These Korean BBQ Burgers are the hamburger version of Korea's famously delicious bulgogi beef. The ground beef is mixed with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions and brown sugar, formed into patties and grilled. They are juicy and flavorful beyond belief. Hands down my all time favorite burger ever.
Korea is renowned for its marinated grilled Bulgogi Beef, traditionally made from sliced prime cuts of beef and flavorful beyond belief. This recipe uses the same ingredients, only instead of a putting them into a marinade, they're mixed with ground beef and made into burgers... incredibly juicy and flavorful burgers, and the brown sugar helps them get richly caramelized on the grill, adding even more great flavor.
This is my favorite way to make burgers. In fact, for years now, it's the only way I make burgers.
I love to serve these bbq burgers hot off the grill, on toasted buns and topped with creamy miso mayonnaise and homemade quick pickled onions and radishes. Don't skip the toppings. They're easy to make and they add tons of exciting color, flavor, creaminess and crunch to these amazing burgers.
How To Make Korean BBQ Burgers
Here's an overview of the recipe. For full, printable instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Make the burger patties: Chop the aromatic vegetables: garlic, ginger and scallions. Mix them with the ground beef, soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar. These burgers can be mixed up and formed up to 24 hours ahead. Refrigerate them until you're ready to grill them.
- Make the homemade pickles: Boil vinegar, sugar, salt and water until the solids dissolve. Pour the mixture over sliced onions and radishes. Chill in the fridge for an hour. Can be made two weeks ahead.
- Make the miso mayonnaise: Mix mayo with store-bought miso and sriracha. This can be made 3 days ahead.
- Grill the burgers: Heat the barbecue grill to medium-high. Grill the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side or until they're done to your liking.
This is a great recipe for feeding a crowd because you can make everything in advance. When it's time to eat, all you have to do is pop the burgers on the grill for a few minutes.
Let's talk about the miso mayonnaise
Burgers need some sort of sauce on top. Traditional ketchup doesn't work for these Korean BBQ Burgers because tomatoes overpower the bulgogi flavors. However, the umami flavors in miso works beautifully with these burgers! I hope you try the miso - it's an amazing flavor that can't be replicated.
Miso is a thick paste made from fermented soy beans, rice or barley and has a wonderful, intense flavor. Miso is available at Whole Foods and Asian grocers. Because miso is fermented, it can be stored in the fridge indefinitely. So if you have any left over, you can save it for future recipes.
If you can't find miso, there's a good substitute that comes close using brown sugar and soy sauce. See the recipe notes for details.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH KOREAN BBQ BURGERS
I love these bbq burgers with Japanese potato salad on the side and either this simple kale salad or this colorful corn, tomato avocado salad or both.
Korean bbq burgers also pair well with this simple Thai cucumber salad.
Other delicious Korean recipes to try:
- Bibimbap: Korean Rice Bowl with Beef and Vegetables
- Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps Appetizer
- Korean Chicken Stew with Spinach (quick and easy)
Here's the recipe for Korean BBQ Burgers. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
Korean BBQ Burgers
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
The hamburger version of Korea's famously delicious bulgogi beef. Once you try this recipe, you may never make burgers any other way.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
For The Pickled Onions and Radishes:
- 1 bunch of radishes, ends trimmed and very thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, peeled, sliced into very thin rings, rings separated
- 1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
For The Miso Mayonnaise
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I recommend Hellmann's)
- 2 tablespoons miso paste (brown rice miso from Whole Foods is my favorite)
- ¼ teaspoon sriracha (hot sauce)
For The Burgers
- 2 ¼ pounds ground beef
- ½ cup scallions (5-6), root end and 2 inches of green end trimmed off, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root (1 ½ inch chunk)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 hamburger buns (I recommend potato burger buns)
- 6 leaves from a head of green leaf lettuce, washed, ends trimmed
- Put sliced onions and radishes into a bowl. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook just until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour the hot mixture over the onions and radishes and stir. Cool for 15-20 minutes. Cover pickled onions and radishes with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to two weeks.
- Combine miso, mayo and sriracha in a small bowl and stir until combined. Miso mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef (2 ¼ pounds), scallions (½ cup), soy sauce (2 tablespoons), sugar (2 tablespoons), sesame oil (1 tablespoon), garlic (1 tablespoon), ginger (1 tablespoon) and black pepper (½ teaspoon). Use your hands to mix everything together. Shape into 6 burgers. (Burgers can be made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to cook)
- Heat the grill to medium-high. Grill burgers for about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Toast the buns on the grill for a minute or so.
