Burger Meets Banh Mi, Deliciousness Ensues
At long last, we’re about to have a 70+ degree weekend. And that means we’re grilling for sure.
Having blown through my grilling go-to’s (flank steak and lamb burgers) last weekend for Memorial Day, last night I went back to a meatball experiment I did a few months ago, essentially taking the pork filling for a potsticker or spring roll and shaping it into a meatball. That was the beginning of dinner — a pork burger with Asian flavors.
Just like I would for spring rolls, I grated a carrot, cut up a couple of green onions, some garlic and ginger, and then looked in the fridge and realized I didn’t get any nappa cabbage. I did have a couple of baby Shanghai bok choy, so I chopped them up and sauteed the lot, drizzling it with mirin, shoyu (soy sauce) and chili garlic sauce.
So what do you put on it? If we were having regular hamburgers, it’d be lettuce, onion, tomato, ketchup, but you can’t really go that route with this pork burger without totally drowning out the core flavors. I decided to do a quick carrot “pickle,” just marinating them in rice wine vinegar and a little sesame oil, a la the carrot and daikon on a banh mi. Plenty of onion already going into the burger itself, so I opted to keep the lettuce, just for a little greenery, and the ketchup turned into sriracha — which, interesting factoid, according to this NYT article, is not Thai, despite being named after a town in Thailand. I didn’t even think it was Thai, but who knew?
If I’d thought to take this to its full conclusion, I might have picked up ciabatta rolls and thrown in cilantro for a more banh mi-like presentation, but it was perfectly good on regular hamburger buns. You can also mix mayo with the sriracha for a spicy secret sauce, but as I’ve mentioned before, not everyone around here eats mayo, so we had the sriracha straight. I wouldn’t quite call this a banh mi burger. It’s more like…my husband just said: