If there's one food I could never live without, it's a burger. Since I'm half Chinese (and half Italian, half French, half Mexican) I couldn't pass up this chinese style burger. With apologies in advance to Edward Lee whose cookbook Smoke & Pickles changed my life. I jacked and hacked this recipe from him.
The Cast of Characters:
One of the many (many) reasons I'm not a food blogger, per se, is because I suck at remembering to take photos. So, while these pics are nice and all it's not a complete gallery. Close, though.
The original recipe calls for making your own ketchup. I don't do ketchup. I eat it, I don't make it. The idea, it seemed to me, was that the ketchup needed to be spicy. So, I made it spicy.
It also called for Kimchi as a condiment. Now, I'm not gonna say I don't do Kimchi. I can say I never have before. I didn't have time to rot my own cabbage and I don't trust a store called Vons or Albertsons to carry any Kimchi that's edible. So, I do what I always do in these situations. I improvised. Well, that's sort of a lie. I often just skip it.
There're these too. No, it's not a potato hamburger. No potatoes were used or harmed in the making of these burgers. Just the buns. I guess the buns are made with potatoes. Who cares? They were on sale.
Anyhoo, I guess the only important ingredient missing is the pork. And the salt and pepper. But who needs pics of salt and pepper?
Here's what I did:
1 lb. ground pork (please don't use uber lean pork. You want some fat. Really.)
2 tblsp. Hoisin sauce
3 green onions, sliced. Green parts only.
Salt and Pepper to taste (the recipe called for 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. I thought 3/4 of a tsp of salt would've been plenty).
Sriracha (Asian Chile Sauce)
Cabbage - sliced thin
Bean sprouts - a couple handfuls or less
4 Hamburger buns
Butter for the buns if you want to brown them
In a medium sized bowl, throw in all the pork mix ingredients and mush them all together like you would a meatloaf. Try to get 8 patties out of it. You want them thin. I only managed 7. You'll be using 2 patties per burger. Make your patties and put them on wax paper. I made a little tower of two patties topped with waxed paper then another two patties and another piece of wax paper (you get it) in a round cake pan. Refrigerate the patties for at least 30 minutes.
While those are firming up in the fridge mix some ketchup with some Sriracha. I don't know how much ketchup you want to use on your burgers or your heat tolerance. I used about 4 tblsp of ketchup to 1 tblsp of Sriracha. We had fries too, and I used the spicy ketchup for those as well. No law that you have to have fries but no law against it either.
Slice up the cabbage thin. You're gonna use both the cabbage and the bean sprouts on your burger instead of lettuce and/or tomato etc.
Fry the pork patties till they're done to your liking which won't take more than a few minutes on both sides. I use a griddle so I browned my buns on it too. It's really none of my business what you do with your buns.
Smear some spicy ketchup on both bun halves and place one pork patty on it. Sprinkle on some cabbage and bean sprouts and crown it with another pork patty. Put the top of the bun on and eat it!
In case you forgot what they look like.
My upcoming novel Flesh of My Flesh stars Delilah, a fictional TV Chef who stirs up a whole lot of trouble and a little food. Probably better than you'll find here. These recipes are inspired by her, my love of food and overall laziness.