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It’s burger season again! And I’ve captured all the flavours of one of my favourite Vietnamese sandwiches in an easy smash burger perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t fancy firing up the barbecue: meet my Pork Banh Mi Smash Burgers.
Saucy and juicy (but not enough that they drip or don’t hold together) they’re super addictive and just that little bit dirty – also with their Eastern inspiration perfect for people like me who don’t like / eat cheese!
Pork mince is seasoned with shallots, garlic, plenty of fresh ginger and a touch of sesame oil for an Asian-inspired patty cooked in a frying pan for extra crispy edges before being served in a toasted brioche bun with Kewpie mayonnaise, sriracha, and a quick homemade banh mi pickle of carrot, daikon radish and fresh coriander for a zippy, flavour-filled burger I already can’t get enough of this summer.
As well as being served on the bun, the Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise is the magic ingredient in the patties: it makes them more tender, adds an irresistible umami flavour, and acts as a binder instead of egg meaning you can use this recipe to bake just two burgers, when usually you need to make 4 to use one whole egg. (Though, you can just double the recipe to make 4 burgers and use up an entire pack of mince at once!)
Can I make these Pork Banh Mi Smash Burgers ahead?
You can season the meat for the smash burgers up to a day ahead, but I’d recommend only mixing together the slaw while you’re cooking them.
Do you have any other fixing / filling suggestions for these burgers?
Whilst I’ve use the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich as inspiration for these burgers, the patties will work well with any number of different Asian-inspired fixings. Hoisin sauce would be good, as would crunchy lettuce, cucumber and shredded spring onion if you don’t have time to make the slaw.
I can’t find daikon radish. Can I use regular radish instead?
First, see if you can get mooli as they’re the same thing! If not, yes – I did test this and it was tasty, but daikon has a little more structure and bitterness – it did work a lot better!
Can I use regular mayonnaise instead of the Kewpie?
It will work and still taste good, but your burger won’t have the same addictive flavour either in the patty or piled into the bun. If you can’t find it in the supermarket (try the sushi counter if they don’t have it on a regular shelf) you can easily order it on Amazon (ad).
These easy pork smash burgers are seasoned with garlic, shallots, fresh ginger and toasted sesame oil before being served in a toasted brioche bun slathered with Kewpie mayonnaise, sriracha, and topped with a homemade Vietnamese banh mi-inspired quick pickle slaw!
For the Pork Smash Burgers
200–250g (7-8 oz) pork mince (half a pack!)
1 large garlic clove
1 small banana shallot
1/2 tbsp Kewpie mayonnaise, plus extra for serving
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 x toasted brioche buns
sriracha, for serving
For the Banh Mi Slaw
1 very small carrot
1 small piece daikon radish
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
small handful fresh coriander
First, make the slaw. Peel the carrot and the daikon. Use the peeler to slice them into ribbons, and using a sharp knife shred the ribbons into thin strips. You want roughly equal parts carrot to daikon. Toss in a small bowl with the rice wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar, and set aside.
To make the burgers, peel and mince the garlic clove. Then peel the shallot, slice it down the middle, then slice down the middle of each half and stop just at the root. This means when you come to slice each half you’ll end up with quartered slices of shallot – half moons are a little too long for this recipe and will end up burning around the edge of your burger. Combine with the Kewpie, ginger, salt, toasted sesame oil and of course the pork mince.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat. Divide the seasoned pork into two and roll into balls. Add a splash of oil to the pan or spritz it with an olive oil spray and add the burger balls. Flatten each with the back of a spatula and cook until golden and caramelised on the bottom before flipping over, squashing down again and cooking the other side.
Once you’ve flipped the burgers, squeeze any excess liquid out of the slaw over the sink. Return it to the bowl and stir in the coriander, roughly chopped.
Spread a generous amount of Kewpie mayonnaise on the bottom of each bun, top with a smash burger and divide the slaw between them. Drizzle with sriracha, top with the other half of the bun and serve.
The seasoned mince can be made up to day ahead ready for a speedy dinner!
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