Korean Barbecue Burgers

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.

I love to cook! I love to take my favorite ingredients and combine them into something that is easy to prepare.But the most fun part is sharing my passion with my family and friends. I draw my influences from my love for the barbecue, my Romanian heritage, and living in New York for the past 28 years. In NYC you have easy access to ethnic flavors of the world, so I have come up with an Asian flare burger. I am sure that once you taste the blend of flavors you will also agree, this is a great American burger.



1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoon light brown sugar

4 pear halves and half a can of juice pureed, from 15 ounce can of pear halves in 100% juice

2 cloves of garlic sliced

2 green onions chopped in 1 inch pieces

Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade liquid for the onions

Caramelized Onions

1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup of the marinade liquid


2 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon of ginger, minced

2 green onions finely chopped

2 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 pounds freshly ground chuck

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

12 red leaf lettuce leaves

6 good quality large sesame hamburger buns split


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

To make the marinade, in a medium bowl combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, light brown sugar, pear puree, garlic, and green onions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the combined marinade liquid for the onions.

To the make the caramelized onions, combine the onion, 1/4 cup of the marinade liquid in a 10-inch nonstick, fire-proof skillet, cover with a lid, and place on the grill rack. Cook the onion mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove the pan from the grill and set aside.

To make the patties, in a large bowl combine the garlic, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, baking soda, black pepper, salt, and handling as little as possible. Keeping your hands a bit wet with a small bowl of water while you make the patties so the meat will not stick to your hands, shape into 6 equal patties slightly larger than the buns. Place patties on a 13×9 baking sheet, evenly pour marinade over the top of the patties and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the center of the rack directly over the heat source and cook, turning every 3 minutes to avoid marinade from burning until done to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F using an instant-read thermometer and inserting it into the center of the patty. Be sure to wash the thermometer after each trial. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, on each bun bottom, place 2 lettuce leaves, a grilled patty, and equal portion of the caramelized onions. Add the top bun and serve immediately

Makes 6 burgers