Burger Bash - Day One

Though potlucks are a great way to minimize the stress and preparation of hosting a big get-together, they do have one downside -- no matter how much you plan and coordinate with your guests, you're going to have too much of certain things, and not enough of others. For instance, the guest who had volunteered to bring beer to the party ended up blowing off my gathering all together, and we ended up with only a few bottles from a friend who is into home brewing and wanted to share his work.

On the surplus side of things, as I mentioned yesterday, not only did we end up with two entire watermelons, but we also had an insane surplus of hamburger buns. I'm not sure if all my friends are secretly on the Atkin's diet or what, but the vast majority of the meat consumed at the party was eaten without the accompaniment of bread. As a result, I've decided to have a mini-burger festival this week, not only to use up the mountain of buns currently cluttering my counter, but also to work my way through some of the burger recipes that have been languishing in my recipe queue.

First on the docket was a recipe for Asian-inspired pork burgers that I'd spotted months ago when we tried a new, albeit unsuccessful fried rice recipe that called for ground pork. The fried rice only called for a couple ounces of the meat, so we froze the rest, and I ultimately ended up using it to make meatball banh mi, but I kept that burger recipe in the back of my mind. Since we ended up loving the banh mi so much, I decided to use the burger recipe as a springboard for creating a banh mi-inspired burger recipe that would capture the flavors of our beloved sandwich in a format that would be easier to replicate.

To accomplish this, I stole many of the flavorings from our meatball recipe, with the addition of extra green onions, as called for in the burger recipe. I lifted the sriracha mayo directly from the banh mi recipe as well, but left out the pickled daikon and carrot salad in favor of a slaw dressed with a simple soy and sesame oil vinaigrette straight out of the original burger recipe. Thankfully, my experimental mash-up worked out marvelously. The burgers it produced were so good, Justin was asking me when we could have them again before we were even done eating. 

With a response like that, I know we'll be making these again before grilling season is over. The only thing I'd do differently, at Justin's request, is double the recipe so we'll have leftovers. With a dinner this tasty, you definitely want enough to eat it twice...

Banh Mi Burgers

Sriracha Mayo
2/3 c. mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sriracha
Asian Slaw
3 c. coleslaw mix
3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
scant teaspoon sesame oil
scant teaspoon sugar
2 pounds ground pork
5 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 c. fresh basil, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
ground pepper to taste

Light the grill.
1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the burgers. Mix gently until incorporated but not overmixed. Form into 6 large patties or 8 small ones. 
2. Grill the patties approximately 8 minutes, turning once, or until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, stir together the ingredients for the sriracha mayo in a small bowl.
4. In another small bowl, stir together the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar for the Asian slaw. Toss dressing with cole slaw mix.
5. Assemble burgers on toasted buns with Asian slaw and sriracha mayo.

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