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Asian Burger Recipe


Umami.  Say it with me…Oo-mom-ee.  That’s right, the oh so desirable savory taste that needed it’s own Umami International Symposium in Hawaii to ensure it’s recognition as one of the basic tastes.  Once the subject of controversy, it’s now widely accepted and is available in so many natural forms.   This Asian burger recipe uses 3 different umami ingredients, and I’ve actually been told more than once that this is the BEST burger recipe ever!  It’s the perfect way to celebrate summer holidays in your backyard.
There are a lot of umami burger recipes, in fact there’s umami burger restaurants and they even have an umami burger truck!  Umami burger ingredients vary from one recipe to another, but the good recipes all have one thing in common, quality ground beef.  I like my burgers fat and juicy with a strong beef flavor that is enhanced by the other ingredients mixed in rather than covered up.  We buy our beef in bulk from a local farm which means we get all natural grass fed beef for just $3 a pound, that’s ground beef and tenderloin steaks!

I can’t buy ground beef in the store anymore because it just doesn’t taste as good!  BUT, if you are using store bought ground beef for your homemade burgers, adding some umami CAN help up the flavor factor.


I like to mix in fish sauce, miso paste and tomato paste when I’m making a hamburger.  All three are very strong sources of savory goodness.  Fish sauce is easy to find at any Asian grocery store.  Just make sure to get a lighter colored sauce, the dark ones are poor quality.  Three crabs is a great brand.

Miso paste can be a little tougher.  It took me a while to find because the labels were never in English.  Asking an employee can help, but if you’re desperate you can always buy miso paste online.  I’ll be sharing more miso paste recipes in the future, it’s for more than just soup!  Don’t worry, if you can only get fish sauce and tomato paste, skip the miso paste and you’ll still get a tasty burger.

This past Monday we had a GREAT time at the City of Auburn’s July 4th Festival.  I was in charge of the multicultural stage and we had some amazing singing, dancing and instrumental performances by Japanese, Ukranian, Russian, Latino, South American, Samoan and Filipino groups.  I had such a fun day and was so honored to emcee the event.


These adorable girls were part of the Seattle Matsuri Taiko group.  They kicked the day off with an incredible drumming demonstration.


The beautiful ladies here are a part of the Samoan community in Auburn.


Several of them did some amazing dances at the Festival.  The heart of this island girl was filled with joy and homesickness as I watched them.

Okay, I’m curious, what are your favorite burger toppings?

Yield: 4-5 burgers


Asian Burger
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 TBS miso paste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1 tsp agave syrup (or honey)
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, use your hands to mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Divide into four to five patties.
  3. Grill 5-8 minutes on each side until internal temperature is 140-150. (Or pan fry on high)
  4. Serve on hamburger buns or dinner rolls with your favorite condiments.


Approximate cost/serving:  The beef was $3, with all the other ingredients it came out to just $3.70 for 5 small burgers.  That’s not including the bun or condiments.  With those it cost me only $5.  It helps that I make my own pickles and grow my own lettuce.  So as a meal it was just $1 per serving.

Gluten Free: Some miso paste contains barley or wheat.  If the ingredients aren’t in English try asking an employee if wheat or barley are listed.  Or you can skip the miso paste to be safe and add another tsp fish sauce.  Just make sure to serve on a gluten free roll!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 383mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 32g

Nutrition information is an estimate only.

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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.

19 thoughts on “Asian Burger Recipe”

  1. The flavors in this burger sound amazing! I bet it makes for a great summertime meal…I’ll have to try it out soon! Thanks so much for sharing!


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