The Kimchi Burger

The Kimchi Burger

Being a Korean-American  living in the Netherlands, you can’t blame me for stopping in my tracks when I came across a recipe for Kimchi Burgers. I mean, how Korean-American can you get? I must admit it’s an unusual combination and not a typical way of eating kimchi, and kimchi is obviously not a typical burger topping, but nowadays I guess everything is possible. So I HAD to try it.

To clarify any misconception, this burger is not your standard classic burger with a simple topping of kimchi. In fact the kimchi is only a small element to what makes this burger so unique and flavorful, yet definitely a very important ingredient in which this burger gets its ultimate flavor from, not to mention its titled name. There are actually many elements to this burger (i.e. marinated beef patty, the special sauce, the seasoned slaw and of course the kimchi) that make it complete and delicious. So whatever your feelings are towards the traditional Korean kimchi, it doesn’t really matter when this burger is concerned.

Take it from me who doesn’t even like burgers all that much (I’m a wrap kind of girl), this burger is the tastiest burger you will ever have, and I’m not just saying that because I’m Korean and I like kimchi. It’s not typical American, not typical Korean, and certainly not typical Dutch, but in my family we are the essence of all the above, and we LOVE this kimchi burger!

You can find kimchi in your local Asian market (even at the Asian market in the Netherlands!). Or if you are lucky enough to have a Korean friend, ask them for a small portion. Trust me, they won’t mind a bit. Koreans love to share their love of kimchi.

Recipe adapted (with changes) from Jaden at The Steamy Kitchen.

The Kimchi Burger

: 45 min
: 15 min
: Easy

Giving a Korean twist to the classic American burger.


  • 2.25 lbs (1 kg) ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, minced (about 3 fat garlic cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons ginger, freshly grated
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 6 burger buns
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mayonaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • kimchi slices
  • lettuce
  • tomato slices, optional
  • Step 1 To make the marinade for the beef, in a small bowl mix the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar and green onions. Set aside.
  • Step 2 In a larger bowl add the ground beef and break it apart. Add the marinade and mix. Form into 6 equal-sized patties. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
  • Step 3 In the meantime make the slaw. In a medium bowl add all the ingredients together and toss. Leave in the fridge until it is ready for the burgers.
  • Step 4 Now make the special sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. Set aside.
  • Step 5 Preheat the barbecue grill for direct grilling over high heat. Grill to your preferred doneness. If you are cooking on the stovetop, after your pan is hot add 2 teaspoons of high-heat cooking oil and pan fry your burgers.
  • Step 6 Toast the inner side of your buns for a few seconds on the grill until they are warmed through and slightly crispy. You can also gently toast the buns in the oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Step 7 Make sure to let the burgers rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature before assembling your burgers.