Vietnamese Five-Spice Pork Burgers Zippy with Jalapeño chiles, Sweet & Sour with Pickled Daikon and Carrot, and Absolutely Indulgent with Pate on a Buttered Bun!

Accolades 2007 Finalists
Serves Makes 6 burgers


Pickled Daikon and Carrot

  • 1 1/2 cups julienned daikon
  • 1 1/2 cups julienned carrot
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar


  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc man)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  • 6 good-quality sesame-seed hamburger buns, split
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons spreadable pork or liver pâté
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced
  • 18 fresh cilantro sprigs



o make the pickled daikon and carrot, combine the daikon, carrot, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl, tossing well to coat. Set aside to marinate.

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

To make the patties, combine the pork, garlic, diced chiles, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, 5-spice powder, sugar, and lime zest and juice in a bowl, mixing well to incorporate. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and form into round patties.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and grill for 6 to 7 minutes per side, until cooked through. Turn the patties 90 degrees halfway through cooking on each side, to attain grill marks.

Spread the cut side of each bun half with 1/2 tablespoon butter and grill until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise on the cut side of each bun bottom and 1 tablespoon of the pâté on the cut side of each bun top. Place the patties on the bun bottoms and top with the cucumber and chile slices. Drain the carrot and daikon pickles and pile a generous amount atop each patty. Add the cilantro sprigs and the pate-smeared bun tops. Enjoy!