The moment I saw this recipe from the New York Times I knew I wanted to make it right away. I was curious to know why these were called Japanese burgers. Upon reading the ingredients, panko bread crumbs, soy sauce, and the combination of ground beef and pork, the answer was clear. The recipe comes from Tadashi Ono, owner of Matsuri restaurant in New York. Tadashi is Japanese. The article also lists a recipe for wasabi (Japanese!) ketchup to go along with the burger. In the end, it didn’t matter what they called these burgers. They are so good I just call them “ono burgers!”
Times market in Kihei sells specific types of excellent ground beef (including sirloin and chuck), rather than the usual generic version. Whole Foods market ground the pork for me while I waited at the counter.
A bit of panko and milk moisten the meat. Very finely minced onion and soy sauce flavor the ground beef and pork along with a little salt and pepper.
These are juicy, moist burgers. We heated leftover patties wrapped in foil in the toaster oven the following day and they were equally delicious as they were on the first day. In place of the wasabi ketchup suggested in the article, we opted to mix up sriracha with ketchup because sriracha enhances nearly every food imaginable (pizza, noodles, eggs, mayonnaise, ketchup).
- ½ cup panko
- ¼ cup 2% or whole milk
- 10 ounces ground sirloin
- 10 ounces ground pork
- ¼ cup finely chopped white onion
- 1½ teaspoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- sesame oil for coating hands
- 4 brioche buns for serving
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs and milk and let rest for a few minutes. If the mixture seems too dry add a few extra drops of milk to moisten the bread crumbs.
- Add sirloin, pork, onion, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Knead the meat until it becomes sticky and binds together. Divide into 4 equal parts (a scale comes in handy).
- Lightly dab your hands with sesame oil. Using your palms, roll each part of the meat into a ball, then pat the ball flat, shifting it from hand to hand to form a ½-inch-thick patty. Make a shallow indentation across the center of the patty to keep it from puffing while it grills.
- Grill the burgers, flipping twice, until browned and cooked through with no pink in the middle, about 10 minutes (160 degrees). Serve on buns, topped with spicy ketchup and shredded iceberg lettuce.