Korean Cheeseburgers With Sesame-Cucumber Pickles

Korean Cheeseburgers With Sesame-Cucumber Pickles

By Kay Chun

  • Yield 4 servings
  • Time 25 minutes

Korean Cheeseburgers With Sesame-Cucumber Pickles


These double-stacked cheeseburgers bring all the savory-sweet flavors of grilled Korean barbecue. A garlicky scallion marinade helps build flavor three different ways: stirred into burger mix, brushed on the patties to form a glaze, and combined with mayonnaise to create a special sauce. The burgers are formed into thin patties, set on a baking sheet and broiled for maximum caramelization and weeknight ease. Roasted sesame oil rounds out tangy pickles and bolsters the burger with extra umami.


  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 2 large Persian cucumbers, sliced 1/8-inch-thick
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 ½ teaspoons roasted sesame oil
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef (preferably chuck or sirloin)
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Butter lettuce, sliced onions and sliced tomatoes, for serving



  1. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add cucumbers and toss to coat, then let stand at room temperature.
  2. Heat broiler to high and set oven rack set 6 inches from heat. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, scallions, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the marinade to a small bowl and stir in mayonnaise and ½ teaspoon sesame oil. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine beef and 3 tablespoons of the scallion marinade. Gently mix to incorporate. Form into 8 thin patties (each about 4 ½ inches wide) and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush tops with half of the remaining marinade. Flip and brush with the remaining marinade. Broil until golden and caramelized on top, about 4 minutes.
  4. Arrange cheese on 4 patties, top with the remaining patties and let stand until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
  5. Pour off all the liquid from the cucumbers and stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil.
  6. Smear the cut side of the buns with some of the seasoned mayonnaise. Arrange bottom buns on plates. Layer with lettuce, onion, tomato, double-stack burgers, pickles and top bun. Serve with extra pickles on the side.