burger fix

I had this master plan to do some taste testing in the kitchen and make some of my favorite asian dishes into a burger but as I read some blogs I quickly found out that there are burger companies out there that already do this.  Whaah whaah!  I just haven’t came across them yet.

I purchased daikon recently and it was too hot out to make sinigang (sour soup) with it, so I opted to pickle the daikon along with carrots and try my take at banh mi (vietnamese) burgers.  The key to this recipe is the bread.  Bread makes the HUGEST difference with a sandwich and for banh mis you must have baguette, french or brioche or any crusty bread to hold all that filling and flavor.

Banh Mi Burgers

Ingredients

For Nuoc Mam (fish sauce)

1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hot water
1 thai chili
2 cloves garlic crushed
Juice of 1/2 lime

For pickled daikon and carrots

1/2 lb carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 lb daikon, peeled julienned
3 cups warm water
3 tablespoons distilled vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt

For burgers
1 lb ground beef or pork or chicken (whichever you’d like)
cilantro
thinly sliced cucumber
mayo
sriracha sauce
brioche/baguette rolls

Directions

You’ll want to pickle the daikon and carrots first as it takes at least an hour to marinate.  Mix water, vinegar, sugar and salt until every thing is dissolved.   Mix the carrots and daikon together and place in a jar or deep container.  Then add the pickled liquid mixture over the carrots and daikon.  For best results, you’ll want to pickle for 3-5 days.  But an hour is just as good.

You’ll want to use the nuoc mam for the burger, so it’s a good idea to make this next.  Combined all the ingredients and chill.

When nuoc mam has chilled, take 2 tablespoons of the sauce and mix with the beef (or meat of your choice).  I say 2 tablespoons because you’re using fish sauce which is salty to begin with and you don’t want to over salt the meat.  To make sure that the burger is properly seasoned, take a small piece of uncooked beef and place it onto the pan or grill until cooked.   Taste the cooked meat to determine if the taste is to your liking.  If you find it bland, add more nuoc mam to the mixture (again cautiously little by little as you don’t want to oversalt the meat).  Once you’re satisfied with the taste, heat your grill or cast iron pan.  Then start forming your burger patties.  The key to having an evenly cooked burger and one that looks like an actual patty as opposed to a tennis ball is to have the center of the patty indented, while the outsides are higher, similar to discs.

Place your burgers onto the grill or pan.  Cook 5-6 minutes on each side, depending on what meat you’re using and how done you’d like your meat.

While the meat is cooking, slice your rolls and gut one side of the roles to pack with filling.  Toast both sides of the role while waiting for the burgers to finish.

To assemble the burger, take the toasted rolls and place mayo on one side of the roll and sriracha on the other (to your liking of course).  Then add pickled veggies on the bottom, sliced cucumber, cooked burger, cilantro and the top roll… or however you want to assemble it.

Enjoy!

Doesn’t that look GOOD?!?

For the leftover nuoc mam and pickled carrots and daikon, you can always make the chicken banh mi or bun thit nuong that I made here.

What gourmet burgers have you made?  Share below.  I’d love to know.

i can make that!

The only Vietnamese food I would ever eat before was just Pho until some friends introduced me to Bun Thit and Banh Mi sandwiches.  It’s not so much I didn’t know but that was the only thing I was introduced to like everyone else at first.  But after my friends introduced me to anything else, I’ve been hooked.  I had leftover cilantro that I decided to use to make a vietnamese dish.  With the internet at my disposal, I looked for recipes.  The constant ingredient in both dishes is pickled carrots and daikon (asian radish) and cilatro.  I didn’t have daikon, so I just pickled carrots.  I think I like both recipes so much because of the use of cilantro.  I LOVE cilantro and it’s a hit or miss for most people.  You either love it or you don’t.  I do.  Something about that limey herb that I love so much.

Chicken Banh Mi

Ingredients

Pickled Carrots and Daikon (cut into matchsticks)
Cilantro
Mayonnaise
Sriracha Sauce
Sliced Cucumber
Hoagie Rolls/French Bread
Jalapeno slices
Roasted Chicken

Directions

Toast bread.  Spread mayo and sriracha on toasted bread.  Pile the remaining ingredients onto the  bread and enjoy.

I fell in love with Bun Thit Nuong (grilled pork with rice noodles) when I went to visit my girlfriend in Boston.  Since then I’ve been addicted to it.  I had it for my birthday dinner (in the filipino culture, you have to have noodles on your birthday which symbolize long life) at VungTau in San Jose and it was DELISH.  It’s pretty light and healthy.  I didn’t have any pork shoulder, so instead I used shrimp.  The recipe I used was okay but I was expecting more flavorful shrimp.  Next time I think I’ll try Rasa Malaysia’s version.

Bun Thit Tom Cang Nuong

Ingredients

Vermicilli Noodles (found in any asian grocery store.  they’re also called bun noodles or rice noodles)
Cilantro
Mint
Nuoc Mam (fish sauce)
Pickled carrots and daikon
Sliced Cucumber
Bean Sprouts
1 lb of shrimp
1  small onion (minced, rinsed under cold water, and drained)
Garlic (minced)
Vegetable Oil
Fish Sauce

Directions

For the shrimp:  Mix the onion, garlic, vegetable oil, and fish sauce to taste in a bowl large enough to hold the shrimp.  Add the shrimp, toss to coat evenly, and marinate, covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Preheat grill and grill for 2 minutes on each side.

For the bun:  oil the bun according to package directions. Run bun over cold water and drain.   In a bowl, add cucumber, bean sprouts, pickled carrots and daikon, and bun. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro.  When the shrimp is done place shrimp on top of bun.  Add prepared Nuoc Mam (fish sauce) to taste.