kruizing with kikukat

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kim Chee Burgers

When its baseball season, teams/leagues often have fundraisers, selling everything from cookies to laulau.  One league is known for their kim chee burger fundraisers.  For years, The Help was on the "call list", receiving calls from excited mothers about the upcoming fundraising event.  The Help was infamous for buying a half-dozen of the burgers and polishing them off in a single sitting.  Most normal people can't eat a half-dozen burgers at one time, and most normal people likely don't want to limit consumption of these fantastic gems to baseball season, especially when grilling weather is year-round.

Kim chee burgers are unique in that kim chee, Korean pickled vegetables (nappa cabbage, in this case), represents the vegetable component of a typical burger.  The burger mix is a teriyaki-based conglomeration with sesame oil and ground sesame seeds giving it a Korean twist.   The burger mix is smeared very thinly onto the cut surface of a hamburger bun.  Because smearing the meat can be time-consuming, this is definitely something that can and should be made a few days before they are to be eaten.  The process begins by smearing the  buns with a thin layer of the burger mix.  Contrary to what some may think, the purpose of the thin layer is not to stretch pennies.  But I'm getting there.  The bun halves are frozen in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
When frozen (at least 2 hours), the buns are re-stacked into sets with a piece of parchment paper between meat layers and placed back into the bun bag.  These burgers cook quickly so they can be kept frozen up until 10 minutes before chow time.  When ready to serve, the burgers are cooked by grilling only the meat-side of the bun (hence the thin layer of burger mix).  A generous mound of kim chee is sandwiched between both bun halves before being devoured by hungry monsters.

click on recipe title for printable recipe 
Kim Chee Burgers

     1 lb lean ground beef
     2 tsp sugar
     2 tbsp shoyu
     1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted and ground
     2 tbsp sesame oil
     1 clove garlic, minced
     1" piece ginger, grated
     2 tbsp green onions, minced
     16 hamburger buns

Combine all ingredients except hamburger buns.  Spread about 2 teaspoons of beef mix onto each bun half, spreading all the way to the edges in a very thin, even layer.  Freeze in a single layer.  When frozen, stack with parchment paper between meat layers.  Cook each bun half meat-side down only on a hot grill. Meat should be cooked when bun is no longer cold.  Serve with slices of kim chee between halves.  

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