Inspired Bacon Cheeseburger
If you were to ask me what my favorite food is, I would have to tell you it would depend on the day and my mood. However, I do find myself craving Asian cuisine most often. Foods such as pot stickers, fried rice, soy sauce deviled eggs, steamed buns, Thai curry, sushi and the list goes on. I am obsesssed with the salty, sweet, complex flavors Asian dishes have to offer. My refrigerator and pantry are full of Asian condiments. Not bottles of "teriyaki" or "sweet & sour" sauces, but instead all the bottles that make these sauces; soy sauce, mirin, sambal oelek, gocuchang, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, thai curry paste (red and green), fish sauce, oyster sauce and the list goes on. I seriously buy soy sauce by the gallon. A scratch teriyaki sauce is easy and has so much more flavor than the bottles at the grocery store.
Between my obsession of Asian condiments and my husband's obsession of pickled anything, I don't know how we have room for actual food in the refrigerator.
One evening we were watching the Food Network and they were doing a special on food in Las Vegas. UGH, I was just there!! Fukuburgerwas one of the featured hot spots. If I ever make it back to Vegas I have to get out to this place! The burgers look amazing. One of the burgers that caught my attention was their Japanese Bacon Cheeseburger.
Since this place is not exactly in driving distance, I decided I needed to figure out how to copy a burger that I've only ever seen on t.v. Nothing like a well thought out challenge.
Needless to say, the burger was a winner because I've written a blog post about it!
INSPIRED BACON CHEESEBURGERS:
Makes 9-5 ounce burgers
1 recipe for marinated ground beef, see below
1 recipe for wasabi mayo, see below
Sesame seed burger buns, click here for recipe
Quick pickles, click here for recipe
1 pound of bacon, cooked
MARINADE FOR THE GROUND BEEF:
2 1/2 lbs of ground beef, 80/20
3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
`2 teaspoons mirin (Japanese Sweet Rice Wine)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 small chunk of fresh ginger
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together all the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Then remove the chunk of ginger.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and lay your bacon across the pan.
Cook the bacon for 10-20 minutes depending on desired cripsyness. NO NEED TO FLIP THE BACON! Just let it cook. Your bacon will come out perfect every time. Remove the bacon and transfer it to a plate covered with a paper towel. When the bacon grease has cooled, roll up the foil and toss it away. Unless you are super environmentally conscious, there are tons of ways to reuse bacon grease. Google it!
PREPARATION TIP: Make the bacon up to 3 days in advance and refrigerate in a tightly sealed container. You can heat the bacon in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
1/2 cup of your favorite mayo
1-3 teaspoons of prepared wasabi
In a small bowl, mix together the mayo and wasabi. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
PREPARATION TIP:Give the mayo a taste after each addition of wasabi and remember their will be competing flavors in this dish. I love a good kick in the nose by wasabi! For me, more wasabi is better.
Once the marinade has cooled, mix into the ground beef by hand. Don't forget to remove the piece of ginger.
We like 5 ounce burgers. Measure out the size burgers that you want and lay a ball of meat between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a plate to squish the burger flat. Then transfer to a plate.
Now we are ready for grilling! Alternatively, you can cook the burgers under a high heat broiler or on a cast iron pan on the stove top.
Keep an eye on the burgers, the sugars in the marinade can burn.
You will want to cook the burgers to your likeness. We like our burgers cooked, but not shoe leather. In about 3-5 minutes, flip the burgers and top with a dollop of hoisin.
Lay a couple pieces of bacon and a slice of American cheese on the burgers. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
PREPARATION TIP: Cook times will vary. The temperature of your grill will play a roll in when to flip the burgers. Use your senses and good judegement when grilling.
Once the cheese has melted, bring the burgers inside and prepare for burger construction.
Heat a cast iron pan or grill plate over medium heat. Butter the cut side of the buns and lay them butter side down on the grill plate. Alternatively, use your grill to toast the buns or under a broiler.
Spread the wasabi mayo over the bottom half of the bun.
Add some shredded lettuce.
Top the lettuce with the burger, bacon, melted cheese and a heaping spoonful of quick pickles.
Serve with some Asian Inspired Potato Salad, see below.
ASIAN INSPIRED POTATO SALAD:
4 yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
5 scallions, sliced*
1/4 cup of mayo
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
Salt and pepper
Bring water and the potatoes to a boil and cook until fork tender.
Drain the potatoes.
Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and add the mayo, sesame oil, scallions, salt and pepper to taste.
*If the market near you sells garlic chives, scoop those up! They are used in Korean cooking and I have found them in Asian markets such as HMART. If you find them, nix the scallions.
Give it a quick mash, but don't pulverize it. You want the mixture to be chunky.
Spread the potato salad onto a platter that can fit into your refrigerate and chill completely. Serve with the burger!