I have to admit that it really seemed odd to eat anything soy sauce-based on bread. Shoyu on bread? “But it’s not shoyu, Auntie Lori,” says my nephew Brandon who is addicted to teriyaki burgers. “It’s teriyaki sauce.” The boy will eat anything—and yes, I mean anything—as long as it has teriyaki sauce on it. Truthfully, teriyaki sauce on bread isn’t appealing either. But I must be alone with this thought because teriyaki burgers are insanely popular everywhere.
The trick is to mix in the seasonings without over-mixing the meat. Over-handling toughens the meat. A good burger really should be taste like minced or ground steak and not a meatloaf. So, don’t use your hands to mash the mixture. Some people skip the meat seasonings altogether and just add teriyaki sauce as the condiment. If you’re like Brandon, you’ll want to keep a cup of it next to your plate to dip your burger so you can have every single bite oozing with teriyaki flavor.
1 lb. ground beef
˝ cup teriyaki sauce (see below)
1 tsp. onion salt
˝ tsp. black pepper
vegetable oil, butter, sesame oil or non-stick cooking spray
4 hamburger buns
4 pieces of lettuce
4 slices of tomato
4 slices of red onion
4 slices of fresh or canned pineapple, grilled
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef with teriyaki sauce, onion salt and black pepper. Use a mixing paddle and be careful not to over-handle as this will toughen the meat. Form patties. Lightly grease a grill or pan with vegetable oil, non-stick cooking spray, butter or sesame oil. Pan fry patties to desired doneness. Assemble the hamburger by stacking the patty on the bottom bun and top with the following in order: pineapple slice, red onion, tomato, lettuce (this order prevents everything from slipping off) and drizzle on teriyaki sauce before covering with the top bun.
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. mirin (cooking wine or cooking sake)
1 clove fresh garlic
1 inch slice fresh ginger root
In a small saucepan, blend the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium low heat, stirring continuously. When it thickens, remove from heat. Cool and use some of this for the uncooked ground beef mixture and the rest for a sauce for the cooked hamburger.