Yield: 4 servings
This is a great lean burger, with flavors that work perfectly together. Pork, onions, apple, cheddar, teriyaki, ginger and garlic are a marriage of Asian and American traditions. The meat mixture will be very wet and sticky and you will think it will not stay put as a burger…trust me, it will. You have to find the perfect balance between mixing enough but not too much. This burger is equally good with or without the cheddar and accoutrements…when I first started making it, it was the burger and bun alone. You want to just taste the ginger in the mayonnaise mixture, so start small, taste and keep adding until you get it right. Make this gluten-free by omitting the bun and serving in a large piece of butter lettuce.
1 pound ground pork
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 Granny Smith apple
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon good Teriyaki sauce (the one with the sesame seeds in it)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 onion or pretzel buns, split and lightly toasted
1/4 cup green onions, sliced pretty on the diagonal
1/2 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup grated white Cheddar, optional
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Teriyaki sauce
1-2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
Mix the ground pork, shallot, garlic, Teriyaki sauce, egg, salt and pepper. Peel the apple with a vegetable peeler and grate on the coarse side of a box grater. Add to meat mixture. Using your hands, combine the burger mix until all ingredients are evenly spread throughout, taking care not to overmix. Form into a ball and then flatten into a patty shape about 1/2 inch thick, making a small indent in the center to allow the burger to puff up. Try not to make thick patties; they will shrink quite a bit when cooked and you want them to fit perfectly on the bun. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300° and preheat a grill pan over medium heat for 15 minutes. Lightly oil grill pan with vegetable oil. Place burgers on grill and raise heat slightly. Grill the burgers for 7 minutes on first side and 6 minutes on second side, putting cheese (if using) on when you flip burger to second side to allow to melt. Place in oven to keep warm until remaining two burgers are done (unless your grill pan is huge and can fit all four-don’t crowd your pan though!)
Combine all of the teriyaki mayonnaise ingredients and let rest in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Spread teriyaki mayo on both sides of buns, place mixed greens on bottom bun, and place burger on top. Put a small dollop of mayo on top of burger and sprinkle with green onions.