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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hot Hawaiian Burgers

I've mentioned Serious Eats as being one of my favorite food websites, and yesterday their Burger Lab posted a mouthwatering recipe I had to try, like now. A burger topped with sriracha mayo, spam, and grilled pineapple: sounds like the perfect burger for a spam and sriracha aficionado like me.

Only problem is that everything was grilled in the original recipe. I don't have a grill pan, let alone a grill! So I decided to adapt the recipe for cooking on stove top, as well as cutting it down for just Mr. Mochi and I. While Tiara would object, I am usually cooking for two.

I usually make turkey burgers and had some patties on hand, and honestly there is so much going on in this recipe I don't think you'll miss the beef. Don't let the turkey fool you into thinking this is a healthy burger, however, because with two slices of spam, two slices of cheese, and a hefty dose of mayo, it is still a monster.

Sriracha mayo is amazingly tasty, and I encourage you to play with the ratio of sriracha to mayonnaise.  I usually do a 1:2 ratio, but if that is too spicy, add in more mayonnaise. Feel free not to measure out the mayo and sriracha, but play it by taste. If you end up making too much, it is very tasty to serve some carrot sticks and celery alongside this burger, with sriracha mayo for dipping!

Hot Hawaiian Burgers
(adapted from Serious Eats)

2 turkey burger patties
4 slices of SPAM (or 2 SPAM singles)
4 slices of swiss cheese
1 tbs sriracha
2 tbs mayonaisse
2 pineapple rings
2 hamburger buns

Over medium heat, cook the burger patties individually in a small pan, flipping occasionally, about 5-7 minutes each. The turkey burgers will develop a nice brown char on each side, and will no longer be pink in the middle when done. Do not overcook, because turkey burgers will be horribly dry if you do. As soon as they are done, place on a plate and top with a slice of cheese.

Meanwhile, char the pineapple rings in another pan over medium heat, until blackened a bit on both sides, about 3-4 minutes. Put them on a plate to the side, and throw the SPAM in the same pan. Once the SPAM has developed a nice sear to it (about the same time as the pineapple), place on a plate and drape a slice of cheese over two slices of SPAM. The SPAM singles are nice because they are the perfect size and shape for burgers, but two slices of regular spam side by side make a decent burger-sized square.

Cover both the turkey patties and spam tented loosely with foil to encourage the cheese to melt and everything stay nice and moist and hot, but don't wrap too tightly or the cheese will adhere to the foil and you will lose your cheese (I speak from experience).

Stir together the mayo and sriracha.  Toast the buns by placing facedown on one of the pans, until toasted and slightly charred at the edges.

To assemble the burger, place a pineapple ring on the bottom bun. Top with the turkey patty and cheese. Slide the two SPAM slices carefully onto the burger being careful not to rip the blanket of cheese connecting them. Top with half of the sriracha mayo and the top of the bun. Glory in its majesty and take a bite. 

See Also:

Breakfast Grilled Cheese
SPAM musubi
Sriracha Bar


  1. Would a normal slice of ham do well in substitution of the spam? I just have a thing about mystery meat in a tin can. >.<

    1. GASP! I must make you a spam musubi if you are wary about the SPAM!

      And yeah, ham would work fine, but make sure its a nice salty piece, to contrast with the sweet pineapple