These Rice Beef Burger with Kimchi and Wasabi-Mustard Mayo is both a reader requested recipe, as well as a post for the Foodies+ Fusion month over on Google+.
I’d been wanting to post a recipe with these rice burger buns for ages. We have them from time to time, as we just love compressed rice dishes of all kinds.
Let’s take a look at how we made these Rice Beef Burgers
The Rice Buns
The rice buns themselves are pretty straightforward, they can be made with any type of rice, but are especially good when you use short grain sticky rice like for sushi or risotto. Thai sticky rice is good too. In this recipe here, we are using sushi rice. I’ve lightly seasoned them with some Shichimi Togarashi, the Japanese 7 flavour spice mix. Click here to read more about it. You can make your own, use shop bought or leave it out.
The rice buns are pretty firm but still need to be handled with care. You could leave them as they are, once you’ve formed them. Or you could lightly fry them, just to brown on either side, which is meant to “strengthen” them. I don’t personally notice any difference in the actual integrity, just on the top outer layer of the rice buns. So I never bother to fry them.
For quick assembly of our rice beef burger, and ease, I suggest you cook your rice hours earlier or even the day before, so you are not hanging around for the rice to cool. From the rice buns with your hands or with a burger press, whatever is easier for you. I use a burger press because I have a few!
The Beef Burgers
I resisted all temptation to jazz up the beef patties to make them “more Japanese”. For eg, I thought about adding one or more of the following: wasabi, shichimi togarashi, katsuobushi and nori.
In the end, I kept them simple, made with onions and seasoned with salt and pepper. Because after all, the pièce de résistance is meant to be the kimchi and spiked mayo. It’s so easy to go overboard with flavours though, isn’t it?
A note on the beef: when making burgers, meatballs and kebabs, be sure to get fatty minced meat. It needs to be a minimum of 10% fat, preferably, 15%. Doesn’t have to be 20%, but go with that if you like. The reason for this is that the fat in the beef keeps your meatballs, et al, moist. Lean mince will give you dry, chewy, burgers, meatballs and kebabs.
I had a small amount left of our homemade cabbage kimchi (pogi kimchi), and I really, really fancied it. The combination of kimchi and meat is simply irresistible to me. You can use any type of kimchi you like, although it is the cabbage one that seems to be the most common outside of Korea.
Now I don’t expect you to make your own kimchi to enjoy this rice beef burger, just go ahead and get a good shop bought version. In my experience, those are always found in “ethnic” shops, not our big supermarkets. I am, however, planning to do a post on homemade kimchi very soon, so look out for that!
So, I had to have mayo on the rice beef burger, because… well, just because. Given the fact that I was doing a fusion recipe, it needed to be spiked with wasabi. Use whatever wasabi you can get your hands on, the fresh root would be great, but that’s expensive! I get them from the guys at The Wasabi Company, but not often, as it costs £12 for a small tuber.
This wasabi powder is what I tend to use when I don’t have fresh wasabi root at home. It’s mainly horseradish, with about 10% wasabi. Beggars can’t be choosers, right?
What about the mustard? Mustard and beef are a match made in heaven. And when I tasted the wasabi mayo, I felt that it still needed more of a kick and body, so in went the mustard. No need to be picky, any mustard you have at home is fine, powdered or not, doesn’t matter.
Everything else in our Rice Beef Burger with Kimchi and Wasabi-Mustard Mayo
Lettuce lined buns are a must when making burgers. The added freshness is the perfect foil to the rich, meaty meat and sauces. Cucumbers, tomatoes and onions are also always good, for the same reason.
Added Chilli Sauce
If you are chilli crazy like me, and your kimchi isn’t spicy, then by all means reach for some chilli sauce. Sriracha would be great in this.
Cheese is just one of those ingredients that you cannot go wrong with. I didn’t use it in the picture but I love cheese with kimchi and chilli sauce. Seriously. When I was younger, my granny used to make me a sandwich that had butter (on the bread), homemade sambal and/or pickles and a slice of cheddar. Oh man, it is still on of my favourite light lunches or snacks when I’m feeling ravenous.
