Japanese Hamburger Steak

  • Serves

    serves 4


At Ethel's Grill on Oahu, Hawaii, juicy pork-and-beef patties are served over salty-sweet ponzu sauce and crisp cabbage, and topped with grated daikon and spicy sprouts. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story Blue Plate Special.


For the Ponzu Sauce

  • 12 cup soy sauce
  • 14 cup bonito flakes
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 (2-inch) piece kombu
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated

For the Steaks

  • 1 slice soft white sandwich bread, crust removed
  • 3 tbsp. ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small white onion, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 12 lb. ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 14 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 12 medium daikon, peeled and finely grated
  • Kaiware (daikon) or other sprouts, for garnish (optional)
  • Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)


Step 1

Make the sauce: Combine all ingredients except ginger in a 2-qt. saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit 30 minutes; strain sauce and stir in ginger.

Step 2

Make the steaks: Tear bread into small pieces and place in a bowl; mix in ketchup, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, mustard, egg, onion, salt, and pepper and let sit 5 minutes. Add beef and pork; mix gently to combine. Form mixture into four 6-oz. patties. Heat canola oil in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat; working in 2 batches, cook burgers, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness, about 12 minutes for medium rare. To serve, divide ponzu sauce between 4 shallow bowls and top with cabbage; set a burger over top and garnish with grated daikon and sprouts. Serve with rice on the side if you like.

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