I wasn’t planning to make this a trilogy, but part 2 turned out to be longer than expected, so here we are.
So you know how to grind your own beef that can be cooked to any temperature, you know how to make your own burger buns, but what about the fixin’s?
Well, I’m not going to sit here and tell you what to put on your burger. If you come into my restaurant, then you can order the burger on the menu and you’ll eat what you get and LIKE IT MISTER!!!, but when you’re cooking your own burgers at home, do whatever the hell you want to.
Burger fixin’s are a touchy subject. Brawls have been started over the “right” toppings for a burger, much like with the Great Pizza Debate (for the record, ham and pineapple is totally legit on pizza). Walk into any restaurant that has a burger on the menu and you can find a plethora of combinations – onions, tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, relish, cheese, yadda yadda yadda, et cetera, ad nauseum. And those are just what you’ll find in fast food joints. Go into a higher end spot and you’ll find housemade concoctions that are specifically designed to be “unique” in order to draw in the customers.
The burger in my restaurant (it’s “my” restaurant because I work there, not because I’m the owner or in charge of the kitchen) is topped with Japanese mayonnaise, house made sesame sauce, house made kimchi ketchup, house made dill pickles, cheddar, tomato, and lettuce. It’s a pretty good burger, and is rather popular with our regulars.
The owner of the restaurant actually opened a burger joint in the fall of 2019, with my head chef overseeing both spots. Alas, the ‘Rona lockdowns totally killed that venture, but before the first lockdown chef offered me the opportunity to design a burger for the second spot. I was intending, of course, to call the burger The Mighty Sumo. I never did get around to actually making the thing, but I was planning on a 170 g (6 oz) patty, Swiss cheese, brown butter soy sauce mushrooms, my own version of the sesame sauce, which is better than the house one (it’s not bragging if it’s true), a Japanese style omelette, house made red miso bacon, and a pickle of some sort. And maybe tomato jam, but I wasn’t completely sure about that one.
The point to all of my rambling is, your burger is yours. You’re the one who’s going to eat it, after all. My occupation requires that I put more effort into trying to appeal to the taste of the masses, but the inverse is that I can put almost anything on a burger, and some fool is going to be happy to pay me for it. 😀
All that being said, here is a brief and entirely not comprehensive list of some of my personal favorite burger toppings (no, I would not put all of these on a burger at the same time):
– dill pickles
– caramelized onions
– sautéed mushrooms
– Swiss cheese
– pulled pork
– onion rings
– roasted red peppers
– umeboshi chutney
– sweet corn relish
And thus concludes our burger journey. I hope y’all learned something, and if not, well…..who cares? You can find burgers pretty much everywhere, so feel free to be lazy and just pay someone to make you one.