When Korean BBQ meets Yakiniku Burger - Kalbi Rice Burger

Switch up your weekday night burger dinner! Try this special kind of  "Asian Fusion' - garlicky Korean marinade X crispy Japanese rice patty. This recipe can be made in under an hour, if you start your rice cooker first, cook the meat, and sear the rice patties as the meat finishes up cooking. It is also a great way to use up any leftover rice or meat. 

For the rice patties:

2 cups cooked short grain rice 
2 tsp potato starch 
sesame oil (for pan searing)

Optional tool:
- Burger press or wide mouth jar lid, for forming patties. Try regular size jar lids for sliders!
- Kitchen scale, for accurate measurement. Rice : potato starch ratio should be ~ 200g : 1 teaspoon. 

Add potato starch to hot rice (if using leftover rice, microwave until hot); mix until rice becomes very sticky. Depending on how large you like your burger, divide the rice into desired portions. I find that ~75g rice fits a wide mouth jar lid, and ~50g rice fits a regular size jar lid.

Line the burger press or jar lid with clear wrap. Add rice; cover rice with another sheet of clear wrap. Press to form patties.

Drizzle sesame oil into a non stick pan. Sear the rice patties on medium heat until outside forms a crispy crust. Optional: try brush the patties with soy sauce just before the rice patties are done; continue to cook the rice patties until you smell toasted soy sauce.

For the meat: 

1 lb boneless short ribs 
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce 
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 medium onion, grated 
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 scallions, minced (optional) 
1 tbsp grated Asian pear (optional - grate the core to minimize waste!) 

Cut the meat into thin slices. Rub meat with brown sugar until sugar is fully dissolved and well distributed on meat. This will help the meat caramelize. Then add the rest of the ingredients, and rub in the marinade with your hand. Heat up a cast iron griddle on medium heat (any large pan will do, but cast iron will help the meat crust better). Spread the meat slices out in one layer, make sure they don't overlap. Cook until one side browns, then flip and cool until the other side is caramelized as well. You can cook until the meat crisp a little on the outside. Thinly sliced short ribs don't get tough easily. Alternatively, you can lay the meat slices on a rack and throw it under the broiler. Flip when top side caramelizes. Cook until the other side is browned too.

Now you're ready to assemble the burger! Simply add lettuce and shake some toasted sesame on the meat. Optional toppings: try kimchi, bean sprouts, or fried egg! Anything that goes into a bibimbap will be good on a kalbi burger!

If making large batch, you can toast the rice under the broiler on a cookie sheet. You can also prepare the rice ahead of time for a house party. Line each patty with wax paper (to prevent sticking) & refrigerate. When you're ready to serve, microwave the rice patties, no more than 4 at a time, for 1 minute. and then sear or broil until rice is crispy. Enjoy!

Helpful tools:

basting brushes: https://amzn.to/2NP7C6b
wide mouth jar lid: https://amzn.to/2Q1YmgJ
kitchen scale: https://amzn.to/2M173ol