But what if you could have the taste of beef, and the juiciness, but cut back on a bit of the fat, without sacrificing any flavor?
The answer: add in some mushrooms. When chopped (either cooked or raw) mushrooms have a very similar texture to ground meat, and they blend right in. It’s a nice way to lighten up a favorite summertime staple. This recipe makes enough for a crowd, but you can easily cut the amounts in half to make six burgers.
I have recently become a little bit besotted with Ponzu sauce. Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce used often in Japanese cooking. It is salty and tangy, made from vinegar, mirin (a low alcohol rice wine), seaweed and fish flakes (please, don’t be turned off) and it has just a wonderful flavor.
The citrus most commonly added is that of the yuzu, which is a fruit that originated in East Asia, and it might be the juice or the zest that’s used. Sudachi is another popular citrus juice added to ponzu. It’s often drizzled over foods for a finishing touch, or used as a dip, but here it’s blended into the meat and mushrooms and adds yet another layer of umami (which is a Japanese words that translates basically to “savory”).
Both Ponzu sauce and wasabi paste (or wasabi powder, which can be blended with water to make a paste) are available at Asian markets and in the Asian aisle of well-stocked supermarkets. The wasabi mayo is optional; these would also be great with ketchup or mustard, and of course lettuce, onion and tomato.
A deeper dive into burgers recipe options? 5 Great Burger Recipes.
For the Asian Burgers
For the Wasabi Mayonnaise (optional)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons wasabi paste or to taste
- 12 hamburger buns
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and when the oil is hot add the mushrooms to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid and it evaporates, and then the mushrooms begin to turn nicely browned. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl combine the egg, ponzu sauce, garlic and ginger. Finely chop the cooled mushrooms using a knife or by pulsing in the food processor, and then add them along with the beef to the bowl, and use to hands to gently mix until well combined.
- Form the mixture into 6 patties, and use your thumbs to make slight indents in the center of each burger, which will cause them to end up flat when they cook. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise with the wasabi paste, and taste to check if you like the level of heat – add more mayo or wasabi paste to adjust.
- Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the burgers for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until they are done to your liking. Serve with the wasabi cream, or anything you like!
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