Korean Inspired Burger

Korean Inspired Burgers

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Korean inspired burgers could be just what you need to participate in our #letsgolocalburger challenge. If you’re reading this before 7/4/21, head on over to our social media pages and enter to win $300 in prizes. Now for my inspiration.

Sometime last year I was at the Raleigh Farmers Market and my kids and I got some burgers from this little unmarked stand.  The menu called them k-burgers and I didn’t think to ask why.  When my son bit into his he commented that they tasted just like an Asian dumpling filling.  He was totally right and when we got home I googled k-burger and ended up learning about something called a kalbi burger which mixes the flavors of Korean grilled beef with an American burger.  In this case the seasoning is mixed into the burger and the toppings are pretty nontraditional.  It’s a far cry from the classic burger I grew up eating at the backyard cookout but it’s really delicious and it’s good to ignore the rules from time to time.




Makes 4 patties: 1.5# Firsthand Foods ground beef

Beef marinade:

3T (40g) soy sauce
1T (10g) sesame oil
2T (20g) brown sugar
1T (5g) grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, grated
2-3 green onion, white and green part sliced thinly
1t. (1g) gochujaru or chili flakes


½ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 T kimchi brine
1 T minced kimchi
1 T sriracha (or more if you like it spicier)

Marinated cucumbers:
1 medium sized cucumber
1 T (8g) gochujaru
1 ½ t (6g) kosher salt
1 t (5g) sugar
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 t fish sauce
1 garlic clove, grated
2T  toasted sesame oil
1 T toasted sesame seeds

4 buns
4 slices american cheese
Iceberg or other lettuce, enough for 4 burgers


-Start the marinated cucumbers first:  slice cukes about ¼” thick and toss with salt, sugar and gochujaru.  Drain in a colander for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.  Squeeze as much juice out of the cucumbers before combining with vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds. 

-Mix together all the beef marinade ingredients, add ground beef and combine thoroughly.

-Form into 4 patties an season very lightly on the outside with kosher salt.  The soy sauce in the beef provides a lot of salt but just a touch more on the outside is good.

-Light the grill and while waiting for it to heat up make the mayo.

-For the mayonnaise mix the Duke’s, the kimchi brine, the minced kimchi and sriracha together

-Grill burgers on a hot grill.  The sugar in the beef is going to make the patty caramelize more than a normal burger so keep it a little off the direct heat.  That caramelized sugar crust is delicious but it can burn and become not so delicious really quickly.  3-4 minutes per side should get you to medium rare.  Top with cheese and allow to melt.

-Assemble: Mayo goes on both sides of the bun, cucumbers go on the bottom topped with burger and then lettuce.