Kimchi Burger

If you have never heard of kimchi, well, now you have. Kimchi is probably found in most grocery stores nowadays, and it is a must have. Now if you have never had kimchi, you might be a little hesitant to try it based on what it looks like, or maybe even how it smells, but let me tell you, it is something pretty amazing. Kimchi is a Korean side dish, or main dish for that matter, that is basically fermented napa cabbage, onions, garlic, chili paste, and daikon radish, among other ingredients. Those ingredients alone get my mouth watering.

Kimchi Burger Recipe

Now you can make your own kimchi if you want, but since it is readily abundant in the store, you pick up a jar and dig right in. In my opinion, kimchi is best served with grilled meats. There is a balance there that is unlike any other, and with that said, I thought I would create a burger and load it with kimchi, hence the kimchi burger.

This past weekend, I was left watching my kids, and when that happens, (this always happens) I ask the question ‘what do you guys want to eat?’. The immediate response from my oldest kid was ‘bacon burger!’. I should probably use about nine exclamation marks when he shouted that with excitement. So burgers it was. One plain cheese, one with loaded bacon, and one kimchi.

Lets get started.

Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]

  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 1/4 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • Slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of kimchi, per burger
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 great hamburger buns (I am using Breadsmith’s Buttertop Buns), sliced

Begin by making your patties. Divide the meat mixture into three even sections. Form each section into a nice patty, and generously season each side with salt and pepper. When both sides are seasoned, take your thumb and make a nice indention in the center of each patty. This evens out the burger when cooked on the grill and prevents it from turning into a big lump of meat. Let the patties rest on the counter while you go get your grill heated.

Heat your grill. No preference on using charcoal or gas on this recipe. Use whichever is convenient, but get it nice and hot. I like to heat the grill really hot on one side, while keeping it warm on the opposite side. This allows you to have more control in case the coals get too hot.

Place your patties on the grill and cook them for about five minutes. Just leave them alone. Don’t (and never) smash them with a spatula, just let them be. Flip the patties after about 5 minutes, keeping an eye on them so the grill doesn’t go up in fire, and continue cooking until your desired doneness.

Kimchi Burger Recipe

Now is the time to put on the cheese as well. One slice per patty, then slide to the warmer part of the grill, and let it cook until the cheese it melted.

Butter the buns, and add them to the grill, just to get some nice toast marks on them.

Now you are ready to serve.

Take the buns off of the grill, and place the cheese burger, cheese down onto the base of the bun. Top with a half cup of the kimchi, and add the top bun. That’s it.

Biting into this delicious burger results into this garlic, crunchy, and spicy texture, then the juicy burger and balance of the cheese, makes every bite really, really great.

Give it a shot. Kimchi alone is awesome. Now you know.


  • Anna

    Our favorite All-American-Snack goes Korean! I love fusion recipes. But you are right, I was never a fan of Kimchi (perhaps due to the smell…) But I am willing to try since I saw your recipe. This is great!

  • dancing kitchen

    I call my Kimchi burger the Polynesian Superstar…and marinade the burger in island soyaki sauce, use a Hawaiian bread bun, and put a medium fried egg on it. It’s better than any burger I’ve bought. The Kimchi knocks it out of the park.

  • Mike

    There are many different styles of Kimchi. One of our favorites is summer, or water, kimchi. Not spicy at all, but very flavorful with cabbage, jicama or asian pear, garlic, and scallions. Allow it to ferment for 4 days before use. It would also go quite well on a burger.

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