Mirin-Glazed Burger with Sesame-Ponzu Spinach & Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise

Accolades 2006 Finalists


Mirin Glaze: 2/3 cup mirin 1/2 cup sake 1/4 cup soy sauce Wasabi-Ginger Mayonnaise: 2/ 3 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger, with juices 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Wasabi paste Sesame-Ponzu Dressing: 1/4 cup Japanese Sesame Dressing 1/4 cup Ponzu sauce (Cold Pressed Citrus Soy Sauce) 6 cups baby spinach Patties: 1 tablespoon mirin 1 tablespoon sake 1 tablespoon soy sauce 3 tablespoons miso 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck 1/3 cup sliced green onion 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger, with juices 2 tablespoons minced garlic 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper 1 teaspoon sea salt Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack 6 sesame seed buns



• Prepare a medium fire in the charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium. • To make the glaze, add mirin, sake and soy sauce to a small, heavy fire-proof saucepan. Place on the grill rack, bring to a simmer and reduce to a slightly thicker consistency for 15 to 20 minutes. Set the glaze aside. (Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.) • To make the wasabi-ginger mayonnaise, mix mayonnaise, ginger and wasabi paste together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving. • To make the sesame-Ponzu dressing, mix sesame dressing and Ponzu sauce together in a small bowl. Place spinach in a large bowl and toss lightly with Sesame-Ponzu dressing. Cover and refrigerate until serving. • To make the patties, in a small bowl, mix together mirin, sake and soy sauce. Stir in miso and blend evenly. Spread the chuck out in a large shallow pan. Distribute miso mixture over meat and sprinkle evenly with green onion, ginger, garlic, black pepper and sea salt. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and, with cupped hands, toss one portion of the meat back and forth, from hand to hand, to form a loose ball. Pat meat portion lightly on a flat surface to form a burger to fit the buns. Press center of patty down with fingertips to create a slight indentation in the center of the patty. Repeat with remaining meat portions. • When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack and baste each patty with Mirin glaze. Cover and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes, basting each patty again with the glaze. Turn the patties and brush the cooked side with the glaze. Cook, brushing frequently with the glaze, until done to preference, 4 to 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. • To assemble the burgers, on each bun bottom, place an equal portion of the spinach and a patty. Spread the mayonnaise over the cut sides of the bun tops. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.