Yan can craft a spicy Asian-inspired burger

Crafting the perfect burger has been a lifetime project for longtime celebrity chef Martin Yan.

“I am so passionate about this homemade burger recipe that I have spent my entire life trying to perfect it – and I am still working on it!” he said in an e-mail. “I’m using chopped fresh vegetables and herbs and incorporating Asian seasonings/spices, trying to find the right combination/proportion of ingredients to bring the flavor to a new level.”

And not surprisingly, the man who has spent more than 30 years introducing home cooks to Asian flavors draws inspiration from that palette.

“The addition of some chopped shiitake mushrooms (soaked, softened and coarsely chopped) and water chestnuts (coarsely chopped), will give the burger some extra texture,” he wrote in the e-mail. “I would also add some chopped garlic ginger, and cilantro for extra flavor.”

Yan, whose numerous television series credits date to 1978 and include “Yan Can Cook,” says he first created this recipe several years ago for a party.

“A few years ago, I hosted a party for my neighbors, cooking as many as 250 burgers on my outdoor grill,” said Yan, who has written 30 cookbooks. “Couldn’t believe they were all eaten up before dessert was served!”

Dynasty Burger with Spicy Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

For the hoisin barbecue sauce:

1/4 cup prepared barbecue sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

For the burger:

1 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 hamburger buns

4 leaves lettuce

1 large tomato, sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

To make the barbecue sauce, in a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

To prepare the burgers, in a medium bowl, combine the beef, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and pepper. Mix well, then form the meat into 4 patties, each about 4 inches round.

Heat a grill or grill pan to high.

Add the patties and cook for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Allow the burgers to rest off the heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place each burger on the bottom half of a bun. Top each with some of the barbecue sauce, then arrange a piece of lettuce, and slices of tomato and red onion slices on each.

Nutrition information per serving: 448 calories; 179 calories from fat; 21 g fat (4 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 60 mg cholesterol; 41 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 2 g fiber; 1710 mg sodium.

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