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Korean Food Made Simple

It may seem crazy to fix it when it ain’t broken,
but I’ve Koreanized burgers and thrown in some
pancetta to boot. Since pancetta is pork belly and
a beloved cut in Korea, it just seemed to make sense.
To me, at least. Sometimes you have to take these
risks to come up with something phenomenal.
Pancetta can vary greatly in saltiness. If your
pancetta isn’t very salty, sprinkle some extra salt
on the patties before cooking. Like most burgers,
this one is good with chips, but instead of the
typical potato variety, try Lotus Root Chips (page 58).

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© 2023 Judy Joo / Jacqui Small · Reproduced with permission. · Korean Food Made Simple: Easy and Delicious Korean Recipes to Prepare at Home by Judy Joo (Jacqui Small, £22). Photography by Jean Cazals.
  • Step 1

    WITH THE MOTOR RUNNING, drop the garlic and
    ginger into a food processor and process until
    finely chopped. Add the pancetta and pulse until
    finely chopped. Add the onion, chilli flakes, soya
    bean paste, chilli paste, sugar and pepper, and
    process until fairly smooth. Set the pancetta
    mixture aside.

    Crumble the beef into a large bowl. Add the soda
    water, sesame seeds and pancetta mixture and
    mix together with your hands, being careful not to
    overwork the mixture. Form it into four patties,
    each 2.5 cm (1 in) thick and 10 cm (4 in) wide.
    Make a depression in the centre of each patty, as
    burgers tend to rise in the middle during cooking.
    This will help them come out flat. If not cooking
    immediately, cover the patties and refrigerate.

    In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a
    medium-high heat. Lightly season the burgers
    with salt, if necessary. Put them in the pan
    depression-side up and cook for about 7 minutes,
    flipping halfway through, until browned and
    cooked through.

  • Step 2

    One of the most beloved versions of kimchi takes
    a bit of time, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised
    by the results. This kimchi tastes great on top of
    my Krazy Korean Burgers as well, as
    a different take on the American pickle.

    USING A SMALL KNIFE, cut each cucumber crossways
    into 5 cm (2 in) pieces. Stand the pieces on
    their cut sides and cut each one two-thirds of the
    way down into quarters, keeping them attached at
    the bottom. Sprinkle the cucumbers with the
    salt, spreading the cucumbers open to get the salt
    deep inside the cuts. Arrange the cucumbers
    with their cross cut sides up in a single layer in
    a glass or other non-reactive container, at least
    5 cm (2 in) tall, with a tight-fitting lid, cover
    and leave to soften at room temperature for
    30 minutes–1 hour.

    Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the
    onion, spring onions, chilli flakes, shrimp, garlic,
    ginger and 2 tablespoons water. Pulse until a
    coarse spice paste forms, then stir in the chives.
    Rinse the salted cucumbers well under cold water,
    making sure to rid the crevices of all the salt. Shake
    dry and then press the spice paste all over and into
    the crevices of each piece. Return the cucumbers to
    the (rinsed) container, cross cut sides up, packing
    them somewhat tightly and pressing in any
    remaining spice paste and liquid. Cover and leave
    the cucumbers to ferment at room temperature for
    about 24 hours. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Step 3

    MAKES ABOUT 120 ML (4 FL OZ)

    IN A SMALL BOWL, whisk together the mayonnaise
    and soya bean paste until smooth. Cover and store
    in the fridge if not using immediately.

  • Step 4

    MAKES ABOUT 120 ML (4 FL OZ)

    IN A SMALL BOWL, stir together the ketchup and
    chilli paste. Cover and store in the fridge if not
    using immediately.

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