Japanese style hamburger (Hambaagu or hambaagaa)
This makes 4 small hamburgers, serving 2 to 4 people depending on what else you are serving.
- 200g/ about 7 oz. ground beef (from a cut that has a fair amount of fat in it - very lean beef will not work because it will be too dry.)
- 100g / about 3 1/2 oz. ground pork
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- About 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- About 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup soft white breadcrumbs (Make the breadcrumbs from regular white bread slices with the crusts off. The crumb of a baguette is really good for this.)
- 2-3 Tbs. milk
- 1 egg
- Oil for cooking
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup Japanese tonkatsu sauce such as Bulldog brand
Chop the onion very finely. Sauté the onion in a little oil until translucent. Let cool.
Moisten the breadcrumbs with the milk. Combine the meat, cooled onions, moistened milk, egg, salt, ground pepper and nutmeg. Your hands are the best tools for this. Combine well until everything is amalgamated.
Divide into 4 portions. Form into patties, slapping each with your palms until the surface is smooth. Indent the middle with your thumb - this makes sure the middle gets cooked evenly.
Heat up a large frying pan with some oil over high heat. Place the hamburgers well apart in the hot pan, and fry until browned. Turn over and turn the heat down to low. Put a tight fitting lid on the pan and steam-cook the hamburgers for about 10 minutes until the middle bounces back if you press down on it. Take out and keep warm.
Pour out any excess oil from the pan and turn the heat up to high again. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan with it (scrape off the brown bits and blend). Add the ketchup and the Bulldog sauce and blend. Pour over the hamburgers.
They are best served piping hot, but they are also very popular for bento boxes.