RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Karate Burger with a Shitake Mushroom Sauce, Cool and Crunchy Vegetables and a "Kick" of Spicy Asian Mustard


Shitake Mushroom Sauce
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 green onions finely chopped
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves minced
4 oz fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or your favorite white wine)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. fish sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup water plus 2 Tbsp. water
1/2 Tbsp. corn starch

2 lbs. ground chuck
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. granulated onion

Vegetable Oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 sesame seed buns, split
6 tsp. spicy Asian mustard
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup grated jicama
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 pieces red lettuce


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a fire proof sauce pan on the grill over medium heat. Saute the onions, ginger and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to release their moisture, approximately 5 minutes. Add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, white wine, brown sugar, sesame oil, fish sauce, lime juice and the ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil, move the pan away from the direct flame and simmer for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the corn starch and the 2 Tbsp. water and mix thoroughly. Pour that slurry into the mushroom sauce, move the pan back over the direct flame and bring the mixture back to a boil for 3-5 minutes to thicken. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the grill, cover and set aside.

To make the patties, place the ground chuck in a large mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper and the granulated onion. Combine well, handling the meat as little as possible. Over handling the meat will cause the burgers to be tough. Form 6 patties, cover and refrigerate.

Brush the grill rack with the oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, turning the burgers once. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, place the buns, cut side down around the outer edges of the grill to toast.

To assemble the burgers, spread equal portions of Asian mustard on each bun bottom. Place a patty on top of the mustard on each bun bottom followed by equal portions of the mushroom sauce. Then place one piece of lettuce per Burger over the sauce followed by equal portions of the cucumber, carrot, jicima and cilantro. Add the bun tops and prepare yourself for a burst of flavor.

Serves 6


On April 20th, 2006, my daughter Lauren Murphy Rheem was born. After a pregnancy of uncertainty, she came into this great world with a smile. Almost immediately, we noticed things about her that were different. We began to learn terms like "tracheomalacia, simian crease, hydroneuphrosis, low tone and developmental delays." Her features were a little bit off. She had trouble breathing and eating and her muscles were so limp that most activities like walking, let alone sitting up, seemed like an impossible dream that may never be fulfilled. As the months went by, our doctors advised us to stay home so that her immune system could develop in the protection of our own house. Most, if not all, of my hobbies were put on the back burner, (golf, dining out, fly fishing and traveling), so I could devote all of my time to my then 4 year old son, who is the best big brother ever, my wonderful wife, who is an angel, and of course my daughter. I have always enjoyed cooking and watching the food network, but it became my outlet quickly. I watched nearly every show and spent many evenings and weekends experimenting in the kitchen trying to replicate dishes from favorite restaurants or parts of the world we have visited.

This burger comes from those many nights of experimenting in the kitchen. This Burger has been tested over and over, sampled by my kids and wife and I can promise you it comes from the heart. By the way, miracles do come true. My daughter, who has been diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder called Trisomy 9p, just turned three and she took her first steps with that same smile that she brought into this world. I hope that this burger brings a smile to your face!