These Korean BBQ-flavored burgers can be customized to meet every hamburger eater’s dietary needs with grilled burgers made from chicken, salmon, or beef that’s topped with a quick and simple, kimchi spice Asian slaw.
This post is brought to you by McCormick
It feels like no matter what sort of dinner party/potluck/get together I go to these days, there’s always at least one or two picky eaters in the group who the cook should consider. Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Lactose intolerant. Low-carb. High-carb. Vegetarian. Pescatarian. I-don’t-like-it-atarian.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it. Dietary restrictions are always hardest on the one who has to do the restricting. But sheesh, when the intention starts with, “We haven’t seen you forever! Come on over and we’ll throw some burgers on the grill” only to spiral into a criss-crossed recipe of spin-art, somewhere along the line we just have to simple it up.
My solution? Give the people what they want by sticking with one adaptable theme.
Today, thanks to the bounty of info featured in McCormick’s Flavor Forecast: 2017 Grilling Edition, where experienced and novice grillers find tips to up their grilling game, we’re taking Korean burgers and specializing them for every eater’s requested protein.
The month of May is National Burger Month, an obvious ode to moving meals outside thanks tox the glory of pulling out the grill after a long winter. To build your own version of these Korean BBQ burgers for your Memorial Day cookout (and all throughout the year), start with choosing your proteins, such as:
- Ground beef: I prefer an 80/20 blend so the beef stays juicy. Also consider using ground pork, bison, or even lamb.
- Ground salmon: To make a salmon patty, slice the skin off of the salmon filet, dice, and pulse 3/4 of the chopped fish in the food processor then mix in the remaining dice of fish for the perfect salmon burger. Then, add dried Japanese style panko bread crumbs or traditional bread crumbs to the mixture to bind the burgers.
- Ground turkey or chicken: Easily found at the supermarket meat counter. I also add panko bread crumbs to this mix.
- Veggie burger: Make your own Grilled Veggie Burger patty or Chunky Portobello Mushroom Veggie Burger patty and mix in the seasonings as you would the other style patties.
The next step is to build the flavor but keep it simple. To infuse the Korean BBQ flavor into each of my burgers I created a paste of sesame oil, soy sauce, and McCormick® Grill Mates® Korean BBQ Marinade and gently folded the spice mixture into each burger along with diced red onion, but use whatever onion you have on hand including green onion, yellow, or shallots.
McCormick’s marinade adds the classic sweet and savory Korean flavors to the burgers with it’s flavorful blend of roasted garlic, sesame seed and soy sauce, and the bonus is, it’s all in one packet.
Forming a good burger takes a gentle hand so they burgers don’t get tough. This isn’t bread dough and kneading is NOT required. You can form your burgers into 1/4 pound portions, or if you’re like me, make the burgers into 1/3 pound patties I make them a tad bigger because it seems that buns today are just thaaaaaaat much bigger than they used to be, and my goal in eating burgers isn’t to eat just bun.
On the flip side (DOH! bad grilling pun) burgers can tend to shrink and bulge. To avoid this, indent each burger in the middle with your thumb or a spoon to avoid the burger bulge.
When grilling, be sure your grill is hot, and if you’re cooking burgers that have a leaner fat content, be sure to swipe the grill grates with a bit of oil on a paper towel before cooking so they don’t stick. The other trick to the perfect flip is to flip the burgers just once.
To test for doneness, beef burgers are typically medium when pink juices come out on top. Other internal temperatures for doneness are:
- Beef: Medium-rare 125-130°F
- Beef: Medium 130-135°F
- Beef: Medium-well 135-145°F
- Beef: Well-done 150°F
- Other ground meat such as pork: 155°F
- Fish: 145°F
- Poultry: 165°F
Always remember for carryover cooking once the burgers (or any cooked meat) are removed from the heat as they’ll continue to cook a bit as they rest.
To dress the burgers, I made a quick slaw version of Korean kimchi with all of the flavor but minus the fermenting time.
And in my opinion, a burger wouldn’t be a burger without a pickled bite, so my simple recipe for sweet and sour cucumbers (equal ratio of rice vinegar and sugar with some dried chile flakes tossed in) made the condiment list.
Ketchup and mustard don’t really go with this meal so I used a flavored aioli instead. You can find them pretty handily in the grocery aisle, or to make your own shortcut version, simply mix a good quality mayonnaise with a bit of Sriracha, grated lime zest, roasted garlic, or whatever flavor your taste buds desire.
Get even more of my burger recipe ideas here.
Grilled Korean BBQ Beef Burger
Grilled Korean BBQ Salmon Burger
Grilled Korean BBQ Chicken Burger
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Korean BBQ Burgers 3 Ways with Spicy Asian Slaw
Yield 4 burgers
Choose your ground protein (beef, chicken, salmon) and mix in Korean seasonings to make a meal that fits any eater's burger wishes.
- For the Burgers
- 1 pound ground protein such as ground beef, chicken, or salmon
- 1 package McCormick® Grill Mates® Korean BBQ Marinade
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (optional but burgers turn best when used with leaner cuts of protein like chicken, salmon or turkey)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 4 hamburger or brioche buns
- Roasted garlic aioli, Sriracha aioli, lime flavored aioli, or mayonnaise
- Asian pickles, if desired
- For the Spicy Asian Slaw
- 1 small head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons gochuchang (Korean chile paste), to your taste for heat
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Add the protein of your choice to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the Korean BBQ marinade mix with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Pour over the protein of your choice and add the onions and panko bread crumbs if using. Gently mix into the meat but don't over work it. Form four 1/4 pound patties or three 1/3 pound patties. Make an indent in the middle of each patty so they cook flat. Place on a platter and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
- To make the Spicy Asian Slaw, add the cabbages, green onion, carrot and red bell pepper to a large bowl. To a glass jar fitted with a lid, add the rice vinegar, gochuchang, oil, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Shake well (or whisk if it doesn't incorporate) and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss to coat and top with sesame seeds. Refrigerate for 15 minutes up to overnight.
- When ready to grill, prepare an outdoor or indoor grill and lightly oil the clean grill grates. Cook the burgers undisturbed until browning at the edges and flip once. Cook until cooked through or internal temperatures read 145°F for fish, 155°F for ground meat, and 165°F for poultry. Toast the buns on the grill. Spread each side of the bun with aioli or mayonnaise and top with the burger. Add the Asian Slaw and Asian Cucumbers if desired, and top with more sesame seeds.
This post is in partnership with McCormick. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opiniona are always my own.
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