Only Easy: Kim Chee Burgers

By Misty I.

This stuff is dangerous. One glorious weekend a year, these tangy Korean-inspired delights are sold at Walter Victor Baseball Complex here in Hilo. Yup…kim chee burgers baby! The umami-rich smell of it on the grill is so intoxicating that I eat at least two a day! This past year, I devoured my first one at 8:31 a.m. when the concession opened. You know–so the lactobacilli could protect me from a long day of keeping track of balls and strikes. Now that I think about it, the probiotic benefits of kim chee burgers practically make it a health food. Next year I better eat three a day!

All kidding aside, please read through the recipe thoroughly before you begin. It’s not a normal burger that you grill. The meat mixture is actually spread onto the buns and you grill it meat side down.

Kim Chee Burgers (Char Burgers)


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
¼ C. shoyu (Club Brand, not low sodium)
¼ C. sugar
½ C. minced green onion
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 T. sesame oil
2 T. toasted sesame seeds
dash black pepper
8 5” hamburger buns
Kim chee or lettuce and tomato


  1. Mix egg and spices together, add to meat and mix thoroughly.
  2. On waxed paper or a plate, divide meat mixture into 8 portions approximately ¼ cup each. Divide each in half, forming 16 portions.
  3. Spread each of the 16 buns halves with one portion of meat. Be very sure to completely cover the bun so the edges of it won’t burn.
  4. Put a small piece of foil between top and bottom half of the burger so the meat won’t stick together prior to cooking.
  5. Grill or fry, meat side down. The meat cooks quickly and the bun warms while the meat is cooking.
  6. Finish by placing kim chee or lettuce and tomato between the two halves. Slam bun shut and devour. These can be made in advance and frozen.

That’s it, only easy!