Knockout Korean “Soul” Burgers with Kimchi Ketchup, Drunken Daikon Slaw and Peppery Sesame Bacon

Pairs well with:


Hard to pronounce yet easy to drink, this wine combines lychee fruit and white peach flavors with a hint of spice.

My Father-in-law and his memories of Korea. he is a wonderful man, and an inspiration to my husband and me. He has a great fondness for the people of Korea and we are grateful he is here to share his memories with us.


Kimchi Ketchup

1/3 cup mild white kimchi (see note)
1 cup whole peeled tomatoes or tomato puree
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons gochujang or red chile paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar or substitute sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Drnken Daikon Slaw

1 medium daikon radish
3 green onions (or scallions)
1/4 cup mirin
1 large jalapeno, cored, seeded and julienned
1 large carrot, grated
1/4 cup white rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peppery Sesame Bacon

12 slices thick cut uncured bacon
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt


2 pounds ground pork
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, grated
4 spring onions (or scallions), ends removed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons pear nectar
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Peanut or vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 sesame seed hamburger buns
2/3 cup melted butter



To make the ketchup, combine the kimchi, tomatoes, sugar, ginger, gochujang, garlic, vinegar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Heat the olive oil in a preheated fireproof skillet over medium low heat, add the ketchup mixture and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, reducing to about 1 cup, adding water if necessary. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

To make the slaw, trim and peel the daikon radish, then cut crosswise into thirds and julienne into thin, 1/4 inch wide strips. Trim the bulb ends off of the green onions, cut crosswise into thirds, and julienne. Place the daikon into a large bowl and add the onions and mirin. Let marinade for 15-20 minutes, drain and add the jalapeno and shredded carrot. In a separate bowl whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and salt. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss until the slaw is lightly coated. Cover and set aside.

To make the bacon, cut the slices in half crosswise and place on a slotted rack in a fireproof pan on the grill over medium high heat. Cook until crispy on both sides. Remove the bacon from the heat, baste with the sesame oil and sprinkle with the pepper and salt. Place on paper towels and set aside.

To make the patties, combine the ginger, garlic, onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, pear nectar and red pepper in a large chilled bowl. Add the ground pork and mix until well blended, handling the meat as little as possible.
Divide the meat into 6 equal patties. Combine the salt and sesame seeds, and sprinkle the patties on both sides with the mixture before grilling.

Preheat the grill to med high heat. Brush the grill rack with peanut oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook until done to preference, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium, turning once. Remove the patties from the grill to rest. Brush the buns lightly with the melted butter and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, place a patty on each of the bottom buns, top with four pieces of bacon, a generous spoonful of ketchup and an equal portion of the slaw on the burgers. Add the bun tops and serve!

Mild, white kimchi is the type found in most grocery stores. Gochujang and brown rice vinegar can be found in Asian markets. If you are lucky enough to have one nearby, select a few of the wonderful flavorings offered and incorporate them into your everyday cooking!

Makes 6 burgers