Probably the best burger I have ever eaten. Yep, that's a direct quote from Mrs AnotherFoodBlogger. Given that this Korean beef burger was the best she had eaten then I'm guessing it's probably the best I have made. Perfectly cooked beef from my supplier (organic meat online), gooey cheese, delicious gochujang aioli and some homemade kimchi slaw all perfectly placed inside a charcoal bun. If all this doesn't float your boat then I don't know what will! Read on friends and see how to make it yourself!
If this Korean beef burger is the best burger I've made then this aioli is 100% the best aioli I've EVER made. If you don't believe me then just make it yourself. Spicy, acidic, sweet & completely moreish. Drizzle it on a burger, inside steak tacos, a simple ham/cheese sandwich. TRUST me, it'll become a regular in your fridge.
Aside from being uber tasty, it's pretty simple to make too! All you need is a mini food processor or even just a whisk and some elbow grease will do the trick. Chuck everything (except the water and oil) in, whisk or process it together and then gradually add the oil until it comes together and is thick. I add a touch of water to thin it out at the end. I like a nice runny aioli when using it on burgers/sandwiches but that's personal!
If you know anything about Korean food then kimchi is life. Made by fermenting and salting vegetables such as cabbage, radish, cucumber and green onions. Traditionally the process takes a few days at room temperature or a few weeks in the fridge. Truthfully, I have never made kimchi from scratch but my version of a kimchi slaw has been made numerous times. It incorporates sugar in the form of maple syrup, the acid in the form of rice vinegar, spice from gochujang paste and salty/briny fermented taste from the fish sauce.
Chop up all the vegetables roughly - as you would a slaw, mix the dressing together and mix together. You can leave the vegetables a little chunky and let the dressing mix in for longer or if time isn't on your side slice the vegetables thinner and toss it in the dressing and it's ready in moments.
Is it traditional? Nope, but it sure does taste good and that's the most important thing!
There are a lot of ways to make burger patties. Put a dimple in the centre to stop it from shrinking or add grated butter (just sounds weird). I've even seen people put an ice cube into it to keep the burger moist aka water the burger and the delicious fatty flavour down. WHY!!!
For me, the 2 best ways to make burgers are with minimal intervention. Shape the burger into a ball gently, season the heck out of it and using a heavy weight smash the burger into a castiron pan or onto a hot plate and let it get a hard sear, cook for 1-2 minutes and flip. These type od burgers are called 'smash burgers'. Typically a higher % of fat is desired so it doesn't dry out when you smash it. Burgers would range from about 120g-180g for this style.
If you don't like this style or higher fat content then the alternative is to get yourself a ring mould. Shape the burger into a circle and gently press it into the ring mould. Remember you want the mould to be a few cms bigger than the bun. All the will in the world won't stop your burger from shrinking. Once shaped leave it set in the fridge whilst you heat the BBQ, season the heck out of it and gently place it on your grill. Typically these patties range from 150-200g but to be honest eat it as big/small as you like. Cooking times will vary but for these 180g burgers, it took 4-5 minutes per side.
When it comes to dinner in my home it ain't complete without a glass of wine. Yes, beer is KILLER with a burger and probably a little more traditional but I don't drink a ton of beer so it's gotta be a nice glass of red. Soon it's gonna be 30+ celsius in Brisbane so it'll be white wine or rose all day but for now, I still get to sip on some red.
Tempranillo is the grape I chose this week tp pair with my Korean beef burger. Not something you would find easily in Korea but it's becoming more popular here in Australia. Especially down Barossa, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills regions - which is where this Heirloom 2019 Tempranillo hails from. For those of you who don't know much about the grape, it originates in Spain. If you have drunk and liked Rioja then you know something about Tempranillo as it's the main grape in it.
Characteristics such as low acid, medium to high tannin, and medium to full-bodied too. Clove, vanilla, cherry & pepper are what I get from the wine. It's a juicy wine that's dry due to the tannins and a never-ending palate. It definitely needs a decant before drinking and is a wine that's built to last in the cellar for 5+ years. It works beautifully with spicy food and the fat from the burger and aioli really help to round out the wine on the palate!
Alternative Burger Recipes
If this Korean beef burger inspires you (or not) then check out my other burger recipes for more ideas!!
Beef Burger, Brie & Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Lamb Burger w/ Harissa, Goats Curd & Onions
Chicken Satay Sandwich w/ Pickled Cucumber & Beetroot Slaw
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 720 g beef mince divided into 4 burgers
- 4 buns
- 4-8 slices American cheese I like 2 slices per burger
- 100 g wombok finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp gochujang paste
- 100 ml canola oil
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp water
- 50 g wombok
- 1 carrot
- 50 g red cabbage
- 1 spring onion
- 1/2 apple
- 1 handful coriander
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp gochujang paste
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- Place all ingredients EXCEPT oil and water in a food processor and blitz or 10-15 second
- Combine the 2 oils together and while blending gradually add the oil. The sauce should be quite thick at this point. Add the cold water while still blending to thin it out to a pourable state
- Chop all slaw ingredients EXCEPT coriander & sesame seeds finely. Mix together with the coriander & sesame seeds
- Place all slaw dressing ingredients into a food processor or bowl and either blend or whisk together until smooth
- Pour over slaw
- Heat your BBQ to 200c, season & oil burgers and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook for 1 more minute and then add cheese and cook for 2 more minutes
- Remove burgers from BBQ and allow to rest for 2 minutes before serving
- Toast buns
- Place aioli and shredded wombok on base of bun, top with burger, slaw and more aioli
- chef knives
- chopping board
- measuring utensils
- small food processor
- BBQ or grill pan
- mixing bowl
- if using a grill pan/frying pan allow a further minute or 2 for cook time
- wombok is also known as Chinese cabbage for those non-Aussie peeps
- the aioli will keep for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge
That slaw was amazing! I have already used it with poached chicken and a pitta for a simple lunch and with salmon and greens for dinner. Versatile and super easy to make.