San Fran Chinatown Burgers

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

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


Chinatown Sauce:
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
8 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed
1/2 serrano pepper, stem & seeds & veins removed, chopped
2/3 cup mayonnaise

Duck Fat Baby Bok Choy:
1 boneless, skin-on duck breast (skin will be for this; reserve duck breast for patty)
6 baby bok choy, sliced into 3/4-inch thick strips

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 egg buns, sliced lengthwise
1 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups thin, hard, crispy fried noodles (store-bought)


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

To make the Chinatown Sauce, combine hoisin, garlic, green onions, cilantro, serrano, and mayonnaise in the bowl of a food processor; puree. Set aside.

To make Duck Fat Baby Bok Choy, remove skin from duck breast (reserve duck breast for patty). Chop skin into a few pieces. Heat a large fireproof skillet over medium-high heat; add chopped duck skin and render the fat; remove and discard the remaining skin. Add bok choy to skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occassionally. Set aside

To make the patties, chop up the reserved duck breast and place in a food processor; pulse until reasonably ground. Combine the duck breast, beef, ginger, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. 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, spread some Chinatown sauce on the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place an equal amount of water chestnuts, an equal amount of cilantro, a patty, an equal amount of Duck Fat Baby Bok Choy, and an equal amount of fried noodles. Add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.