Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spicy and Different: Korean Chicken Burgers

Tangy chicken burger.
I liked this recipe so much that I attempted to bookmark it twice.  I saw it in my Eating Well magazine and went online and bookmarked it.  Then a few days later I saw it featured in one of their email newsletters and I tried to bookmark it again.  Luckily Google Bookmarks shows when you've bookmarked something before, so I didn't double up.  Since it seemed I was really interested in this recipe and it was easy to make and we had all the ingredients, I decided I should probably make it soon! 


Eating Well magazine Korean turkey burgers

I was happy this recipe was so simple, it was only a few ingredients and only a little bit of work.  And luckily we already had gochujang (red pepper paste) and kimchi since we occasionally cook Korean dishes in our house.

I usually can't seem to leave well-enough alone and typically tweak (read: enhance!) most recipes I make, but surprisingly I made only a couple changes in this recipe.  I substituted ground chicken instead of turkey because the package of ground turkey is reserved for turkey salisbury steaks.  And I used sandwich slims instead of hamburger buns because we already had them.

If you want to make it gluten-free, you can easily skip the bun and eat it wrapped in lettuce or just on a plate.  The gochujang should be made without wheat since it's mainly red chili powder, glutinous rice powder, powdered fermented soybeans, and salt, but there are no guarantees since there are many ways to make it. It would be cool to see if I can come up with a vegetarian version, maybe with quinoa and mushrooms. 


makes four burgers
  • 1 pound ground turkey (I used ground chicken)
  • 3 scallions (green onions), sliced (I took this to mean crosswise into little rings.  The recipe didn't indicate if it was the white or green part only, so I cut up the whole thing and threw it in.)
  • 8 teaspoons Korean chile paste (gochujang), divided
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 small whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 12 slices English cucumber
  • 1 cup kimchi


Mix up the ground turkey/chicken, green onion, 5 teaspoons gochujang, and sesame oil.  Be gentle but thorough. Shape into four patties.
This is all the ingredients except the mayo.
Ground chicken, gochujang, sesame oil, and green onions. 
Husband Jeff told me to stop moving so he could
take the picture, which ended up with
my hands awkwardly placed. 
Patties waiting to go on the grill.

I cooked my patties on the George Foreman since I was afraid they would be too delicate for the gas grill.  There are no photos of the patties on the grill because I ended up getting raw chicken on the handle and ended up washing my hands so many times after working with the raw meat. Plus I was working on the rest of the meal.

I cooked the patties for about 4-6 minutes on the countertop grill.  They cooked up much quicker than described in the recipe and quicker than the booklet for the George Foreman grill lists.

Meanwhile, mix 3 teaspoons of gochujang and the mayo to make the sauce.  Toast the buns and cut the cucumber into slices. Spread the sauce on the bun, add a cooked patty, top with cucumber and kimchi. 

Finished sandwich.


Surprisingly juicy chicken burger.  Tangy, too.
Like others described, this was juicy when you might expect a rather dry sandwich. Yay! Total plus points for that. And the sandwich is tasty, I liked the combo of the cool cucumber, tangy kimchi, and spicy patty.  Husband Jeff was a little leery of the cucumber since he doesn't care for it much, but he ate it and thought it was fine. 

For Sonny D's sandwich, I skipped the kimchi.  He immediately took out the cucumber and later tried a couple bites, but he preferred everything else on his plate.  In typical toddler fashion, he likes to declare if a dish is spicy or not, but he didn't say it was too spicy.  But if you're planning on serving this to people who are sensitive to spicy dishes, you might want to take the gochujang down to 3 teaspoons (1 Tablespoon) and serve it with regular mayo on the bun.    But definitely don't skip the kimchi, it's really needed to finish the dish.

 I was surprised there was no soy sauce or garlic in this recipe since those are elemental to Korean cooking.  Next time I might mess with the recipe a bit to add some more variety in flavors in the patty. 

This was good and something I would make again, but I'm not in a huge hurry to make it right away. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!