Welcome to Don’t Shoot the Food, a semi-regular series where I combine my love of gaming with my love of cooking and eating.
With Homefront out this week, I thought I was going to do a tasty Korean barbecue recipe. Then my dumbass squad mate used the phrase to describe a KPA soldier that was burning to death. After that, the idea of Korean barbecue didn’t sound so good. Jerk. Luckily I still had something in my bag of tricks, although I’m not sure it sounds much better. On to the food!
So I have all of these cookbooks that I picked up just for one or two recipes. Hardly cost effective, but usually the one or two recipes are really, really good. The side benefit is that I have a metric ton of recipes ideas for when I have to come up off the wall ideas like something that ties together Korean food and American culture. Enter the Korean burger! It takes the American staple, the hamburger, and invades it with the salty-sweet notes of good Korean barbecue. I bet that if the KPA gave all of the citizens of occupied Montrose, Colorado a tasty Korean burger rather than making them subside on White Castle, the occupation would have gone a lot smoother. I’m just sayin’.
For our vegetarian friends, here’s a recipe for Korean Style Broiled Tofu. Stick it on a bun and no one will know the difference.
1. 1 lb ground beef – When I make burgers, I usually go with the 80/20 mix (can’t remember if that’s ground chuck or ground sirloin or whatever) as most of the fat renders out of the burgers during cooking leaving a very moist burger with not a lot of fat. As always, do whatever makes you happiest.
2. 3/4 cup grated onion – Grating onions sucks. Sorry about that.
3. 1 Tbl + 1 tsp sugar
4. 3 Tbl soy sauce
5. 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
6. 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
7. 1 Tbl + 2 tsp dry sherry
8. 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided – I buy big jars of the pre-minced stuff, but again, if you want to bust out your fancy garlic press, go crazy.
9. Burger buns
10. 2 scallions (white and green parts) thinly sliced
1. In a bowl mix together the meat, 1/2 cup onion, 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbl soy sauce, pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbl sherry and 1 clove garlic. Work it all together well and then form into four equal patties. Put the patties on a plate and stick in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook, but at least 20 minutes. If your burgers always end up looking more like balls than patties, here’s a pro-tip. Take a spoon and make an indentation in the center of the patty with the back of the spoon. As the meat cooks, the center will swell up, making a patty you can be proud of. Don’t skimp on the fridge time for the patties as the heat from your hands when mixing will make it harder for the meat to hold together while cooking.
2. In another bowl mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of onion, 1 Tbl sugar, 2 Tbl soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp sherry and 1 clove garlic.
3. Get your grill fired up and cook the patties to your desired degree of doneness, 4 – 5 minutes per side on medium to med-high heat.
4. Serve the patties on the buns with a healthy dollop of the soy sauce onion mixture.
What’s a burger without fries you say? Well, I don’t know about any Korean fries, but here’s a recipe for Gamja Jorim which are potato chunks in a delightful glaze of soy sauce and corn syrup. Oh hells yes.
1. 2 medium potatoes
2. vegetable oil
3. 4 tablespoons soy sauce
4. 2 Tbl light corn syrup
5. 1/2 cup water
1. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Do your best to make them all the same size.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat and saute the potato chunks in the oil until slightly browned.
3. Add the soy sauce, corn syrup and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer the potatoes in the liquid until the liquid is completely evaporated, about ten minutes. Be sure to stir the potatoes frequently so that every piece is covered in the glaze. Keep an eye on the skillet so that the mixture doesn’t burn.
That’s it! Enjoy your Korean-American feast.
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