Sambal is a word that doesn’t have a direct English translation. It refers to any spicy chilli condiment, sauce and sometimes, side dish, and is a word used in Malay, Indonesian and Sri Lankan/Maldivian cuisines. Although in the latter, it’s spelled sambol. Here, on LinsFood, we have a wide variety of them, including:
How about it, have you tried a burger with rice buns? Naturally, they are gluten free, which is a bonus if you are that way inclined!
Rice Beef Burger with Kimchi and Wasabi-Mustard Mayo, a delightful Japanese/Korean fusion burger recipe.
- 500 g (1.1 lb) minced beef, at least 10% fat
- 1 medium onion, fairly finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fine salt, no additives
- 1 kg (2.2 lb) sushi rice
- 1.25 litres (5 cups) water
- 2 tsp salt
- Shichimi Togarashi as needed (also optional)
Optional for Rice Buns
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp white sugar
Toppings and Garnishes
- 2 handfuls salad leaves
- Kimchi as needed
- 2 medium salad tomatoes, sliced
- some slices of cucumber
- onion slices
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp wasabi powder (or what you can get)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Sriracha or other chilli sauce
- Cheese (because cheese is always good!)
- Rinse the rice once, drain, and top with the 1.25 litres (5 cups) of water. Place on high heat and bring to a boil.
- When the water is boiling, lower the heat right down, cover and cook for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, take it off the heat, and leave to cool completely, or until it’s cool enough to handle. Cook the rice hours earlier or even the day before, for the easiest option.
- If you don’t have much time, tip the hot rice onto a large tray, spread it out and leave to cool, tossing it a couple of times, so all the rice has a chance to air and cool.
- Add the sugar to the vinegar, stir to dissolve and leave aside until needed. In the meantime, attend to the beef patties.
- When the rice is cool enough, add the vinegar mix, and mix it all in thoroughly.
- Add 1 Tbsp of the togarashi, and mix it all in. You can increase or decrease this, it’s up to you. The togarashi is a bit spicy.
- Divide the rice into 8 balls.
- Form 8 burger buns with these rice balls, either with your hands, or using the burger press. If not frying, leave them aside, uncovered, so they dry up slightly and firm up. If you are leaving them for longer than 30 minutes, cover with clingfilm.
If Cooking the Rice Buns
- Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Depending on the size of the pan, fry your rice buns in 2, 3 or 4 at a time.
- Brush one side of the the rice buns with a little sesame oil and fry in the pan for 3 minutes. Brush the other side before flipping over and doing the same. Set aside until assembly.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and massage the beef for 30 full seconds, to incorporate all the ingredients and to loosen the mince.
- Form into 4 patties, either with your hands or with a burger press. Place on a tray, cover lightly with foil or clingfilm, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until you are ready to cook them.
- Wash the burger press, dry and set aside, if you are using one and plan to use it for the rice buns too. If your rice is cool, attend to the rice buns now, while the patties are chilling. You can also cut your vegetables and get all the garnishes and sides ready.
Cooking the beef burgers
- Heat a frying pan on high heat for 1 minute. Brush the beef patties with oil on both sides and place in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the beef patties for 2-3 minutes on each side, pressing down with your spatula, to make sure that the whole patty surface comes in contact with the pan. How long you cook it for depends on how you like your meat cooked: medium or well done.
- Cook all the beef burgers, you may have to do it in batches, depending on the size of your frying pan.
Assembling the Rice Beef Burgers
- Start with some lettuce on the lower rice bun.
- Top with a beef pattie.
- Follow with the wasabi-mustard mayo, then the kimchi. Use as much or as little as you like.
- You can either top the burger with the rest of the vegetables, or place them on the side of the plate for easier eating.
- Serve with any other toppings, garnishes and sauces you fancy.
I know this is pretty calorific. That’s because we are using a whole lot of rice to make the buns. Halve the amount of rice and make thinner buns, if you like. But they won’t be as sturdy. Or serve them as an open sandwich, as in the top image here.
Total time doesn’t take into account the cooling of the rice after cooking.
- Cuisine: Japanese-Korean Fusion