Teriyaki Burger

June has just passed by in a wink and it’s already the 25th. This does not only mean that June soon has come to an end but also that it’s time for a new burger. This time I took inspiration from Japan and cooked up a Teriyaki Burger. Oh, my mouth is watering just by thinking of it… It’s got all you want from a burger and more.

It’s so fun to cook fusion food; there is literarily the best of two worlds combined. I mean it can’t be anything else than amazing when you blend two great tasting dishes together. Well, perhaps not always… My grandma has stood for many of those exceptions; she thinks that you can mix all kind of foods together. Once she was supposed to make a cocktail (the kind you eat) from a recipe she found in one of those magazines for elderly. “Nice” I thought, but the problem was that she sort of went outside the major part of the recipe and just free styled with whatever she found in the pantry and fridge. A true concoction! Pate, crabsticks, hamburger dressing from a tube, boiled eggs, gurkins, a slice of bread and as a nice garnish a green olive. I’m just laughing by thinking of it. Needless to say I’m the one doing the cooking when we come to visit nowadays.

Anyhow if you have the slightest knowledge in food (and I bet you have since you’re reading this food blog) and are curious in trying new things you will probably also be good at combining different kinds of food in a great tasting way. This burger is just one example of how amazing such collaborations can be. After a little research I have now found out that many before me have been doing American-Japanese style burgers. Even the big fast food chains have adapted their burgers for the Japanese market; chicken katsu burger is just one of the items that could be found on the Japanese menus.

In this recipe I‘ve combined classical American flavors with Asian attributes; so instead of a traditional based mayonnaise dressing I whipped up a kewpie (Japanese style mayo) which is lighter, tangier, has a higher sweetness and also an umami tone when compared to the kind we’re used to in Europe. Don’t think about these two kinds of mayos as equal; the kewpie would for example not fit on a club sandwich and a regular mayonnaise does not make up for a teriyaki burger. In fact I was prepared to trough the kewpie away since it tasted so differently, but with all the Asian condiments it’s just spot on. The salty, sweet, garlicy and ginger tasting teriyaki sauce is just the perfect match with the Japanese mayonnaise. The burger is flavored with teriyaki for a super juicy result and the traditional coleslaw has been exchanged for chili, sesame pickled cabbage. The pickled kale alongside with crisp veggies creates the perfect balance to the heavy burger, its cuts through the richness and just makes it so good. Spicy, sweet, savory, juicy, meaty, crispy… I could go on and on about how fabulous this burger is. Just take a look at the picture! Not the best shot I have taken, but you can really see how all the goodness is oozing out between those two buns. First class!

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Teriyaki Burger

Ingredients:

Teriyaki sauce
25 g garlic oil
30 g peeled ginger
10 g corn starch
60 g caster sugar
100 g Japanese soya sauce (light soya sauce)
125 g water

Burger
500 g minced beef
40 g rolled oats
10 g corn starch
60 g milk
60 g teriyaki sauce
1 egg
Salt
White pepper

Neutral oil

Kale
300 g white cabbage
40 g caster sugar
40 g rice vinegar
80 g water
5 g sesame oil (1 tsp)
1 chili
Salt
White pepper

Kewpie
2 egg yolks
12 g caster sugar
25 g rice vinegar
¾ tsp Dijon mustard
250 g neutral oil
Salt
MSG (umami)
White pepper

To serve
8 burger buns/gluten free buns
Scallions
Iceberg lettuce
Cucumber
Kewpie
Teriyaki sauce
Kale

Preperation:

Teriyaki sauce. Start by making the teriyaki sauce. Put garlic oil, and peeled, finely grated ginger in a pot. Fry on low heat until there is a fragrant ginger and garlic aroma in the kitchen. Add sugar and soy. Combine water and corn starch in a bowl and stir to a smooth paste. Pour the thickening into the sauce while whisking to avoid lumps. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. When making burgers you have to let the sauce cool, but if you are serving it alongside a wok or a piece of salmon for example it could still be warm.

Burger. Combine milk, rolled oats, corn starch and teriyaki sauce in a bowl and let it swell for about 10 minutes. Mix in the egg, minced beef and add salt and pepper to taste. Since the teriyaki sauce is quite salty I recommend being gentle with the salt. Fry off just a small bite of the minced beef mixture and have a taste to get a feeling of if there is enough seasoning. If you find it too lame add some more salt and pepper. Form 8 patties and fry them on medium heat in a splash of neutural oil.

Kale. Remove the stem from the cabbage before thinly shredding it. Combine water, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring the liquid up to a boil. Remove from the heat and add finely chopped chili, sesame oil and cabbage. Stir so that every bit of kale is covered with pickling juices. Let it cool down for at least an hour before serving.

Kewpie. Combine yolks, sugar, vinegar and Dijon in a bowl. Slowly drip in the oil under constant whisking. After a while you can be more generous with the oil and pour it in a fine jet instead of droplets. Continue to whisk all the time, otherwise there is a risk for splitting. Once all the oil is added season with salt, white pepper and some MSG.

To serve. Rinse and shred the lettuce. Finley slice the spring onion and cucumber. Split the buns and toast them in a dry skillet. Spread some kewpie and teriyaki sauce on the bottom bun; add lettuce, cabbage and a pattie. Top with a few slices of cucumber and scatter over some scallions before closing the burger with the kewpie, teriyaki smeared lid.

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