Seoul-fully Spicy Burgers
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon [scant] Asian red pepper paste, preferably kochujang [Korean red pepper paste]
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion, white and pale green parts only [reserve green tops for later use]
2 1/2 lbs. fresh ground chuck
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions [tops reserved from earlier use]
6 teaspoons butter, room temperature
6 sesame seed hamburger buns
6 crisp Romaine lettuce leaves
1/2 cup prepared kimchi [Korean pickled cabbage], coarsely chopped
1. Preheat 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low to medium heat on one side of gas grill. Add sesame seeds, and toast approximately 2 to 3 minutes, or just until golden., Shake the pan or stir, with a rubber spatula, every few seconds to prevent seeds burning. Remove from heat, place on a shallow plate and allow to cool. Turn both burners on to medium high to high to preheat grill.
2. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, salt, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and the Asian pepper paste until well combined. Add green onion, cooled sesame seeds and ground chuck; use your hands to blend ingredients together carefully just until mixed. Shape into six equal-sized balls and flatten slightly into patties.
3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together vegetable oil and sesame oil. Use a silicon basting brush to brush preheated grill rack with oil. Place patties on grill. Grill on one side for approximately 4 to 6 minutes [for medium], or just until browned about halfway up sides of patty. Flip burgers over carefully, and grill for additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
4. Mix sauce while patties are grilling. In small non-metal mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and green onion tops. Refrigerate until needed.
5. As burgers get done, remove to platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Butter tops and bottoms of buns. Place buttered sides down on grill; toast lightly, approximately 1 to 3 minutes.
6. Place bun bottoms on serving platter, and spread with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture. Place 1 crisp Romaine lettuce leaf on each bun half; divide kimchi evenly between buns, spooning on top of lettuce. Top kimchi with 1 burger. Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each bun top and place on burger. Serve and enjoy!