By Cassie Johnston
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There are few foods I love more in the world than a good burger. It can be a black bean burger or a mushroom burger or a beef burger or a chicken burger or a turkey burger—I don’t care. I’m really an equal opportunity burger lover.
Now that we’re fully into grilling season (at least, I hope so—I really don’t want to see any more snowflakes, Mother Nature), I’m back at my burger-making ways. Yes, I have a grill pan, and of course, it works in a pinch when you’re really craving a burger when it’s -10°F outside. But nothing, and I mean nothing, can replicate that outdoor, over-the-flame grilled flavor. When the warm weather hits, 9 times out of 10, you’ll find me standing outside, cooking our dinner at our hand-me-down, seen-better-days-but-still-gets-the-job-done Weber.
These Asian Pork Burgers are the latest burger creation to be in frequent rotation on the Johnston family grill. If you’ve never made burgers with ground pork before, OH MY, let me tell you why you should. Ground pork is juicy, fatty, and über flavorful—so rich, in fact, that I like to cut it with half ground chicken or ground turkey. This combo results in a burger that is juicy (but not run-down-your-chin-need-to-change-your-shirt juicy), packed full of flavor, and a little bit on the lighter side—perfect for springtime grilling (and perfect for my GERD-suffering husband, who struggles with wicked heartburn after really fatty meals).
I take my meat combo and flavor it with fresh grated ginger, green onions, soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos), salt, pepper, and garlic powder. These babies are flavor bombshells all on their own, but to up the ante a bit, I like to top them with a sesame broccoli slaw that is crunchy and sweet. It’s just the best combo of textures on the planet.
If you’re still on the wheat wagon, I highly recommend serving these with a big, fluffy hamburger bun that you butter then put on the grill for a few minutes to toast (pretzel buns or onion rolls would also be to-die-for). If you’re grain-free like I am, grilled sweet potato slices or lettuce leaves make perfectly fine buns. If you choose to go the sweet potato slice route, I recommend slightly undercooking them so they have a bit of tooth left to them. If not, the “bun” just turns to mush pretty quickly.
These also make great knife-and-fork burgers if you want to plop one on top of a bed of greens and the slaw. And then, if I were you, I’d drizzle the whole thing with the dressing from these noodles (oh, and you should totally make those noodles, too, by the way).
One final tip before I hand over the recipe. Whenever you make any kind of meat burger, make an indentation in the middle of the burger with your finger before cooking (like this). If you’ve ever had problems with burgers shrinking when you grill them, for some magical reason, this stops the shrinkage. And never, ever press down on your burger while cooking! You want those juices in your burger, not in your grill! Happy grilling season, friends. Enjoy!
A blend of ground pork and ground chicken keep these flavor bomb Asian Pork Burgers juicy. And don’t forget the Broccoli Slaw on top – it adds a nice bit of crunch!
Never heard of broccoli slaw? It’s a cole slaw type of mixture made from the stems of broccoli. You can find it in the produce section of most major supermarkets. It’s great because it stays nice and crisp when you put dressing on it—perfect for adding crunch to these burgers!
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OMG! I can’t wait to try these. We don’t eat beef and I have been looking for a good burger substitute. Thank you so much.
sweet potato rounds – please explain … raw? … cooked?
Cooked! Roasted – you want them to be a little undercooked so they don’t fall apart on you though!
Look forward to trying these if it ever warms up enough to grill in MN this year! Love broccoli slaw and look forward to trying your dressing.
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