• Karine Wlasichuk

Quarantine Burger Chronicles: the Korean Beef Edition

Note: I wrote this post before the events which transpired in the past couple of weeks. Since then, I haven't posted after Black Out Tuesday until a couple of days ago, in order to give space to the Black community to post useful links to books, speeches and donation centres.

Good evening! I realise my posts have been all over the place in terms of timing lately, I'll either post a recipe a day or none for 7! This quarantine has also been filled with food sponsorship posts on my Instagram as well as a healthy balance of takeout and family food drop-offs (René's mother dropped off boxes of Vietnamese food last night and I suddenly started believing in fairies- I do, I do!).

Something I started doing lately as most of us don't have to prepare lunches for work (so no leftovers necessary -unless of course you want to save time for the next day), is to buy a pack of ground meat and separate it into two freezer bags. That way, I have just enough for 2 burger patties and an extra pasta or casserole recipe whenever I feel like it! I very much am a self-asserted freezer enthusiast, no doubt here.

This time of the week, I typically reach for one of those bags and plan what to do with the next: a burger recipe and a meatball/Asian bowl/chili/who knows really option. Today's burger is a Korean beef and greens edition. It was inspired by my countless GoodFood boxes I received in the past 8 weeks, in which I got so many recipe ideas and kept all of them in a binder- I strongly recommend you do the same! I love revisiting those on boring rainy days when meal prepping. Enough blabbing (why don't I ever say that in real life!?), here's the recipe.

You will need,

For the beef patties,

Ground beef (enough for your number of guests, this recipe is for 2 people)

Hoisin (2 tbsp- its sweetness replaces the typical brown sugar)

Soy sauce (1 tbsp + 1 tbsp for cooking)

Sesame oil (2 tbsp + 2 tbsp for cooking)

Scallions (2, finely chopped)

Garlic cloves (2, minced)

Shallot (1, thinly sliced)

Parsley (1 tbsp, chopped)

Basil (1 tbsp, chopped)

Buns of your choice (I was out, but I recommend Brioche buns!)

AND, if you're feeling extra sneaky: add a finely chopped kale leaf in the patties- oh you know I had to.

For the mayo,

Hoisin (1 tbsp for 3 tbsp of mayo ratio)

For the fillings,

Baby bok choy (3-4, bottoms discarded and leaves separated)

Sesame seeds (a pinch)

Sesame oil (2 tbsp)

Additional optional fillings: marinated purple slaw, arugula with a soy-sauce and sesame oil dressing, caramelised red onion slices, or even algae chips!

For the side salad,

Cucumber (1/2, diced and crushed lightly)

Scallions (2, thinly sliced)

Sesame oil (1 tbsp)

Rice vinegar (2 tbsp)

Salt (small pinch)

Basil (1 tbsp, freshly chopped)

For the potatoes/thick homemade fries,

Sea salt (a generous pinch)

Sesame oil (no kidding, again, 3 tbsp)

A few simple steps,

1. Slice your potatoes in quarters and season with sesame oil and sea salt. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping them halfway.

2. Midway through the potatoes cooking, prepare the side salad. In a small bowl, combine all cucumber salad ingredients except for the basil. Mix thoroughly and set aside- we want the cucumber to marinate while everything cooks! Add the basil at the very end for a final toss.

3. When the potatoes are less than 10 minutes away from being fully cooked, toss all your bok choy leaves with sesame oil and sesame seeds with a splash of soy sauce and pop them in the oven. Watch the tray as it only takes a minute too long to go from crispy greens to burnt paper.

4. The buns take less than 8 minutes to cook, so you can start preparing them just before cooking the bok choy leaves: make the patties by combining all ingredients listed above and heat a skillet with soy sauce and sesame oil over medium heat. Depending on how you like your beef, cook between 6-9 minutes, while flipping the patties a few times. Set aside and add the buns for 1-2 minutes, flipping them halfway and gently pressing them down with a spatula so they absorb a little juice.

5. In a small bowl, prepare as much hoisin mayo as desired (again, the ratio should be 1 tbsp of hoisin for 3 tbsp of mayo).

6. Spread mayo on each bun, place the patties and cover them generously with as much bok choy as desired. Very simple, very tasty!