Burger of the Month: Korean BBQ Burgers
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Burger of the Month: Korean BBQ Burgers

These burgers require lots of chopping, but they are so worth it, especially if you love Korean BBQ. They capture many of the key ingredients: chile paste, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame, all balanced with sweetness from honey and brown sugar. Yum!


Korean Slaw

  • ½ cup mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise (I like Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise)

  • 1 tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)

  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger

  • 1 tsp. sugar or honey

  • 1 clove garlic, grated

  • 2 cups shredded savoy, green, or red cabbage

  • 1 cup store-bought kimchi, thinly sliced, plus a splash of the brine

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Pickled Onions

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tsp. sugar

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 1 red onion, very thinly sliced

Korean BBQ Sauce

  • 1 ½ tsp. canola or vegetable oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

  • ½ cup (packed) brown sugar

  • ½ cup soy sauce

  • About 3 tbsp. rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp. warm water

  • 1 tbsp. honey

  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

  • 1 to 2 tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)


  • 1 ½ lb. 80% lean ground beef

  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp. soy sauce

  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

  • Black pepper

  • 1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

  • 4 brioche burger buns or other soft burger buns

  • Toasted sesame seeds, for serving


  • Step 1

    For the slaw, in a medium bowl, whisk the mayo, gochujang, oil, ginger, sugar, and garlic. Mix in the cabbage, kimchi and brine, and scallions. Cover and chill.

  • Step 2

    For the pickled onions, in a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt over medium, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Mix in the onion. Remove from heat. Let stand until cool, then drain.

  • Step 3

    For the sauce, in a medium skillet, heat the canola oil, a half turn of the pan, over medium. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, honey, and sesame oil. Cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the gochujang. Reduce heat to low and keep the sauce warm.

  • Step 4

    Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high.

  • Step 5

    For the burgers, in a medium bowl, mix the beef, garlic, ginger, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and sesame oil; season with black pepper. Form 4 patties (thinner in the centers for even cooking).

  • Step 6

    Drizzle the patties with the canola oil. Cook, turning occasionally, to desired doneness, 7 to 8 minutes for medium.

  • Step 7

    Arrange some pickled onions on the bun bottoms. Coat the burgers with the BBQ sauce and set on the buns. Top with sesame seeds, the slaw, and the bun tops.

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