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Kimchi Burger with Umami Mayo, Pickles & Sesame Slaw

Kimchi Burger with Umami Mayo, Pickles & Sesame Slaw

Serves: 4
Prep: 60 min
Cook: 30 min
T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon 

1 lb BRD Ground Beef
1/2 cup prepared kimchi; I like Wildbrine Japanese Kimchi; drained and finely chopped
Reserved Kimchi brine
2 T Panko Bread Crumbs
1 t salt plus more for sprinkling on before searing.


1/2 cup mayonnaise; homemade if you can, and you can because it's easy and delicious.
3 scallion whites; trimmed
1 t Chinese mustard
1 t white miso
1 t soy sauce
1 t mirin
1 T lime juice 


1 Japanese cucumber; sliced very thin
3 T lime basil or thai basil; minced
1/4 cup mirin
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar


1 cup sprouts or micro greens of choice
1 Jar Chinese mustard


4 pretzel or brioche buns; toasted


3/4 cup daikon, watermelon or other mild radish; julienned
3/4 cup carrot; julienned
1/4 cup onion; thinly sliced.
1 t sesame oil
2 t neutral oil; avocado, grape seed, etc.
1 t mirin
1 t soy sauce
1-2 T jalapeño; small diced.  
2 T toasted sesame seeds
3 T scallion greens; thinly sliced 

Pairing knife
Chef’s Knife
Cutting Board
Kitchen Scale
Small baking sheet or other flat, freezer safe surface
1 small bowl
1 med bowl
1 large bowl
Wire strainer
Measuring cup
Measuring scoops
Cast Iron Skillet or Grill 



Make Burger Patties

  • Scoop out 1/2 cup of kimchi and place into strainer. Using the back of a spoon, press down to force out as much liquid as possible into the measuring cup. Remove to cutting board and finely chop. If it still seems wet, scoop back into the strainer and press again, reserving all the liquid.
  • Place ground beef into the medium bowl and add the drained kimchi.
  • Add the bread crumbs to the kimchi juice and mix well. After all the liquid is absorbed, place in the medium bowl with burger mixture. The idea here is to be able to incorporate the flavor of the kimchi juice without adding liquid directly to the burger mixture. The bread crumbs will absorb the juice and then dissolve in the mixture while cooking.
  • Using the pincher method — Imagine your hand is a crab claw or more embarrassingly the hand motion for the chicken dance — combine everything in the bowl until evenly distributed. Sprinkle in 1 t of salt and mix again. 
  • Portion out the burgers. We are aiming for 4-5 oz burgers. Using a kitchen scale is the most accurate way and accuracy is important for even cooking. Place the bowl on the scale and tare to zero. Remove mixture until the scale reads that you have removed the correct amount. Form into a ball and place on your small baking sheet. Repeat until you have 4 patties. They do not have to be perfect, but close.
  • If you do not have a kitchen scale, order one and then press the burger mixture down until it is evenly distributed across the bottom of the bowl and then using your hand, make a vertical and a horizontal line that intersect in the middle of the bowl, making 4 portions. This will get you close. Remove and form balls and place on the baking sheet.
  • To form patties, start by flattening the ball out in your hands until you form a meat puck. Set the puck down on your baking sheet and using your fingers, press down across the surface of the puck until it forms a 4-5 inch wide patty with finger dents all along the top, leaving the thickest portion of the patty on the outside edges. If portions of the edges look like they are about to break off, just press ‘em back in. Repeat with all patties. 
  • Place in freezer. Freezing the patties does two things. It helps you get a good sear on the outside of the patty without over cooking the inside because it starts off so cold. It also helps the patty keep its shape while transferring and cooking. We are not worried about refreezing destroying the texture of the burger as we would a steak, because grinding the meat did that already. 

Make the Slaw & Pickles

  • If you have a mandolin, grater or food processor, use those to shred the carrots and radishes. If you don’t you can use a knife by cutting off the rounded edges to form a block then cutting into thin planks. Then cut the planks into strips. Using pre-shredded ingredients is also useful here.
  • Thinly slice the onion and scallion greens, dice jalapeno. Combine all in the large bowl.
  • Add in your mirin, soy, sesame oil and neutral oil and mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and set aside in the fridge.
  • Thinly slice the cucumber and place in a bowl with minced basil, mirin and vinegar. Stir well and set aside.

Make Mayo

  • Ideally, here is where you would make your own mayo because it's easy and makes a great product. All you need is 1 egg yolk, 1 t mustard & a 1/2 cup of neutral oil. Whisk together the egg yolk and mustard, then while whisking, incorporate the oil, starting with a few drops at a time, then as the mixture starts to emulsify and become pale, stream the oil in. This method helps to control texture and consistency but yes, it takes a little work. If you’re not up for it, use store bought.
  • If using store bought, first combine the miso paste, soy, mustard, mirin and lime juice using the whisk. You want to completely dissolve the miso into the liquid for a smooth consistency. Combine this mixture with the mayo and set aside.
  • Whether it’s a grill or a cast iron, preheat it over medium heat now. As it preheats, place on the trimmed scallion whites. Allow them to darken and char as the heat builds. Once they are charred on all sides, remove and wrap in plastic wrap or seal in an airtight container to steam.
  • After they have steamed for 5-10 mins, chop them very finely, almost to a paste and add to the mayo mixture.

Start Cooking

  • Remove the burgers patties from the freezer and allow to loose a bit of the chill while you toast the buns.
  • Slice and toast buns on the preheated grill or skillet.
  • If your patties are frozen to the baking sheet, place over a heat source for 10-20 seconds and they will release.
  • Clean and oil the grill grates or add a T of oil to your skillet.
  • Salt both sides of the frozen patties and place over the heat. Cook for 4-5 mins with the grill lid closed and the skillet covered.
  • Once the grey coloring has crept up the sides of the burger and a deep brown crust has formed, flip and cook covered for another 3-4 mins. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Let rest in an off oven or covered with foil for 5 mins.

Build the Burger

  • To build the burgers, place a generous amount of Chinese mustard on the bottom bun (it can be spicy so use your best judgement here), followed by the pickles, the burger, then sprouts then top with the mayo’d top bun.
  • Serve next to the slaw and maybe a few of the pickles on the side.