I adore a big fat juicy burger, and I tend to a bit of a purist about beef burgers. Not a big "load it up with a fried egg, bacon, onion rings, the works" kind of person. But sometimes I like to mix it up and do something that doesn’t really fit in the traditional, classic burger spectrum.
Enter pork burgers. You may think that using ground pork instead of ground beef would be verboten in burgerland. But it’s just as flavorful and juicy as beef, and you can play around with the herbs, spices and create an entirely new flavor profile.
These savory patties are livened up with a dash of umami soy sauce and sesame oil and get a bite from fresh ginger and green onions. You can leave out the brown sugar if you like, but pork partners well with sweet, and I like the addition. Don’t leave out the grilled pineapple slices though, as they really add a layer of sweetness and tang.
I topped mine off with peppery watercress, but you can use arugula or even baby spinach if you like.
Sesame-Ginger Pork Burgers with Grilled Pineapple
Makes 4 servings
- 2 small or 1 large green onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 1/4 lb ground pork
- Four 1/2-inch-thick slices fresh pineapple, cored
- Olive oil for brushing
- 4 whole wheat or sesame burger buns, split
- Mayonnaise, for serving (optional)
- 1 cup chopped watercress, baby spinach, or daikon sprouts
- In a bowl, whisk together the green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and ginger. Add the pork and gently mix with your hands to combine. Form into 4 patties.
- Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium-high direct heat. Clean the grill grate. Grill the patties over the fire until nicely seared on both sides, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes on each side.
- Lightly brush the pineapple with the olive oil. During the last 4 minutes of cooking, add the pineapple slices. Grill, turning once, until nicely seared.
- Transfer the patties and pineapple to a plate. Toast the buns on the grill.
- To assemble, spread the buns with mayo (if you like). Put a patty on the bottom of each bun. Top with a pineapple ring, then the greens/sprouts, and the burger bun top.