Korean BBQ Burgers

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.



1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 Asian pear cubed
2 cloves of garlic sliced
2 green onions chopped in 1 inch pieces
Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for the onions

Caramelized Onions:

1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (fresh ground chilli, found in Asian markets and specialty supermarkets)
1/4 cup reserved marinade


2 pounds freshly ground chuck
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon of ginger, minced
2 green onions finely chopped
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 red leaf lettuce leaves
6 good quality large sesame hamburger buns split


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

For the Caramelized Onions: in a 10-inch nonstick, fire-proof skillet, combine the onion, 1/4 cup of the marinade 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.

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

For the Patties: in a large bowl combine the chuck, garlic, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, black pepper, salt, handling as little as possible. Mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. 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.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Remove patties from marinade and place onto clean baking sheet. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

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