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close up of a Korean bbq burger in a bun with green leaf lettuce peeking out and a strip of pickled red onion draping down

Korean BBQ Burgers

  • Author: Lisa
  • 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


Units Scale

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 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

For The Miso Mayonnaise

  • 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)

For The Burgers

  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Combine miso, mayo and sriracha in a small bowl and stir until combined. Miso mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef (2 1/4 pounds), scallions (1/2 cup), soy sauce (2 tablespoons), sugar (2 tablespoons), sesame oil (1 tablespoon), garlic (1 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)
  4. 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.
  5. 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 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