Spicy Korean Burgers w/Carrot-Cucumber Relish and Kimchi Mayo

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.


Carrot-Cucumber Relish:
1 tablespoon Korean Red Pepper Paste (Kochuchung)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup julienned English cucumber
Kimchi Mayo:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cabbage kimchi, finely diced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground sirloin
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon rice wine (mirin)
1/2 tablespoon kiwi fruit puree
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 sesame seed buns, split
6 Romaine lettuce leaves



Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. To make the relish, combine red pepper paste and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. With a whisk, mix until smooth and free of lumps. Fold in carrots and cucumber until well coated. Refrigerate until serving. To make the kimchi mayo, combine the mayonnaise, kimchi, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Refrigerate until serving. To make the patties, combine chuck, sirloin, soy sauce, 2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, rice wine, and kiwi puree in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions into patties to fit the buns. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and grill until browned on the bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip patties and continue grilling until done, about 5 minutes longer. Patties should register 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. During the last few minutes of cooking, place both halves of buns, cut side down, on grill until warmed through and lightly toasted. To assemble the burgers, spread kimchi mayo on the cut side of both the bottom and top buns. Top bottom buns with one lettuce leaf and one patty each. Top each patty with an equal amount of the carrot-cucumber relish. Cover patties with bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.