- Spread miso mayo on the buns, top with burgers, pickles and a lettuce leaf. Serve immediately.
Miso Substitute: If you can't find miso, here's a good substitute that comes close: In a small saucepan, simmer 2 tablespoons of brown sugar with 2 tablespoons soy sauce for 2 minutes, until it gets thick and syrupy. To make the miso mayonnaise, wait until the mixture has cooled and mix it with ½ cup of mayonnaise and ¼ teaspoon of Sriracha hot sauce.
[This post first appeared on Panning The Globe in July 2013. It was updated in May 2020 with a new photos, clarifying details in the written post and clearer instructions in the recipe. It was refreshed again Feb 24, 2022 with added serving suggestions and a shorter title (the title used to include the pickled onions and miso mayonnaise). The same delicious recipe!]
- Prep Time: 55 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: Korean
Keywords: Grilled Korean burgers with homemade pickles and miso mayonnaise
i just made my own mayonnaise, replacing mustard by miso.
Amazing!!! Reminds me of the bulgogi at my favorite restaurant. Definitely should have made a double recipe! Thank you!!!
I make this recipe ALL THE TIME with Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger meats. My guests can't even tell they're vegetarian. PLUS I keep the mayo and pickled onions and put them on grilled cheeses!
Ooh I'm so happy to hear these are adaptable for vegetarians! Thanks so much for your comment Esme!!
This was SO good! My 3 and 5 year olds loved it and the adults did too. The adults especially enjoyed 😊 Thanks for sharing.
I'm happy to hear even the little ones enjoyed the burgers. They sound like foodies! Thanks so much for circling back to leave a comment. 🙂
Outstanding! Used 80/20 beef (pan grilled cuz we don't have a proper grill) then toasted brioche buns in the hot fat while the burgers rested. Substituted finely chopped red onion for the scallions, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The miso mayo is amazing and will now be a regular condiment in our fridge. Not quite as easy as making plain old burgers, but really worth the small amount of extra effort. Next time (and there will be many next times!), I'm going to add a sprinkle sesame seeds.
Thank you, Lisa - I will be trying your other recipes too!
Hi Lana, I'm glad you share my love for these burgers - miso mayo and all. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I hope you find some other good recipes here!
Jane (your step-sis!)
Hi Lisa, we made this a few nights ago, and all really enjoyed it! Now I'm working through the leftover pickles (we did radish and carrots) - put some on avocado toast for lunch today which was nice. Any other suggestions for good uses for the excess pickles?
Hi Jane! I'm so glad you enjoyed the burgers! There's lots you can do with the pickles. Eddie put them on bagels with salmon and in all different sandwiches. They're also delicious in these veggie enchiladas and this delicious quinoa salad. I hope that helps. Let me know if you need more suggestions. xx
this is sch a fun way to spice up burger night! The miso mayo and pickled onions really just send it over the top--the whole fam loved it 🙂
I've been making these for years now and everyone who has tried them absolutely loves them! I'll mess with the aoli recipe at times because I love cooking, but this recipe is truly fantastic and every bit worthy of a 5* rating! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Eric. I'm so happy you like this recipe! Thanks for the comment 🙂
Lisa, these sound like the perfect way to get out of the "everyday burger blues." I especially love your recipe for homemade miso mayo - and the pickles!
Another great recipe from Lisa. Anyone grilling on Monday? Enjoy! The quick pickles are an especially nice touch.
My 19-year-old is a huge Korean food buff, and he love, love, loves these! Our whole family loves them, just a little different than a regular burger.
I love the quick pickling. I always thought it took months!
I made this last night for my husband and my father and they loved it! Luckily, I made extra and we will enjoy it again tonight. It's a great healthy way to enjoy a burger with a twist. Thank you!
Great! So glad you enjoyed them.
Wow! This sounds like one amazing burger recipe! We included it in our blogger burger round up found here:
What a great-looking burger round up, Arielle! Thanks so much for including my Korean BBQ Burger recipe.
I made these last night for my wife, since the weather outside is finally bearable for grilling. They turned out fantastic! I used a ground top sirloin and had a miso-less sriracha/mayo. These will also make for wonderful meatballs with some pan fried noodles. Thanks for the recipe, this is going into rotation at our house.
Just made these and my kids were blown away. They said I can't ever make a regular burger again.
I luckily got to be the guinea pig on this and these are fantastic! Seriously one of the best burgers I ever ate. Don' forget the pickles.. they are delicious as a complement to the other flavors
My mouth is watering just looking at the pic. This recipe is on my list for the weekend!!!!