Why Just Have A Regular Burger When You Can Have…

A shu mai dumpling turned into a burger instead. You know you want this.

A shu mai dumpling turned into a burger instead. You know you want this.


A shu mai burger.

Oh, yes, I did just type that.

And it’s as divine as it sounds.

Leave it to Mark Bittman to come up with this pork-shrimp burger that tastes just like your favorite Chinese dumpling.

It’s from his new cookbook, “How To Grill Everything: Simple Recipes For Great Flame-Cooked Food” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.

And when Bittman says “everything,” he means everything. This cookbook features 1,000 recipes and variations for everything from appetizers to seafood to meat to vegetarian dishes to condiments to breads to desserts.

It’s enough to make you want to stock up on charcoal or propane.


Bittman also covers the in’s and out’s of both types of grilling, too, as well as grilling tips that are useful no matter if you’re a novice or a pro.

Just start salivating over recipes for dishes such as “Spicy Squid with Lemon,” “Grill-Roasted cuck with Hoisin Dipping Sauce,” “Romanian Garlic Steak,” “Quinoa Salad with Apples, Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts,” and “Fig and Sweetened Orange Ricotta Pizza.”

His “Shui Mai Burgers” are actually listed as a variation to his “Basil-Ginger Shrimp Burgers.” The shrimp get chopped in a food processor before being combined with ground pork, garlic, ginger, cilantro and scallions.

Form into four patties, refrigerate to firm up, then start your grill. They cook up in no time with an abundance of Asian flavors. Turning shui mai filling into burgers is a whole lot easier and faster than folding all those dumpling wrappers, too.

I stirred up some mayonnaise with a little bit of soy sauce and sriracha for the perfect sauce to dollop on top of the burgers, too.

It makes for a fun and delicious change of pace from regular beef burgers. Grill a batch for to set off some fireworks on your taste buds this Fourth.

Not as heavy as a beef burger. But so much more complex tasting.

Not as heavy as a beef burger. But so much more complex tasting.

Shu Mai Burgers

(Makes 4 burgers or 8 to 10 sliders)

1 large clove garlic, peeled

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup roughly chopped scallions

8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pound coarsely ground pork

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Salt and pepper

Sesame oil for brushing the burgers

4 sesame hamburger buns or 8 to 10 slider buns (like potato or dinner rolls)

Lime wedges for serving

Lettuce, sliced tomato, and other condiments for serving (optional)


Pulse garlic, ginger, cilantro, scallions and shrimp in a food processor until chopped. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the pork along with 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well.

Form into 4 burgers about 3/4-inch thick (or 8 to 10 sliders). Transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, at least 1 or up to 8 hours.

Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium-high direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.

Brush the burgers on both sides with sesame oil, then put then om the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook until the bottoms brown and they release easily, 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully turn and cook until opaque all the way through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Put the buns, cut side down, on the grill to toast. Serve the burgers on the toasted buns with lime wedges, as is or dressed however you like.

From “How to Grill Everything” by Mark Bittman


Another Burger to Cook Up: Lucques Grilled Pork Burger

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