This double-stacked cheeseburger brings all the savory-sweet flavors of grilled Korean barbecue. A garlicky scallion marinade helps build flavor three different ways: stirred into burger mix, brushed on the patties to form a glaze, and combined with mayonnaise to create a special sauce. The burgers are formed into thin patties, set on a baking sheet, and broiled for maximum caramelization and weeknight ease. Roasted sesame oil rounds out tangy pickles and bolsters the burger with an extra umami flavor.
An Umami Korean Cheeseburger
• 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
• Kosher salt and black pepper
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
• 2 large Persian cucumbers, sliced 1/8-inch-thick
• 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 2 1/2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
• 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck or sirloin)
• 4 slices American cheese
• 4 hamburger buns
• Butter lettuce, sliced onions, sliced tomatoes and condiments, for serving, optional
In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add cucumbers and toss to coat, then let stand at room temperature.
Heat broiler to high and set oven rack set 6 inches from heat. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, scallions, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the marinade to a small bowl and stir in mayonnaise and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine beef and 3 tablespoons of the scallion marinade. Gently mix to incorporate. Form into 8 thin patties (each about 4 1/2 inches wide) and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush tops with half of the remaining marinade. Flip and brush with the remaining marinade. Broil until golden and caramelized on top, about 4 minutes.
Arrange cheese on 4 patties, top with the remaining patties and let stand until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
Pour off all the liquid from the cucumbers and stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil.
Smear the cut side of the buns with some of the seasoned mayonnaise. Arrange bottom buns on plates. Layer with lettuce, onion, tomato, double-stack burgers, pickles and top bun. Serve with extra pickles on the side.
Total time: 25 minutes, serves 4.