Asian Pork and Mushroom Burgers
Burger purists, avert your eyes! But just know, great burgers aren’t only made with beef. Asian Pork and Mushroom Burgers are meaty, tender, and packed with umami thanks to a unique burger blend.
Once upon a time, I used to enter many cooking contests. And I’ve won a few over the years. But one contest changed the way I cook.
The Mushroom Council (yes, there is such a thing) holds a yearly contest that encourages professional chefs and home cooks to come up with the next best recipe for a meat and mushroom burger. It’s a genius way to use mushrooms to replace some of the meat needed for a recipe.
I like that they tout “eat more vegetables” without saying “eat more vegetables” because no one likes being told what to do.
But why would you want to replace some of the meat with mushrooms? These could be some compelling reasons.
- Lower calories, cholesterol, and fat. By cutting the amount of meat you also cut the amount of calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat being consumed.
- More umami. These members of the fungi kingdom provide umami, a deep, rich flavor.
- Other vitamins and minerals. They contain nutrients such as B vitamins, copper, potassium, selenium, and vitamin D.
- Saves money. Mushrooms are cheaper per pound than meat. The end.
The mushroom-meat mixture is referred to as “the blend.” What does this look like and how is it used? In a nutshell, it is finely minced mushrooms combined with ground meat.
The blend ratios break down like this
- 25% mushrooms + 75% meat: Good for burgers, meatballs, meatloaf, and shaped dishes where the meat needs to stay together.
- 50% mushrooms + 50% meat: Good for sloppy joes, spaghetti, tacos, and other dishes where the meat is loose.
- 70% mushrooms + 30% meat: Good for casseroles, chilis, lasagna, and the like where the meat is surrounded by lots of sauce.
So, what types of mushrooms should you use? Read on.
With over 10,000 edible types of mushrooms and a half dozen that are stocked in grocery stores, it can be puzzling to choose one for your mushroom-meat blend. While you can use whatever shroom you want, the best types of mushrooms for this blend are ones that are meaty and relatively inexpensive.
- Button: the most common white mushroom that you will find on your shopping trip. Young and tender, these are cheap and easy to find.
- Cremini: the teenager version of button mushrooms. They have a light brown cap and are a bit firmer. Also reasonably priced.
- Portobello: the largest version here. These are the size of saucers and can stand in for meat in many dishes. These are a little pricier.
- Shiitake: long stems and thin caps. Commonly used in Asian cuisines, these have an earthy flavor. They also cost more than button mushrooms and other varieties.
Tips for The Blend
How to prepare the mushrooms for your mushroom-meat blend? These tips help ensure you get the best results.
- Finely chop the mushrooms. The pieces should be small enough to blend in with the meat. Alternatively, you can blitz them in a blender or food processor.
- Saute the mushrooms until they release most of their liquid. Some recipes call for adding the mushrooms raw but they will add a lot of unwanted moisture to the dish.
- Fold the shrooms into whatever ground meat you are using (beef, chicken, lamb, or pork) and incorporate the blend into your recipe.
By the way, I did not win the Mushroom Council blended burger contest and I’m sad about it. The prize was $10k!
- If you want to keep this burger gluten-free, use GF bread crumbs and tamari instead of soy sauce. And find some GF buns. Alternatively, you can absolutely omit the bread crumbs altogether. The mixture will be a little looser and might fall apart on you, but the burger will still be yummy.
- Why yes, I think kimchi would be an awesome topping on these!
- I recommend grilling the burgers on a sheet of aluminum foil or a griddle insert. These tender burgers can fall apart if plonked right on grill grates, but if you live dangerously, disregard this reco.
- 1 lb button or crimini mushrooms
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- ⅓ cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 lb ground pork
- 6 brioche hamburger buns
- ½ cup sliced red onion
- ½ cup julienned red bell pepper
- ½ cup grated carrot
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup mayo
- 1 Tbsp sambal oelek or sriracha
- Finely chop the mushrooms (or blitz them in a blender until the size of peas). Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until their released liquid evaporates, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the mixture constantly so it does not get too brown in some areas. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Dump the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the cooked mushrooms, bread crumbs, and ground pork. Mix everything together until combined.
- Using your hands, divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form 6 burger patties. Place the patties on a sheet of lightly greased aluminum foil.
- Heat the grill to 400 F/204 C. Transfer the foil with the patties onto the grill and close the cover. Allow to cook on each side for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping once. The internal temp should be 160 F/71 C. Remove from the grill and let rest. Toast the buns on the hot grill, if desired.
- Make the slaw while the burgers cook by adding the onion, bell pepper, carrot, cilantro, and vinegar to a bowl. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.
- Put the spicy mayo together by stirring the mayo and sambal oelek in a small bowl until incorporated.
- To assemble the burgers, spread the top and bottom buns with spicy mayo. Place a burger on the bottom bun, then add a spoonful of the slaw. Place the top bun on the burger and devour!
Keywords: Asian pork and mushroom burgers