Coming back home to our kitchen was wonderful, of course, but coming back to my 6 shelves of cookbooks was almost as good!   Whenever I got tired of unpacking and organizing stuff, I would take a “cookbook-break” – not really opening any of them to avoid getting too distracted, but just looking at the titles and trying to remember my favorite recipes inside.  That led me to the shocking realization that quite a few books remain “uncooked from.”   One of my goals – which I intend to take without pressure – is to bring them to life in our kitchen. The first one was The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, a colorful, fun book written by  Jaden Hair.  I’ve had it for a couple of years, inside I found a small card with quite a few page numbers market “to try soon.”  No one can say I lack good intentions.  😉

(adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook)

1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 Tsp finely minced garlic
2 Tbs minced ginger
2 + 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
2 + 1/2 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs finely minced green onions
3 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns

for the pickled veggies
1 cup matchstick cut carrots
1 cup matchstick cut cucumber
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
4 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

Mix the ground beef with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, green onion, sesame seeds, salt and pepper.   Try to mix it gently, but incorporating the ingredients well.   Divide the mixture in 4 equal portions and shape them as patties, making a small indentation in the center, as you see in this photo.   Let the meat rest while you prepare the quick veggie pickle by mixing  all the ingredients in a bowl. Wait 5-10 minutes and the pickle will be ready.

Cook the hamburger on a hot grill or on a frying pan with a little oil, for 5 to 6 minutes per side.  Serve with the carrot-cucumber pickle and other toppings of your choice.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  My main modification in the recipe was to reduce a little the amount of garlic – in case you didn’t notice, we tend to use garlic with a lot more restraint than most cooks – and also the amount of ginger.  In her recipe, she used 3 tablespoons of ginger and we both thought even 2 Tbs was a little much, the ginger taste is quite pronounced.   If you are more of a purist when it comes to tasting the meat first, consider reducing it further.  The hamburger turns out moist, succulent, the brown sugar/soy imparts a beautiful color.

I had to refrain from eating the pickled carrot/cucumber by the spoonful.  Loved it!  It goes perfectly with the burger.  If you find good quality kimchi, consider that as a topping too.

Summer is hamburger season by definition, and the 4th of July is right at the corner, so this could be a nice change of pace for the usual burger, celebrating the melting pot of cultures this country is all about!

ONE YEAR AGO: A twist on pesto

TWO YEARS AGO:  When life gives you chard…

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