Miso Cheeseburgers with Toasted Sesame Slaw and Spicy Miso Mayonnaise

Deborah Balint (@rainydaybites on Instagram) uses Tillamook cheese to create the ultimate umami burger.

Nothing beats burgers being fired up on the grill while sitting on the deck with friends enjoying the warm weather. Now that summer is coming to a close, it’s time to host those final outdoor grilling parties. The big question for parties is always what do you serve? Set yourself apart from the crowd and forget traditional plain burgers on the grill. Instead, serve these umami-packed Asian-inspired cheeseburgers to your guests! You’ll be the talk of the party with these juicy and flavorful cheeseburgers. They are infused with fresh ginger, aromatic garlic, bright green onions, soy sauce, and white miso paste. The white miso paste adds a backdrop of umami, which is that extra savory depth of flavor that you get from certain key ingredients. I first used miso paste this past year, and I’ve been hooked on the flavor of it ever since, so I’ve created this burger recipe with miso paste incorporated into both the meat the mayo for double the umami! The cheeseburgers are made with ultra creamy melted Tillamook cheddar, topped with nutty, crunchy, toasted sesame slaw, slivers of spicy red chilies, and are served on a toasted sesame seed bun generously slathered with spicy miso mayonnaise. So many great flavors and textures! If you love Asian flavors, it doesn’t get better than these miso white cheddar cheeseburgers!

Set yourself apart from the crowd and forget traditional plain burgers on the grill. Instead, serve these umami-packed Asian-inspired burgers to your guests!"

A cheeseburger is only as great as the cheese you use. Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Medium White Cheddar Sliced Cheese is my favorite to use for savory dishes because it is ultra thick, super creamy, and melts beautifully. Tillamook whitecheddar slices are luxuriously extra thick so every bite of your burger has loads of delicious melted cheese. The creamy white cheddar flavor matches perfectly with the spicy and rich flavors of this miso burger.

Tillamook white cheddar slices are luxuriously extra thick so every bite of your burger has loads of delicious melted cheese."

Have you tried miso before? If not, this burger is the perfect introduction to this savory paste. Miso is a traditional Japanese thick seasoning paste made from soybeans, salt, koji, and often mixed with rice, barley or other grains. The mixture is fermented for several years, giving the miso a deeply rich, savory, salty, and tangy flavor. Miso adds a unique umami depth of savory flavor and is typically used in Japanese soups, with roasted vegetables, and marinades, too. Don’t worry about any leftover miso, because the possibilities for using it are endless! One of my favorite ways to use miso, besides this fantastic burger, is on a roast chicken with sesame seeds! Get creative and have fun with it! Miso comes in two main types: white miso and red miso. The darker color tends to have stronger flavors, but you can use them interchangeably, depending on your preference. I liked the white miso for this recipe because the burgers have loads of other great flavors, like ginger and garlic, so the white miso provides an umami rich backdrop without overpowering the burger. You can find miso in the refrigerated section in Asian grocery stores, or in the Asian aisle of your local store. It is readily available online as well. Be sure to store it in the fridge after it’s been opened.

This burger hits it out of the park with a great contrast of textures and umami rich flavors. They are juicy, crunchy, creamy, and spicy! You could top these burgers with anything you want, but I thought it would be fun to continue with the Asian theme and top these with an Asian slaw and spicy miso mayonnaise. The crunchy slaw is made from carrots, red cabbage, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, and a touch of sugar and salt. The sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil give it a lovely warm nutty flavor. The slaw is so tasty you may want to eat it on its own, so make extra to serve as a side dish for people who want extra slaw on the side. Don’t feel like making a slaw? These burgers are also fantastic dressed with lettuce, tomato, and a slice of red onion!

I like a bit of heat in my food so these cheeseburgers are topped with slices of red chili peppers and spicy miso mayonnaise. The mayonnaise is super easy to make and would be great on any sandwich where you want an extra kick of flavor. How about a cheddar BLT with spicy miso mayo? Yes, please! Trust me, you’ll want to make extra of this fiery umami mayonnaise. It’s so easy to make, too, with just three ingredients: white miso, mayonnaise, and Sriracha (spicy red chili sauce). For this recipe, I went with a medium spice level, so feel free to add more chili paste to really kick up the heat. My personal preference is to double the red chili sauce in it, but I like my food with a real kick of heat!

Here are some of my tips on making the best juicy cheeseburgers. I like using 80/20 mix (meat to fat) ground beef, because you need a bit of fat to keep the burger moist. Ultra lean burgers are often dry, and nobody wants a dry burger. When you add the mix-ins to the beef, incorporate them very gently with a wooden spoon or your hands. You don’t want to over-mix your add-ins because the burgers will end up being tough. When forming your patties, make sure that they are about an inch thick and are slightly bigger than your bun, as they shrink a bit when cooked. Press lightly in the center of each patty to create a slight depression, which helps the burger keep its shape and prevents it from rising too much when they cook. No need to let the meat come to room temperature before grilling - a cold patty stays together better and will be juicier.

Make sure to preheat your grill on for at least 10-15 minutes before you begin to cook. You should oil your grates with neutral oil, like vegetable oil, right before cooking, so your burgers don’t stick to the grill. I also like to lightly brush my burgers on both sides with oil as extra insurance against sticking.

You will notice that there is no added salt to these cheeseburgers, and that’s because between the miso and soy, your patties are already perfectly seasoned! Also, the add-ins make these cheeseburgers super moist and tender, so egg yolk and bread crumbs are added to help bind them. You can make it without the egg and bread crumbs, but the burgers are a bit delicate, so I’d cook them in a skillet instead. If you find the mix sticky, it helps to wet your hands when shaping the patties.

For the juiciest burgers, make the patties right before you are ready to cook them. If you prepare them in advance, the salt in the miso and soy will draw the moisture out of the patties. The slaw and mayo can all be made in advance and stored covered in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the cheeseburgers. That way when your guests arrive, all you need to do is make the patties. That’s perfect for entertaining!

So, while we still have beautiful weather, head to the store and stock up on the ingredients, call your friends over, and let’s start grilling miso cheeseburgers! Great summer weather deserves great food with friends! These cheeseburgers will have your friends asking when they can come over again!


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