Friday, March 1, 2013

Burgers With an Asian Twist

Do you ever order a hamburger when you go out to eat?  I never do.  I love hamburgers, but I never think to order one.  Last weekend, we ate out at a fabulous new restaurant, and I took a walk on the wild side.  Ok, not too wild, but I did order a cheeseburger.  It renewed my love of burgers.  This burger was meaty, juicy and all together delicious.  It was topped with BBQ sauce, blue cheese, onion strings and bacon.  Oh Mah God….it was good.  And it made me think, you know what…I haven’t cooked a burger in a while.  So I did.

I’ve experimented with burgers before, Nacho burgers, Italian burgers, Turkey burgers etc.  This time I gave my burger kind of an Asian flair. I combined ground beef and ground pork with a teriyaki marinade, and I topped the burgers with grilled pineapple, caramelized onions, and a spicy coleslaw.   It turned out amazing.  Let me walk you through I how made it.  And oh yeah, the best part….I also made Sweet Potato Fritters with a yummy dipping sauce to serve on the side.  Don’t worry, I will show you how to make those too.

I started with one and a quarter pounds of ground beef and one and a quarter pounds of ground pork.  I put this in a bowl with a packet of teriyaki marinade.  I found a cute little packet in the Ethnic Foods aisle.  I also sprinkled in some ground ginger and black pepper.  I mixed this together with my hands and formed burgers, about six of ‘em.

The teriyaki marinade really loads the meat with teriyaki flavor, without making the meat too loose, like a teriyaki sauce would do.  And the ginger adds a spicy sweetness that works so well with teriyaki.

To backtrack a bit….I also had about one and a half onions caramelizing on the stovetop while I formed and cooked burgers.  To caramelize onions really takes a long time…so start that early.  It is just essentially cooking onions on low for about 40 minutes.  I sprinkle the onions with salt and pepper and let them do their thing.  Low and slow.  They get super sweet….like onion candy.

I grilled these burgers on my indoor grill, but a frying pan would work just as well.  While the burgers cooked, I also grilled some canned pineapple slices.  Have you ever had grilled pineapple?  It is delicious.  It gets even sweeter and a bit smoky.  You can obviously use a fresh pineapple if you want, but I am way too lazy to cut one.

The final element to these burgers is spicy coleslaw.  I use packaged coleslaw mix.  I’m not cutting cabbage tonight.  Are you?  I make the dressing for the coleslaw with mayonnaise, sugar, rice wine vinegar, a splash of soy sauce and Sriracha hot sauce….my favorite part.  I love the spiciness of the Sriracha with the sweetness of the sugar, and the creaminess of the mayo.  It all just works.  And it comes together so quickly!

I served my burgers on ciabatta rolls that I quickly toasted in the oven.  Then, I layered on the burger, pineapple, onions and coleslaw.  I didn’t dress the bread with any condiments.  The pineapple and coleslaw bring the moisture.

Remember I said Sweet Potato Fritters?  Did that get your attention?  These are so easy to make, and they are the best side for a burger.  They are fluffy, sweet and salty, and crispy.  Perfection in just a couple of bites.


I used about 2 and ½ cups of leftover mashed sweet potatoes.  Ok, they weren’t leftover.  I used a box of instant mashed sweet potatoes.  I don’t care how you get there, just get there.  I love a good shortcut, but you can cook your own sweet potatoes, or even use the refrigerated version.  Whatever works for you.  We are all busy, right?

I mixed the sweet potatoes with an egg, a splash of buttermilk, baking powder, salt and pepper, and flour.  I mixed this well and dropped the batter into hot oil for a deep fry.  I used an ice cream scoop to drop my batter in.

These little guys cook up in a few minutes, and they are so crazy good.  I serve mine with an Asian-esque dipping sauce.  I mixed together more mayonnaise, a splash of soy sauce and more Sriracha.  The spicy sauce is perfect with the soft pillowy fritters.  Doesn’t it sound amazing with my Asian Burger?


It was, amazing that is.  This meal satisfied my craving for a good burger.  I think I might make these more often!

And a little tip….add sugar to the fritter recipe and you have breakfast!

Court’s Asian Burgers

2 onions, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons black pepper, divided

1 ¼ pounds ground beef (90/10)

1 ¼ pounds ground pork

1.25 ounce package Teriyaki Marinade (I used Sun Bird)

2 teaspoons ground ginger

20 ounce can sliced pineapple, drained

6 Ciabatta buns, toasted if desired

Spicy Coleslaw:

14 ounce bag pre-shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Melt butter into olive oil in a large sauté pan, over medium heat.  Add sliced onions, salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Reduce heat to low and sauté onions, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes.  Set aside.

Place meats in a mixing bowl.  Add teriyaki marinade, ginger and remaining pepper.  Mix gently, with your hands, until everything is incorporated.  Form 6 equal patties. 

Grill burgers on indoor or outdoor grill for about 5 minutes per side, or cooked to your liking.  Let burgers rest.

Grill pineapple slices on indoor or outdoor grill for about 2 minutes per side, or until caramelized.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and Sriracha until smooth.  Stir in cabbage until completely coated.

To assemble burgers:

Place burger patties on toasted buns.  Top burgers with pineapple, onions, and coleslaw.

Makes 6 burgers.

Sweet Potato Fritters

2 ½ cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

¼ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Vegetable of Peanut Oil for frying

Pour enough vegetable or peanut oil into a deep pot to reach about 4 inches up the side of the pot.  Preheat oil over medium heat until it reaches about 360 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients.  Stir until incorporated.

Drop heaping teaspoons of batter into hot oil.  Fry about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Drain fritters on paper towels and sprinkle with salt while hot.

Serve with dipping sauce.

Makes about 18 to 20 fritters.

Dippin’ Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Mix all ingredients together until mixed.  Serve with Sweet Potato Fritters.

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