Burger Night! Cheddar Burger with Ponzu Seared Pork Belly with Mayo Garlic Ponzu Aioli!!!

Burger Night!

Cheddar Burger with Ponzu Seared Pork Belly and Mayo Garlic Ponzu Aioli

We all have our favorite burger, whether it is a fast food burger or one we make at home, or one we can order at a restaurant.  The fact is, however, I am never contented with a burger unless I make my own at home. While I have made dozens of different versions of burgers, I fully enjoy playing around with ingredients, spices, buns, greens vs. no greens and toppers, such as cheese discs, bacon, salamis, pork belly, eggs, chiles and many other items.  I have used them all.  Last night, I made one of my most favorite burgers, one that was simple and easy and delicious, and best of all, there is no slicing, dicing or chopping. This is one is fast and furious and delish!

My favorite burger blend is 93%+ lean ground sirloin and 85% lean ground chuck.  The ground chuck provides moisture the lean sirloin does not offer. I made a spice blend specific to this Asian Inspired burger.  I use one pound of each. You could, of course, use whatever meat combinations you prefer, and of course, you are not limited to beef. 

Let's get to the burger ingredients!  The spice blend is found throughout the meat and most of the wet ingredients are found in the burger meat, as well.  

This weeknight or fast weekend recipe does not call for any slicing, dicing nor chopping, as I mentioned above. It is perfect for unexpected guests or one of those nights where you just do not feel like greatly involved cooking. 

Ingredients List: 
1 pound lean ground sirloin
1 pound fairly lean ground chuck
1 small block pork belly (salt pork), sliced
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground or fresh (diced) ginger
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic + 1 teaspoon, aside
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Ponzu + 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 package Brioche buns
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add all of the ingredients - except one teaspoon granulated garlic - to a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your best kitchen tools:  Your Clean Hands. Form the number of patties you wish to make, make a depression in the center of each on on side.  This enables to burgers to reshape while frying or grilling to an appropriate shape; otherwise, they puff up in the center too much and do not finish cooking in the center properly. 

In a large skillet, add three tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil begins to ripple, add the pork belly slices.  They should put out a good sizzle.  After three or four minutes, turn the pork belly slices.  Add two tablespoons of Ponzu and allow a dark caramelization to form, which will only take a couple of minutes.  Turn one more time to allow the same on the other side.  Remove the pork belly slices and set aside.  

I'd added a little of  the remaining spices to the pork belly.  

Ponzu caramelization on the pork belly slices. 

Next, fry up the burger patties over medium-high heat, about 6 minutes per side. Meanwhile, heat up the broiler, add a little olive oil spray to the buns, sprinkle with some granulated garlic and broil until golden brown, about four minutes. 

Now, if you wish to make my garlic ponzu may aioli, this is simple, simple, simple.  Two or three rounded tablespoons of mayo, a tablespoon of ponzu and half a teaspoon of either fresh minced or granulated garlic. Whisk and chill, so it will thicken.  

I added slices of sharp cheddar cheese to my burgers, but you should use whatever your favorite cheese is. You have known me to use Oaxaca, mozzarella, pepper jack, smoked white cheddar, fontina and provolone.  I am not real partial to Swiss cheese on burgers.  I do not know why.  Sorry, folks. I like it on sandwiches, for sure, but not burgers. 

Now, simply put your burger together the way you would love it.  Food is love, so I mean love it.  I slathered some of the aioli on both buns, placed the burger on the bottom bun, the cheese was already melted over it, I placed three pieces of pork belly slices atop the burger and finally, the top bun. Place greens wherever you love it to be and enjoy!!!!

Ready to Eat! I did not serve it with a side as it was just for me, but I'd serve it with oven roasted fries, onion strings, or oven roasted potatoes.  

As always, my gentle viewers and readers, Thank You so much for you time and consideration!

Now, go cook something - like a simple yet flavorful cheesy burger with pork belly - for someone you love!

In-House Cook


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