Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Best Hamburgers Ever (aka Umami Hamburgers)

On Monday night we bought an inexpensive propane grill!  I've been wanting one for a while because I'm terrible at cooking anything other than veggies, steak, or hot dogs on our hand-me-down round charcoal grill.  My one attempt at grilling chicken resulted in what appeared to be charcoal briquettes.  Last night we had grilled barbecue chicken using Christie Jordan's barbecue sauce from her Southern Plate cook book.  They chicken turned out amazing and I would love to share the recipe for the sauce, but I feel kind of weird doing that since she specifically chose not to post it on her own blog.  The sauce was great but I want to make a few changes next time and will share my version then.  Tonight we decided to go with our favorite hamburger recipe and in the next week we're planning to do portobello mushroom burgers and grilled pizza, too.  Yum!  If anyone has a favorite grill recipe that they think I should try, I would love to hear about it!

Now, on to the recipe.  If you can believe it, I had never cooked a hamburger until about a year ago.  Once or twice I'd made turkey burgers, black bean burgers, and portobello mushroom burgers, but never hamburgers.  They just aren't my thing.  The only ones I ever really cared for are the ones my uncle makes, which are full of garlic.  But then I came across this recipe over at White on Rice Couple and was intrigued by the addition of fish sauce to the meat.  Diane and Todd promised it made the meat extra savory and I just had to try it!  The burgers ended up being out of this world delicious and I've made them several times now over the past months.  I still don't like hamburgers from other places, but we both think these ones are incredible.  This is my tweaked version of the original recipe (with lots of garlic, like my uncle's hamburgers!) and how we love them best.  If you've never tried fish sauce before (or have a bottle languishing in your fridge already), this is a great recipe to use it in!

Sorry there's no picture, I meant to take one but we were hungry!  They just look like your standard hamburger though.  The flavor is what makes them special.

Best Hamburgers Ever

1 lb ground beef (I've used lean and fattier beef with great success)
1 T fish sauce
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t salt

Gently mix together ingredients, being careful not to handle it too much or the burgers will be tough.  Form into 4 patties.  Make them thinner and wider than you want the finished burgers to be because they will shrink when cooked.  Poke a hole in the center with your fingertip so the burger will cook evenly.  To cook the burgers on a stove, heat about 2 T oil in a large nonstick skillet (believe me on the nonstick!) over medium-high heat and cook on one side until browned, then flip and cook on the other side until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  You can add a bit of water to the skillet if the bottoms of the burgers start cooking too much.

If you want to cook the burgers on a grill, just grease the grate and cook the burgers on one side until browned, then flip and cook on the other side, being sure to cook them to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you want cheeseburgers, when the burgers are done you can top each one with cheese and close the lid on the grill for about a minute or until the cheese melts.  Serve the burgers on toasted buns with whatever toppings you'd like.  A bit of mayonnaise and sliced avocado is especially good!

Yield: 4 hamburgers

1 comment:

  1. I never saw fish sauce in a burger before! I love fish sauce and bet it adds a lot of flavor!