Bulgogi burgers with quick-pickled cucumbers

Bulgogi Burgers with Quick-Pickled Cucumbers offers a flavorful fusion of Korean and American cuisines. Here’s a simplified recipe:


For Bulgogi Burgers:

  • 1 pound ground beef or ground pork
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Burger buns
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Optional: Cheese slices (like provolone or cheddar)

For Quick-Pickled Cucumbers:

  • 1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Bulgogi burgers with quick-pickled cucumbers

1. Prepare the Quick-Pickled Cucumbers:

  • In a bowl, mix rice vinegar, water, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the thinly sliced cucumber to the mixture and ensure it’s fully submerged. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes while you prepare the burgers.

2. Prepare the Bulgogi Patties:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef or pork with soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, chopped green onions, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper.
  • Gently mix until the ingredients are well combined. Form the mixture into patties that suit the size of your burger buns.

3. Cook the Bulgogi Patties:

  • Preheat a grill or a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes per side or until they reach the desired level of doneness.
  • If desired, add cheese slices to the patties a minute before they finish cooking to melt.

4. Assemble the Bulgogi Burgers:

  • Lightly toast the burger buns on the grill or in a toaster.
  • Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of the bun.
  • Add a cooked bulgogi patty on top of the lettuce.
  • Layer with sliced tomatoes and a generous portion of the quick-pickled cucumbers.
  • Add any additional toppings or condiments of your choice.
  • Complete the burger with the top half of the bun.

5. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Serve the Bulgogi Burgers immediately while warm, accompanied by your favorite sides like fries or a salad.

This fusion burger offers the savory, sweet, and tangy flavors of traditional bulgogi combined with the refreshing crunch of pickled cucumbers, resulting in a delightful twist on a classic burger experience. Adjust the toppings and condiments according to your preference for a personalized touch.

Benefits of Bulgogi Burgers with Quick-Pickled Cucumbers:

Bulgogi burgers with quick-pickled cucumbers

  1. Protein-Rich Meal: The beef or pork used in the Bulgogi Burgers provides a significant amount of protein necessary for muscle repair and overall body function. This protein content helps in satiety and aids in maintaining a balanced diet.
  2. Enhanced Flavor Profile: Bulgogi, a Korean marinated meat, adds a unique blend of savory, sweet, and umami flavors to the burgers. This infusion of traditional Korean flavors provides a delightful and exotic taste experience.
  3. Antioxidant-Rich Ingredients: Ingredients like garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds used in the marinade offer antioxidants that potentially contribute to overall health by combating oxidative stress and inflammation.
  4. Low-Calorie, High-Nutrient Cucumbers: Quick-pickled cucumbers are a low-calorie addition rich in vitamins and minerals. They provide hydration, contain antioxidants, and offer dietary fiber, contributing to improved digestion and overall health.
  5. Versatile and Customizable: The recipe allows for customization to accommodate various dietary preferences. It can be adapted for different meats (beef, pork, chicken) or made vegetarian using plant-based alternatives.
  6. Culinary Fusion Experience: This dish offers a culinary fusion by combining Korean flavors with a classic American favorite, providing an opportunity to explore diverse tastes and culinary traditions in one delicious meal.


What is Bulgogi?

Bulgogi is a traditional Korean dish made with marinated beef or pork. It’s typically prepared by marinating thinly sliced meat in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and other seasonings before grilling or pan-cooking.

How do I make Quick-Pickled Cucumbers?

Quick-pickled cucumbers are made by slicing cucumbers thinly and then soaking them in a mixture of rice vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Let them sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes, and they’re ready to use as a tangy and refreshing topping for your burgers.

Can I use other meats besides beef or pork for Bulgogi Burgers?

Absolutely! While beef and pork are commonly used, you can experiment with other proteins like chicken, turkey, or even plant-based options like tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian version of Bulgogi Burgers.

What toppings complement Bulgogi Burgers?

Traditionally, Bulgogi Burgers are served with fresh toppings like lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and the quick-pickled cucumbers. You can also add cheese slices (such as provolone or cheddar) for extra flavor, along with condiments like mayonnaise or spicy gochujang sauce.

Can I prepare the marinade for Bulgogi Burgers in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the Bulgogi marinade ahead of time. It’s recommended to marinate the meat for at least a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse. Store the marinade in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.


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