The Heart and Seoul of Korea Burgers
I have always been inspired by Korean flavors. In this recipe I have incorporated some of my favorite Korean ingredients to make a sublime burger. It includes gochujang (a spicy pepper paste) plus something that is bizarrely popular in Korea – Spam. I can promise you that you haven’t tasted a burger as unique and delicious as this!
PEANUT BASIL SLAW
- 2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
- 1/4 cup chopped Thai basil
- 1/4 cup minced roasted red pepper
- 1/2 cup candied peanuts, chopped
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/3 cup gochujang
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 8 ounces spam, cut into thin, 1-inch long matchsticks
- 2 pounds ground beef (75% to 80% lean)
- 1/4 cup minced green onions
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
- 6 King’s Hawaiian original hamburger buns
- 6 leaves red leaf lettuce
- 1 1/2 cups chopped plain rice cakes (roughly 1-inch pieces)
- Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
- To make the peanut basil slaw, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Drain before serving.
- To make gochujang mayo, combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
- To make the crispy spam, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spam and cook for 5 minutes or until crispy, stirring occasionally. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- To make the patties, combine all of the ingredients 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 lightly toast.
- To assemble the burgers, spread a layer of gochujang mayo on the cut sides of each bun. On each bun bottom, place a leaf of redleaf lettuce, some crispy Spam, a few pieces of rice cake, a patty and an equal amount of peanut basil slaw. Add the bun tops and serve.