I've been on a quest to find a recipe for the perfect teriyaki burgers for quite some time. Every one I've tried in the past seems to have some issue: the sauce requires too much work or winds up tasting like soy sauce, the pineapples are too watery and limp, the burger is just “blah.” On top of that, Nate has a weird hangup about mixing fruit/sweet tastes with any sort of meat, so it's nearly impossible to find a teriyaki burger that he won't turn his nose at. But I've done it. I've finally, finally done it. And it's so easy.
The Best Teriyaki Burgers
- 1 can (20 oz) pineapple slices
- 1/2 cup teriyaki glaze
- 2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 8 whole grain hamburger buns
- 8 slices Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise as a condiment if desired
- Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice
- Stir together teriyaki sauce and reserved pineapple juice in small bowl.
- In a large bowl, mix together turkey, ginger, bread crumbs and 1/4 cup teriyaki mixture. Shape into 8 patties.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat
- Brush the grill with oil. Grill patties over direct medium-high heat, brushing with remaining teriyaki mixture, approximately 3 minutes per side until brown, adding cheese slices during the last minute of cooking. Remove from heat.
- Grill pineapples about 30 seconds to one minute on each side over direct high heat and top burgers with pineapple slices.
- Serve on buns spread lightly with mayonnaise, if desired.
One of the things that makes the sauce for these teriyaki burgers so incredible is the fact that the recipe uses a mixture of teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice, so the teriyaki sauce isn't too overpowering. I've seen a lot of recipes use straight teriyaki sauce, but I use teriyaki glaze because I prefer a thicker consistency. Keep an eye out when you're buying at the grocery store – they are different.
Freshly grated ginger is a key part of these teriyaki burgers. Don't try to use the powdered stuff.
The BIG key to these, I think, is using ground turkey or chicken instead of beef. The taste doesn't fight with the teriyaki and the meat easily absorbs the flavors quite nicely so you don't have to drown it with sauce. These are tender and light instead of heavy like so many I've tried.
It's important to brush the grill with oil before cooking the teriyaki burgers, otherwise they'll stick.
Good Pineapples are the Key to Good Teriyaki Burgers
Lightly charred pineapple slices make the perfect edition to this burger, but you really do need a grill to accomplish this. I use Dole pineapple slices because they're nice and thick as opposed to some store-brand ones I've tried. Make sure to get pineapple slices in 100% pineapple juice, not the ones in heavy syrup. Otherwise, you'll be adding unnecessary sweetness to the teriyaki burgers.
I served my teriyaki burgers with a side of garden-fresh jalapeño peppers stuffed with worcestershire, mozzarella and cream cheese and grilled briefly in foil. Delicious!
Everyone else in the house seemed thrilled with the recipe as well. Nate's comment was, “Wow, I'd actually eat these again!” which is utterly unheard of for any dish containing fruit AND meat. Score.
Have you ever tried making teriyaki burgers at home, or do you generally stick to teriyaki burgers from a restaurant?