Hawaiian Rainbow Cheeseburgers

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.

This burger is a tribute to the State of Hawaii with its melting pot and “rainbow” of races and cultures. It also reflects the beautiful Hawaiian weather and rainbows we have throughout the year. The burger has a rainbow of colors, purple (Hawaiian poi/taro English Muffin), green (lettuce), white (onion), red (tomato), brown (burger), and yellow (cheese). The burger combines my Japanese heritage, Hawaiian influence, and “good old” traditional American burger with cheese. The grill-toasted English Muffins blend perfectly with the burgers to also create a melting pot of breakfast (English Muffin) and lunch/dinner (burger) food.

The burger also introduces cooks and diners, who might only be familiar with use of miso in Japanese miso soup, who might say “Me so (“miso”) scared to try miso”, to this diverse ingredient. The recipe is super simple to prepare and busy cooks and hungry diners will appreciate the simple, quick, and delicious and colorful burger that everyone will enjoy!



1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 tablespoons shiro (white) miso (soy bean paste)
1 /2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/3 C bread crumbs
1 tablespoon roasted white sesame seeds

6 slices mild cheddar cheese

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 Hawaiian poi/taro (or other) English Muffins, split
3 cups shredded Manoa lettuce leaves (or other locally grown/your favorite lettuce leaves)
6 (1/8 inch thick) Maui Onion slices (or other sweet onion slices)
6 (1/4 inch thick) Kamuela Tomato slices (or other locally grown/your favorite tomato slices)


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

To make the patties, combine all the ground beef, shiro (white) miso, grated ginger, sesame seeds, and bread crumbs in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the English muffins.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 4 or 5 minutes on each side. When the burger is almost done, place a slice of cheddar cheese on top of each burger. Also, during the last few minutes of cooking, place the English Muffins, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, on each English Muffin bottom, place 1/2 cup shredded lettuce, a patty, and then an onion slice and a tomato slice. Add the English Muffin tops and serve.