Thursday, July 11, 2013

galbi burgers redux

Tonight's dinner, like today's lunch: galbi burgers again!

I can't believe how good galbi burgers taste. I'd love to see these little guys at a restaurant, but I know they'd be a money-loser: the galbi I had bought cost nearly eight dollars per pound. What restaurant (aside from a ritzy, elite one) can afford that sort of overhead?

In the above photo, I used 3-ounce patties, which is why I doubled up on the meat with the bigger hamburger bun (foreground). The above burgers also sport American cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, and sriracha. My mother used mayo whenever she made us bulgogi sandwiches back in the day, and Koreans use mayo along with ketchup when they serve squid anju (barroom side dishes), so I think of mayo as having crept at least partway into the Korean flavor profile. Sriracha is a distant cousin of Korean red-pepper sauces, so it also goes well enough with galbi. Hard to imagine using ketchup or barbecue sauce, given the meat's already-distinctive flavor. The resultant burger is an irresistible combination of textures and tastes, all centering on the luscious, juicy meat within. If I thought I could get away with making galbi burgers all the time, I'd do so gladly. As things stand, though, I just have to enjoy the meat while I've got it. And what you see in the above photo is, unfortunately, the last of the galbi-burger meat.

Maybe next time, instead of using Mr. Yoshida's BBQ sauce, I'll just use my regular, homemade, Korean-style marinade to flavor the meat. That'll mean some extra garlic, onion, and sesame seeds inside the patties, but once everything gets blitzed in the food processor, the texture ought to be baby-smooth.



Elisson said...

American cheese? You put American cheese on that gorgeous galbi burger? For shame.

Use some real cheddar, fer Chrissake... and then maybe some gochujiang. Yum!

Kevin Kim said...

Yeah, cheddar would probably work, as long as it wasn't too strong. In my defense, I think American cheese is a great melting cheese—it doesn't sweat like Swiss does, and it's not assertive. I wanted the galbi to be the centerpiece, and while I didn't consciously decide against using cheddar, I must say that, if I had thought to use it, I'd have had to be very careful. Maybe a white English cheddar...?