Korean BBQ Burgers are everything you love about bulgogi beef, packed into a burger. Delicious, juicy, grilled beef burgers made with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions and brown sugar. The best burger on the planet as far as I’m concerned!
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. This is my favorite way to make burgers. In fact, for years now, it’s the only way I make burgers.
These Korean burgers are juicy and flavorful, and the brown sugar helps them get richly caramelized on the grill, adding even more great flavor. Serve these burgers hot off the grill, on toasted buns, with creamy miso mayonnaise and pickled onions and radishes. Take a bite and let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear!
How To Make Korean BBQ Burgers
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 grill the burgers.
- Make the burgers: Chop the aromatic vegetables: garlic, ginger and scallions. Mix them with the ground beef, soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar. Now you’ve got burgers with the incredible flavors of Bulgogi. Burgers can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Refrigerate them until you’re ready to grill them.
- Make the 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 miso and sriracha. 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.
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.
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 with Pickled Onions and Radishes and Miso Mayonnaise
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
- Prep Time: 55 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: Korean
- 1 bunch of radishes, ends trimmed and very thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, peeled, sliced into very thin rings, rings separated
- 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I recommend Hellmann’s)
- 2 tablespoons miso paste (brown rice miso from Whole Foods is my favorite)
- 1/4 teaspoon sriracha (hot sauce)
- 2 1/4 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 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 1/2 inch chunk)
- 1/2 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
- To make the pickled onions and radishes, 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 with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to two weeks.
- To make the miso mayonnaise, combine miso, mayo and sriracha in a small bowl and stir until combined. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- To make the burgers, In a large bowl, combine ground beef (1 1/4 pounds), scallions (1/2 cup), soy sauce (2 tablespoons), sugar (2 tablespoons), sesame oil (1 tablespoon), garlic (2 tablespoon), ginger (1 tablespoon) and black pepper (1/2 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)
- 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.
- To serve, 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 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 teaspoon of Sriracha hot sauce.
[This post first appeared on Panning The Globe in July 2013. It was updated in May 2020 with a few new photos, clarifying details in the written post and clearer instructions in the recipe.]
Keywords: Grilled Korean burgers with homemade pickles and miso mayonnaise