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Kinda Korean Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

This is a recipe I’m been messing around with for a few weeks. It’s based on a great recipe from Donal Skehan for Korean style sloppy joe sliders.

The main ingredient that makes the recipe Korean is Gochujang, a red chili paste that is a savory, sweet and spicy fermented condiment.

It looks a complicated recipe, but believe me it’s not! Just some vegetables prep, really.

The taste of the meat is sensational! Feel free to add different veggies to the burger mix and to the pickle, I certainly had some fun doing this.

I’ve included photos of the latest version as well as earlier “experiments”.

Give it a go – it’s well worth it!

Oh, and the sweet potato fries are a must have accompaniment!

Ingredients

Burgers

2 rashers free-range bacon

1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

4 spring onions, finely sliced

2 carrots, julienned

1 zucchini julienned

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

250g minced beef

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon gochujang paste

Pickle

1 carrot, julienned

1/2 cucumber, julienned

1 red chilli, finely sliced

30mls rice vinegar

30mls water

1 heaped teaspoon caster sugar

Sauce

1 heaped tablespoon gochujang paste

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

To serve

4 brioche burger buns

1 carrot, julienned

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1/8 red cabbage finely chopped

Lime or lemon wedge to squeeze over

Sweet Potato Fries

1 medium sweet potato, cut into wedges

1 heaped teaspoon cornflour

1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

Sea salt

Method

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Chop the bacon rashers into smallish pieces, no need to be too precise. Fry the bacon for a couple of minutes until just starts to get crisp.

Add the oil, the 4 spring onions, 2 julienned carrots, zucchini and garlic cloves. Fry until just soft.

Add the minced beef, breaking up the mince as you fry it in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until the beef has browned.

Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and gochujang paste and mix in to the frying pan.

Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan and add a splash of water (a couple of tablespoons) at a time if the mixture looks too dry. You will need to do this at least a couple of times.

After 15 minutes take off the heat and move the beef mixture to a large bowl.

To make the pickle, put the rice vinegar, water and sugar into a small saucepan and just bring to the boil after the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the liquid over the carrot, cucumber and chilli. Leave for 10 minutes then drain off the liquid.

To make the sauce, combine the gochujang paste and mayonnaise in a small bowl.

To serve, heat the frying pan you’ve just used on high. No need to wash first – any residual sauce will add flavour!

Cut each bun in half and smear some sauce on each half.

Fry each bun half, sauce side down for a couple of minutes until toasty and crisp.

Assemble the buns with beef filling and pickle and place on a large plate or platter with a handful of carrot, spring onion and red cabbage.

Serve with sweet potato fries, and a squeeze of lime or lemon over everything.

Sweet Potato Fries

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Cut the sweet potato into wedges. Place on baking paper on a tray. Sprinkle the wedges with cornflour, then coat with olive oil and grind over some sea salt.

Cook in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes until the fries are crispy.

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Jamie Oliver’s Salmon Tacos with Avocado and a Quick Cucumber Pickle

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A quick and easy recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Save with Jamie. It’s a recipe to use up left over roast salmon, but like me, you can easily cook a salmon fillet or two if you don’t happen to have any left over salmon on hand.

The basic flatbread recipe for the tacos is excellent. I make a lot of breads, and this non-yeast ie”flat” bread is the best recipe I’ve found. And it takes a only few minutes to make the dough and a few minutes more to cook the tacos. Easy and quick!

Ingredients

 

Tacos (Flatbread)

250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tbs olive oil

150 ml water

 

Quick Pickle

½ a red onion

¼ of a cucumber

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Avocado Salsa

2 ripe avocados

6 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt

2 limes

30 g fresh mint

Cooked Salmon

375 g leftover cooked salmon

Optional: salmon skin

Method

Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil and water. Mix with a fork, and when the mixture comes together, lightly knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth. Divide into 12 portions for small (15cm diameter) tacos, or 6 for larger ones. I went for the bigger as they were easier to fill. Cover with a damp tea towel until you are ready to cook. The tacos are best left to be cooked last so they stay soft and warm.

Peel the onion and slice very finely. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks – but not too thin. Put both into a bowl with a grind of sea salt and mix. Leave till the last minute to develop a “pickly” flavour.

Chop the avocados in half, peel and scoop out the flesh, chop roughly and put into a bowl with the yoghurt and the juice of 1 lime. Add half the mint, chopped. Mash all of this together, or pulse a few times in the food processor. You want the texture to be still a bit chunky.

At this stage, you will need to cook the salmon if you’re not using left overs.  I cooked a salmon fillet over a medium heat in a frying pan in a little olive oil. Skin side down for 4 minutes, skin side up for  2 minutes, or until you can see that the fillet is cooked through on the sides. Remove from the pan, and if you want crispy skin on your tacos, remove the skin and crisp up on both sides in the frying pan for a minute or two.

For the flatbread tacos, roll out a dough ball on a floured board, dusting with more flour if it’s sticking. Roll out to a 15cm circle for small tacos or 30cm for larger tacos. Heat a frying pan over medium heat (it should be quite hot) and cook the taco for about a minute on each side or until the taco has a few specks of charring. Don’t overcook – you want the taco to be soft and pliable. Repeat with the other dough balls, stacking them in foil as you go so they stay warm.

Squeeze the excess liquid from the pickle and put into a little bowl. Put the avocado salsa in a bowl too, and put the salmon and its crispy skin if using, on a plate.

Put these onto a board or serving platter. Pile up the tacos. Put the extra lime, mint and optional crispy skin onto the board or serving platter and you are ready for “build  your own tacos”.

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