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Shanghai Beef/Mushroom Burger

Shanghai Beef/Mushroom Burger

This is another in my series of experiments in variations on the everyday burger. It's based very loosely on a recipe for marinated and grilled flank steak in Irene Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking, with an adaptation of my Spicy Cole Slaw for a topping. As was the case with the Tuscan Cinghiale/Porcini Burger here a few weeks ago, it's more work than your average burger, but the results are much more interesting as well. Of course, the burgers, sauce and topping can all be made ahead so when guests arrive all you have to do is grill the burgers and relax.

I serve this hearty burger with an Asian-influenced salad, using baby spinach, fresh bean sprouts, julienne-cut daikon and a sesame seed garnish, with a light dressing made of red wine vinegar, a dash of soy sauce and some sesame oil. Some Tsingtao beer and ginger or green tea ice cream complete this fun variation on the American backyard barbeque.

Shanghai Beefburger

6 burgers

1 T sugar
1 tsp five-fragrance powder
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C chinese cooking wine
1/2 C hoisin sauce
1 T Chinese bean paste
1 whole star anise, crushed to powder

1 1/4 lb lean beef chuck, cubes
6 oz beef fat trimmings
4 oz dried chinese mushrooms
2 C hot water
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 C chinese cooking wine
1 egg
1/2 C panko flakes
2 small fresh hot red peppers, seeds, stem and membranes removed, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 C of the reserved, strained marinade
1/2 C unsalted chicken stock
1 T molasses
2 T minced cilantro
3 scallions, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 T tomato paste
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot sauce to taste

Slaw topping
1 C green cabbage, very thinly sliced
1 small fresh hot red pepper, seeds, stem and membranes removed, cut in shreds
1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced, slices halved
1 T fresh ginger, peeled, minced
1/4 C cilantro, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 C Chinese red wine vinegar
6" rib celery
1 T mayonnaise
1/2 tsp dry hot Chinese mustard

Make marinade by combining all marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Marinate beef chuck and beef trimmings in marinade 30 minutes, refrigerated. Drain marinade from meat, straining and reserving marinade. Grind meat, first through 1/2' disk, then through 1/4" disk. Refrigerate until needed.

Soak the mushrooms 15 minutes in the hot water. Carefully lift the mushrooms from the liquid with a slotted spoon, reserving the soaking liquid. Strain the mushroom-soaking liquid, being careful not to use the last half-teaspoonful, to avoid grit. Trim and discard the stems from the mushrooms and chop mushrooms coarsely. Place the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan, add the mushrooms, 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid, and the chinese cooking wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. If any liquid remains, raise heat and quickly reduce to a syrup, stirring constantly.

Mix the ground meat with the egg, panko flakes, hot peppers, cilantro, and salt. Mix in the mushrooms. Divide into six equal portions and form into patties. Set aside for at least 15 minutes, refrigerated.

Sauté the scallions and shallots in a tablespoon of oil slowly for about five minutes in a small saucepan, stirring. Add 1/2 cup of the strained reserved marinade, the chicken stock, molasses, cilantro,  tomato paste and sesame oil. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the hot sauce to taste, stirring well.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Slaw Topping
Toss together the sliced green cabbage, hot red pepper shreds, red onion, ginger, cilantro, sugar and vinegar. Cut the ends from the celery rib and remove strings, then cut in 3" long thin julienne strips and add to cabbage mixture. Mix in the mayonnaise and dry mustard. Season to taste. Refrigerate until needed. 

Grill burger patties on medium-hot charcoal grill, 5 min on one side, then 3 min on other, or to taste.  Toast buns on grill, 2 - 3 minutes, until lightly browned.

To assemble and serve:
Give the slaw a toss and place it in a colander to drain for about 30 seconds. Place one burger patty on each of the bun bottoms. Paint each patty with the sauce. Place slaw on each burge, spread bun top with additional sauce and place bun tops on burgers.


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This sounds spectacularly good! I'm always looking for a new and fun burger. I see some fun this weekend in the offing!

oh wow, that looks phenomenal. burger pix are soooo inviting! and tempting! that one especially.

This sounds like an interesting burger to try. I've been enjoying your blog - thanks for posting!

Wow, what a fabulous looking burger. Can't wait to give it a try.

This looks sooooo good! I wanna taste it!


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