Hamburg – Japanese take on the Hamburger

One of my favourite things to eat and I always wondered how the Japanese made there Hamburgers so soft and tender. I’ve finally found the answer after reading Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. It’s actually much simpler to make than I imagined and the recipe is very effective and delicious.

This recipe makes 4 patties

2 Tablespoons of Butter  
1/2 Medium Onion (peeled and finely chopped)  
1 clove of garlic  
1/2 cup panic crumbs  
1/2 cup of milk  
16 ounces of beef  
1/2 teaspoon of salt  
1 teaspoon soy sauce  
1 egg 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
1/4 cup sake/alcohol 
1/4 cup Worcester sauce (can use okonomoyaki sauce to substitute) 1/2 cup ketchup cup ketchup


Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until translucent and soft (5 minutes). Allow the onions to cool to room temperature. Mix together panko crumbs and milk in bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes for the panko to absorb the milk. Mix together the meat, salt, soy sauce, egg, onions and panko milk combination. Use your hands to mix for at least 2 minutes so it becomes slightly sticky and holds well together. Divide the meat into 4 parts and lightly dab your hands with oil so it doesn’t stick. Press down in the center so it prevents puffing as its cooks and it cooks through easier. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and oil in skillet and cook for around 12 minutes flipping once until its cooked through. For the sauce: in the skillet that you cooked the hamburgers add the sake and cook for 20 seconds to deglaze the pan. Add the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup and cook for about 1 minute to create a think sauce. Serve this sauce with the hamburg. This recipe is usually served with rice and a side of vegetables like beans but I served it with focaccia and avocado because I was craving hamburgers. Here’s a link to the focaccia recipe that I used with this!

Happy eating!

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