Kimchi Pork Burgers

Korean American chef Edward Lee, of Whiskey Dry in Louisville, was inspired by the classic Korean pairing of pork and spicy fermented kimchi when he created this crunchy, pork-rind-topped burger. "The buttermilk sauce brings it all together and cools down the heat," he says. Slideshow: More Burger Recipes 

Kimchi Pork Burgers
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste

  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish

  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 4 slices of Havarti cheese

  • 4 pretzel rolls, split and toasted

  • Chopped kimchi and pork rinds, for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Form the pork into four 3/4-inch-thick patties; season with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet set on the grate of a preheated grill or on the stovetop, heat the oil. Cook the burgers over moderate heat, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, top each with a slice of cheese and cook, covered, until the burgers are just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a work surface.

  2. Spread the sauce on the cut sides of the rolls. Place a burger on each roll bottom and top with some of the kimchi, pork rinds and cilantro sprigs. Close the burgers and serve, passing the remaining sauce at the table.

Make Ahead

The buttermilk ketchup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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