Zen Burger

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.

For a barbeque in honor of the 2008 Olympic meet in China, I created a burger that features a rich blend of Asian ingredients.In addition to honoring the host country, this burger celebrates the large Asian communities that reside in Washington and British Columbia where our hometown is located on the border between the US and Canada.


Grilled Sweet Potato:
1 Sweet Potato, sliced 1/16 inch thick
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup bottled teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup bottled teriyaki sauce
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 onion, grated
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1 orange bell pepper, grated

Blue Cheese Spread:
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/8 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 purple onion
3 sprigs of lemon thyme
1 8 ounce tub of cream cheese

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 good quality Kaiser rolls, split
6 slices Swiss cheese


To make the grilled sweet potatoes, take a piece of foil approximately 14″ x 14″ and fold the sides up. Place the sliced sweet potatoes in the foil and spread them out. Pour the honey, ginger and teriyaki sauce over the potatoes. Fold the sides of the foil up around the potatoes, close the packet up securely, and place on the grill. Grill about 10-15 minutes until potatoes are soft.

To make the patties, combine the salt, teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, onion, soy sauce and red and black pepper in a bowl. Whisk together. Add the chuck and orange bell pepper and gently mix. Shape into six patties to fit the buns. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook turning once until done to preference, 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. In the final minute, place a slice of Swiss cheese.

While the burgers are cooking, make the blue cheese spread by placing the crumbled blue cheese, dried cranberries, purple onion, thyme sprigs and cream cheese in a food processor. Pulse lightly until all ingredients are mixed.

Place the buns cut side down on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly the final 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burger, spread the blue cheese mixture on the top of the bun. On the bun bottom, place a grilled patty, followed by 2 slices of grilled sweet potato. Add the top bun and serve.