserved lemons can be used in Korean cuisine so lemon rind is added to the chili drizzle.


Cucumber “Quick” Kimchi:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 large cucumber, pealed, seeded, and julienned

1 medium red bell pepper, washed, seeded and julienned

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

2 teaspoons Chinese hot chili paste

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Bulgogi Glaze:

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons Sutter Home red wine , preferably Merlot

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon crushed sesame seeds

Citrus Chili Drizzle:

½ cup sweet chili sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 large cloves of garlic

2 pounds ground chuck, preferably organic and 80% lean

¼ cup Sutter Home red wine, preferably Merlot

3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, finely minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon black pepper

1½ teaspoons salt

vegetable oil for grill

6 sesame buns, split

1 small head of napa cabbage, 6 large leaves torn in half, using the top green half



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

Prepare the garlic for the Kimchi by heating the 1 tablespoon of oil in a small fireproof skillet placed on the grill, add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the Cucumber “Quick” Kimchi by mixing in a medium bowl – the cucumber and red bell pepper. Mix in a separate small bowl the minced garlic, ginger, chili paste, Asian fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Pour all of liquid mixture on to cucumber and red bell pepper mixture and toss well. Keep covered and chilled until use.

Prepare Bulgogi Glaze by combing in a small bowl the hoisin sauce, red wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, and crushed sesame seeds. Stir and mix well and set aside.

Prepare the Citrus Chili Drizzle by mixing in a small bowl the sweet chili sauce, lemon juice and the lemon rind. Pour or spoon into a squeeze bottle. Set aside until building burgers.

For patties, prepare the garlic first by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a small fireproof skillet on the grill at medium heat, add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Next, combine ground chuck, red wine, garlic, ginger root, soy sauce, black pepper and salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix gently and distribute ingredients into the meat. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties. Cover and keep cool until needed.

When the grill is ready, brush grill with oil and place patties on grill, cook 4 minutes, then turn over and spread about 2 tablespoons of Bulgogi Glaze on each patty. While patties are cooking, place buns, cut side down, to the outer edge of the grill to toast lightly. Cook patties another 4 to 5 minutes or until desired doneness (medium recommended).

Remove cooked patties and buns as they finish cooking and build burgers:

Place one Napa Cabbage leaf piece on each bun bottom then, place cooked patties with glaze on top. Add about 2 -3 tablespoons of Cucumber “Quick” Kimchi on top of each. Finish with a drizzle from the squeeze bottle of the Citrus Chili Drizzle on the bun top and by putting the bun tops on the burgers.