This Monday is hitting me extra-hard with end-of-summer laziness. So many people are busy heading back to school and our town is filling up with college students again, but all I want to do is nap in the sunshine. (I’m only a few years out of college myself… so I shouldn’t be this grumpy about ev-er-y-thing in town getting overrun with maybe-21-year-olds, right?) Just leave me in a rocking chair on the front porch.
My best cure for these summer bah-humbugs is good food, eaten outside as the sun goes down, ideally with a glass of rosé because yes I’m a basic white girl. Burgers are most definitely part of our best-summer-life good food, and we can even load it up with veggies and tell ourselves it’s practically salad. It’s all gonna be okay.
I love the easy anything-goes-ness of bahn mi sandwiches, where you can swap in different meats and veggies and still call it bahn mi. Burgers put an American twist on this Vietnamese-French mashup, and since we’ve covered three continents I’m going to declare this a worldwide favorite.
Plus I’m seriously in love with these burger patties! Pork + cilantro + garlic + ginger is the perfect base, plus some sesame oil + fish sauce for extra flavor. I made a double batch of the raw mixture and rolled half of them into baby meatballs for lazy wonton soup – exactly what I needed for a dark, thunderstorm-y Sunday evening.
This ingredient list looks kinda intimidating, but it’s 50% fresh veggies and 30% stuff you already have in the fridge. Squeeze out every last bit of summer and char these beauties on the grill, or heat up your favorite cast iron if stormy weather keeps you inside. The quick-pickled veggies, patties, and spicy mayo can all be made ahead of time for an easy throw-together when you’re ready to eat.
- 2 carrots peeled & julienned
- 1/2 cucumber julienned
- 2 t. lime juice
- 1 t. sugar
- pinch salt
- 2/3 lb. ground pork
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 t. fresh ginger grated
- 1 T. sesame oil
- 1 T. fish sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 T. mayonnaise
- 1 t. chili garlic sauce
- pinch salt
- 2 burger rolls
- 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
- 2 T. cilantro leaves
Start with the quick-pickled veggies: toss all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside to marinate, at least 20 minutes or up to overnight.
Thoroughly mix together all ingredients for the pork patties except salt & pepper. Divide into two patties and press a deep thumbprint into the center of each patty.
Preheat a cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of oil over high heat, or preheat your grill and brush with oil.
Season both sides of the patties with salt & pepper and place in the preheated skillet. Cook the first side for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and slightly charred, then flip and cook until no longer pink inside. Remove the burgers to a plate and let rest for a moment.
Wipe excess grease out of the skillet and toast the insides of the buns.
Whisk together all ingredients for the chili garlic mayo, then spread on both halves of the buns. Top with burgers, quick-pickled veggies, jalapeño slices, and cilantro leaves.