I like burgers. Especially offbeat burgers.
And, clearly, I am not the only one. Everyone in America is in search for the perfect burger. There are a ton of restaurant chains out there trying specializing in the burger: The Counter, The Habit, Inn N Out, Umami Burger, Tommy’s Burger, Fat Burger, Five Guys, Father’s Office, Fuddruckers, and so many more. I am sure I’m missing quite a few. I don’t live on the East Coast and I am sure I am missing their best burger chains.
There has even been an entire episode of How I Met Your Mother dedicated to re-discovering that restaurant where you had the perfect burger.
Well, I have something revolutionary to say. You’re not going to like it. It may cause wide-spread national panic.
There is no perfect hamburger.
There, I said it. I’m sorry, but it’s true. There is no more perfect burger than there is the perfect chicken dish, pasta dish, or steak. Nobody would go around claiming there is a perfect pasta, and they would never eat any other pasta. No, we want variety. We want ravioli or fettucine; we want red sauce, pesto sauce, or alfredo sauce. It’s just one type of dish. So is the burger. It’s one type of dish. There are a ton of different ways to manipulate bread and ground meat into a delicious sandwich. Why would you limit yourself to just one?
There are burgers with carmelized onions so soft, it tastes like BBQ sauce.
There are burgers topped with onion rings, or guacamole, or mushrooms, bacon or even a fried egg.
There are burgers on buns, French bread, rye bread, or even a lettuce wrap.
There are lamb burgers , pork burgers, beef burgers, or turkey burgers.
And the cheese. You can have, cheddar, muenster, swiss, bleu, provolone, goat, feta, brie, or any other type of cheese.
With all these possibilities, why would you ever, EVER, limit yourself to one burger? It’s craziness I tell you.
And in that vein, I will continually bring you many different burgers as I write my blog, because burgers are basically a 5ive Dollar Feast on a bun.
Today I bring you another one of my favorite burgers. The teriyaki burger. Grilled ground beef topped with a thick teriyaki sauce, grilled pineapple, on a Hawaiian sweet bread bun. It’s offbeat, it’s delicious, it’s different. It’s not perfect. There may be other burgers out there as good, but none better.
I continued my off-beat menu design with something equally crazy. I had some leftover kale, but had just made my usual kale recipe. So I decided to make kale chips. Oven baked kale pieces drizzled with olive oil and salt. They are every bit as good as a side of fries, but a billion times healthier.
½ pound 80% lean ground beef per person. (If you are not cutting the beef with a fattier meat, like pork, 80% lean is important, or you will have a very bland burger)
Robinson Teriyaki sauce (below)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 bun per person (I prefer Hawaiian sweet bread buns)
2 canned pineapples per person
- Form burger patties by rolling 1/2 pound of ground beef into a ball in your hands. It is important to “knead” the meat. (Meaning continue to roll, smack, and toss the meat after it has been rolled into a ball.) You want to make sure that the patties don’t form cracks in their sides as you flatten the balls of meat. After “kneading” the meat “dough,” flatten the ground beef into patties. Press the center of the patties lower than the outside creating a convex burger. This way as the center of the burger expands, you will have a uniform burger. Season with salt and pepper on both sides of the patties.
- Preheat grill. Brush the grates with olive oil, using the tongs and a paper towel.
- Mix together a batch of Robinson’s Teriyaki Sauce (below) in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to the sauce to thicken. (This is best done concurrently with cooking the burgers, if you have a burner on the side of your grill.
- Grill the burgers 3 to 4 minutes per side or until desired internal temperature. (At least 145 degrees.) Also grill canned pineapple slices. Top with cheese during the last minute, if desired.
- Serve the burgers on a hawaiian sweet bun topped with grilled pineapples, extra teriyaki sauce and lettuce. Enjoy.
There are a ton of uses for this sauce, so this is the recipe for the unthickened sauce to be used as a marinade. For the Teriyaki burger, you will be thickening this sauce with cornstarch
approx. 1 cup Soy sauce
approx. 1/2 cup Sake
approx. 1 cup Brown Sugar
approx. 1/4 cup Pineapple juice (from canned pineapple in juice)
- Combine all ingredients in and mix well.
- Taste and adjust flavors to taste.
Sea salt or other specialty salt like umami salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- On a cookie sheet, place ripped kale pieces on wax paper.
- Season the kale with salt (preferably a smoked sea salt, or your other favorite specialty sea salt.) Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp. Let cool briefly, and serve.