Reminiscent of a favorite grilled steak from a local Chinese restaurant, this burger is for ginger lovers. Do not substitute dried ginger for the fresh: unless you are baking, dried ginger rarely works.
- Yield: 4 burgers
- 1 1⁄2 to 1 3⁄4 pounds ground chuck
- 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh gingerroot
- 1 tablespoon hot sesame oil, available at Asian markets and specialty shops
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the beef, cilantro, garlic, ginger and sesame oil in a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, gently mix until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Place the beef on a work surface and divide into 4 balls of equal size. Form each into a patty about 3⁄4 to 1 inch thick, tossing it back and forth between your hands. To ensure more even cooking, make a 1⁄2-inch indentation with your thumb in the center of the burger. Handle the patties as little as possible; do not work more than necessary.
- Prepare a grill to medium-high. When the coals are glowing red, after 15 to 20 minutes, cover with the grate. After 5 minutes, use a wire brush to thoroughly clean the grate. Brush the grate with oil. When the coals are covered with pale gray ash and you can leave your hand 5 inches above the fire for 2 to 3 seconds, the coals are ready.
- Sprinkle both sides of the burgers with the salt. Place the burgers on the grate and grill until well seared on both sides, about 5 minutes for medium rare or 6 minutes for medium. Transfer to buns or a serving platter on greens and serve immediately.
- Alternatively, place a cast iron skillet over high heat and when it is hot but not smoking add the burgers to the dry pan. Cook until well seared on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare or 10 to 12 minutes for medium.