Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Umami Burger

When I was asked to supply burgers for a baby shower, I was determined to find THE best burger recipe. My brother swears by a burger recipe he uses where he puts a square of mozzarella in the center of the patty, then grills. I was looking for a classic recipe with an edge. Well I think I found it. Above are the ingredients I used: 80/20 ground chuck (per Bobby Flay) and minced garlic, a bit of Turkey meat and...what's that back in the corner?

Fish Sauce? Shhh.... it's a SECRET! While on my online hunt for my new hamburger recipe I came across this post by White on Rice Couple. They describe this burger that they have been making and how guests of thiers claim it to be the best darn burger ever. Someone tagged it as the "magic meat" because of the magical flavor sensations that everyone experienced when they bit into one of their patties. The name of the burger comes from this new topic of Umami, which describes the rich and savory taste in foods.

I was making A LOT of hamburgers so this recipe has been tripled. I had one pound of ground turkey.

6 lbs of ground chuck.

6 garlic cloves minced.

One and a half teaspoons of sugar.

Then I use my motar and pestle to grind together.

Next I add three teaspoons of black pepper, then mush it all together.

Add the secret ingredient, four and a half tablespoons of fish sauce and add to the ground meat.

Don’t be afraid of the fish sauce. Understand the crucial umami factor that fish sauce brings to food and it will become your best pantry fiend. So often, the powerful, pungent punch of fish sauce can be intimidating to cooks who aren’t familiar with it’s marinading magic.

Fish sauce is essentially the salty liquid from the fermentation of small fish and salt. But when used in small quantities, fish sauce brings fabulous umami savoriness to the burgers. It won’t taste like a “fish sauce burger.” It just taste like a darn great burger! You’ll be a fish sauce marinade convert very quickly, one taste of these burgers. - White on Rice Couple

Mix together gently with your hands and let it sit for 20 minutes, marinading.

Form meat into balls, then flatten into patties. Using your thumb, make an indent in the center of the patty because the patty will puff up when cooked.

On to the giveaway! I can't tell you how excited I was everytime a new comment came in on my blog. Comments in general are always welcomed and I really enjoy reading your feedback on my posts. But WOW, as a collective group we have a lot of fantastic things to celebrate. Thank you for sharing with me.

The random integer generator picked a winner and out of everyone who left me a comment it was lucky number 4. Sarah is "Celebrating the fact that all the celebrating around here is over for awhile. After 15 birthdays (no lie) in the last 6 weeks, I'm ready for a break."

Congrats Sarah! You can take your break from partying and munch of some yummy treats as well. E-mail me Sarah at homewithmandy @


  1. I have never used fish sauce. My husband hates anything from the sea. I wonder if I could still sneak it in there?

  2. Yay! I've been waiting for the secret burger recipe ever since the shower. They were delicious -- and not just because of the expert grillers we had. :)


Your comments mean a lot to me, I love hearing from you!