Osaka Meets the Ozarks Burger
Pickled Cucumbers & Onions
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup peeled, halved, seeded, thinly sliced cucumber
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 1/4 lbs. ground sirloin
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger root
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fried Green Tomatoes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
3 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large green tomato
6 slices thick-cut black pepper bacon, halved
2 tablespoons sweet asian chili sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
6 sesame seed buns, split
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi paste
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
6 leaves bibb lettuce
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the Pickled Cucumbers & Onions, whisk together vinegar, sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, in a medium bowl, until well combined; stir in cucumber and onion, cover, and allow to marinate until ready for use.
To make the patties, in a large bowl, add sirloin, barbeque sauce, hot sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Combine well, handling the meat as little as possible; form into 6 patties. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to grill.
To make the Fried Green Tomatoes, place flour in a small bowl. Whisk together egg and milk in a small bowl. Stir together panko, sesame seeds, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, in a small bowl. Stem the tomato and slice into 6 equal slices; dip tomato slices into the flour to coat completely, followed by egg mixture. followed by panko mixture. Reserve on a plate.
Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Evenly brush chili sauce on bacon, and wrap in foil to keep warm.
In bacon grease, fry the tomato slices for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown; drain on paper towels, cover and set aside.
When 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, 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. Evenly place the cheese on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.
To assemble the burgers, stir together mayonnaise, wasabi and cilantro in a small bowl, until combined; evenly divide and spread the wasabi mayonnaise over cut sides of buns. Drain the pickled cucumbers & onions; place a lettuce leaf onto each bun bottom, followed by equal amounts of pickled cucumbers & onions, then patties. Top with a fried green tomato slice, and bacon strips. Add bun tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers