Japanese-Style Chili Burgers with Yuzu Mayo


This burger is a two-hander, topped with Japanese-spiced chili, tomatoes, and shredded iceberg lettuce. Be careful not to overmix the beef before shaping it into patties; a light hand yields tender burgers.

Japanese Style Chili Burger with Yuzu Mayo Recipe
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 1 cup Kewpie mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon bottled yuzu juice

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 pounds ground beef, divided

  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion

  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/4 cup tonkatsu sauce

  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru

  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sake

  • 1/4 cup cold water

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, divided

  • 8 sesame seed hamburger buns, buttered and toasted

  • 8 fresh tomato slices

  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce


  1. Stir together Kewpie mayonnaise, ketchup, and yuzu juice in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Process canned tomatoes in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Set processed tomatoes aside.

  2. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add 1 pound ground beef, onion, and 2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink and onion is lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add processed tomatoes, tonkatsu, gochugaru, sugar, coriander, and cumin; stir in sake. Bring to a simmer. Stir together 1/4 cup cold water and flour in small bowl; add to ground beef mixture, and stir to combine. Stir in smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Preheat grill or griddle to medium (350°F to 450°F). Gently stir together remaining 3 pounds ground beef, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl until just combined. Shape mixture into 8 (6-ounce) patties, pressing to 1/2-inch thickness. Place on oiled grates, and grill, covered, to desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium.

  4. Place patties on buns. Top each with 1/3 cup chili, 1 tomato slice, 1/4 cup lettuce, and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture.

Make Ahead

Chili can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Suggested Pairing

Fresh Japanese rice lager.

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