I love and adore The Spicy Honey and The Progeny. From a culinary standpoint…I love and adore burgers. All of them. Every iteration I’ve ever eaten. This one is a favorite. It’s good rain or shine, winter or summer, for dinner or breakfast. Yes, The Goddess dines on burgers for breakfast. And why not? We eat sausage for breakfast, so why not a burger. If it makes you feel better, top it with a fried egg (which by the way, is delicious). People get so hung up on when and why. It’s food. It’s fuel. So enjoy the things you enjoy whenever you want to enjoy them! Life is short. Live outside the box.
But, back to the burger. This is basically a burger with teriyaki sauce added to the burger, rather than basted or marinated. Rather, the ingredients you would make a teriyaki sauce with, mixed into the ground beef. Of course, The Goddess has to be a bit unconventional. That’s part of her mystic, don’t you think?
A couple of things to think about—This is best mixed up at least a few hours before cooking, just to allow the burgers to absorb the flavors and let them get all happy and loving—but in the fridge. I know we’ve talked about this, but it’s worth repeating. When working with ground beef, keep it cold. Very cold. When you put your hands in it to mix it up, they should come out feeling pretty chilled. Wash your hands well with good warm, soapy water and they’ll warm right up. Then, put the burger mixture in the fridge and chill for at least 1 hour. I make the patties up ahead of time, cover them and chill them, removing them from the fridge just prior to cooking them. All other meat is better at room temperature, you want the fat that’s in the burger to remain very cold, so it melts during cooking, keeping the burger moist. This is true for all burgers.
Thick soy sauce is just that…thick, dark and sweet…molasses-like; in fact, it contains some molasses. You can see it there in the upper left part of the meat. It adds a nice hit of umami, with a bit of sweetness. A little does go a long way though. You can purchase thick soy sauce in any good Asian or well-stocked market. If you don’t have any, add molasses.
You’ll note that this burger, for that matter, most burgers you’ll see here are large in diameter, but not too thick. We like “stuff” on our burgers. And since we haven’t yet managed to figure out how to unhinge our jaws like a boa constrictor eating a cow, this works better for us. But, by all means fix the burgers the way you prefer them. I use about 5-6 ounces of ground meat for a burger and flatten them to slightly less than 1/2-inch thickness. They cook faster and are thus, a quicker meal.
I prefer burgers fried in a cast iron skillet or a griddle. If you prefer them grilled, then grill them. Make them the way you prefer them…choices. Life is about that, you know.
I like this with a slice of grilled fresh pineapple on top. I grill the pineapple earlier, then just zap them in the microwave. If you’re making these on the BBQ, then grill the pineapple as you cook the burgers.
The Teriyaki Burger
- 2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
- Teriyaki Flavor Mix-Ins—
- 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce (gluten-free is you need to)
- 2 scallions very finely minced
- 3-6 cloves garlic, grated or put through a press
- 3-4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 3-4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon thick soy sauce or molasses (see NOTE)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (don’t leave this out)
- 6 large soft buns or 12 slices good bread, lightly toasted
- 6 slices grilled (or raw) pineapple slices
- Vegetable oil or bacon fat for frying (about 1-2 teaspoons)
- Very thinly sliced onions (very, very thinly sliced—they will caramelize)
- Thinly sliced English cucumber
- Thinly sliced raw onions
- Teriyaki Burger Sauce
Put the ground beef in a large bowl. Add all the ingredients; using your hands combine the meat and mix-ins until well combined, but try not to over-work the mixture. Cover and chill for at least 1 hours (6-8 is better!) and up to 24 hours.
Form the mixture into patties, using about 5 ounces of meat. From this amount of meat, you’ll have about 6 patties that are 4-inches in diameter and slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. You can pop them into the freezer for about 30 minutes so they are really well-chilled.
Heat a cast iron skillet (or your BBQ on HIGH) over medium-high heat; add the fat of choice. Place the onions, if using, in flat piles that are slightly smaller than the burger. Place a burger on each “onion pile”; press down slightly to help the onions adhere to the burger. Turn the burger to medium and cook for about 3 minutes. The edges will begin to change color. Do NOT move the burger until it’s time to flip it. Flip the burger over. Some of the onions may come loose; push them back on top. Fry the second side until the burgers are done to your liking, about 2 minutes for medium. Remove from the skillet and place on the toasted buns or bread slices. Top with slices of grilled pineapple, raw onions, cucumber and smear 2-3 teaspoons of Teriyaki Burger Sauce on the bun/bread, then place on top of the burger. Enjoy!
NOTE: Molasses is the best substitute for thick soy sauce or just omit it completely. It does add a nice touch though. Also, do NOT omit the curry powder. You won’t taste it per se, but it’s there and the burger tastes better when it’s there. You can make this mixture into a meatloaf, top it with pineapple slices, smear hoisin sauce over the pineapple, and bake in the oven until done, about 45-60 minutes.
The Teriyaki Burger Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
See that cinnamon-colored mixture at the bottom? That’s what ground Sichuan pepper looks like…you can see the curry powder there, as well. This mixture also makes a great meatloaf. Form it into a loaf, top with pineapple slices and smear hoisin all over the top. Bake it in a 325°F oven for about 45-60 minutes or until done. Don’t dry it out though. I serve it with rice that I grate a carrot and ginger into.
Enjoy the burger and do have it with the Teriyaki Burger Sauce. The stuff is really good and it just rounds out the flavors. Remember…it’s all about the sauce!