The North American burger. You can’t drive 5 minutes in any direction without seeing a sign advertising a burger, or a fast food chain serving burgers. They are everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE (in North America anyway). So how does one create something enjoyable and different with a dish that’s so widespread? Toppings, seasonings, and grade of beef. That’s really what it comes down to. My Umami Burger on Portobello Mushroom caps is about all of that.
First, let’s start with the bun. There is no bun…technically. So all you Paleo, Whole30, and Keto folks can rejoice! I use two Portobello mushroom caps as the bun (An idea I borrowed from an awesome friend of mine @energytreeanne. She’s a health and fitness whiz. Check her page out. Instagram:@energytreeanne, Facebook:@yourenergymakeover).
They aren’t raw as that wouldn’t taste good, but baked caps sprayed with oil then patted dry. I thought the flavour might be too overpowering, but it really wasn’t. It’s definitely an option if you are carb/gluten sensitive, love burgers, don’t want the calories, and are tired of using lettuce hearts.
They are also super simple to make. Pop them in the oven for 15-20 and pat dry. Done. Turning on the TV is harder. By the time you find the remote, then press power, realize that you have the stereo remote, and start your search again, you could be eating portobello mushroom burger buns.
Now the meat. If you have a meat grinder, or have access to a meat grinder, I highly recommend grinding your own burger meat. Trust me when I say, it’s going to be the best burger you’ve ever made. So fresh, and made with ingredients you can see in front of you. The next best option would be to buy from a local butcher you know well and trust. Finally, it’s whatever ground beef you can get your hands on. It all works in the end. I just like the rough grind I get by doing my own. I find the grocery store stuff to be too fine. Anyway, it’s personal preference. Don’t let me dictate how you are going to make you burger. It’s not Sean’s burger.
How best to season the meat. Well, we can start with a Japanese flavor profile called Umami. Ultimately, what it describes best, is savory. Now there are many ingredients that are considered to be great savory flavour enhancers, and for this recipe, fish sauce is one of them. That’s right, I am putting fish sauce in the burger meat. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to taste like a fast food filet o fish sandwich. You won’t even taste the fish, but you will find a heightened sense of meatiness to the burger patty. Something that is very welcome.
Now to offset that savory taste, I wanted something sweet. Figs are in season right now and nothing beats fresh figs. I wasn’t about to just slice one up though and put it on the burger (you totally can if you like. Let me know how that goes), so I wanted to incorporate it into a condiment. Well who doesn’t like caramelized onions. A star is born folks. Caramelized onions with figs or My Skillet Fig and Shallot Jam. It’s awesome. It’s the perfect sweet balance to the burgers savory tones. You won’t regret it.
As for sides, I went with a grilled kale salad with my Lime Vinaigrette. It’s simple, it’s light, it’s summery, and it’s delicious. Don’t feel like salad? You can add potato fries, sweet potato fries, beans, carrots, any side you love. Make it yours.
I think I have yammered on enough here, and it’s time to get cooking. Don’t forget to like/love, comment, and share. I love the feedback as much as I love eating this burger!Print
Umami Burger on Portobello Mushroom Bun with Sweet Potato Fries
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Fig and Shallot jam
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 1/2 cup diced figs
- 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
- Pinch of salt.
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Combine all burger ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until well incorporated.
- Form into 4 x 1/4lb patties, or 3 x 1/3lb patties.
- Let sit.
- Prepare the Fig and Shallot Jam as instructed.
- Prepare the Portobello Mushroom burger buns as instructed.
- Cook the burger patties to your desired temp and using your desired method (oven, skillet, BBQ, etc.).
- Fry some bacon strips if desired.
- Place one portobello mushroom cap stem side up on a plate.
- Place lettuce on top.
- Add bacon, then burger patty then Fig and Shallot Jam, and whatever other condiments or toppings you want to add.
- Use a second portobello mushroom cap as the top bun.
- Serve with a side of salad or fries (sweet potato fries!).
Fig and Shallot Jam
- Slice the shallots thinly.
- Dice the figs into small cubes.
- Heat a small skillet on med-high heat.
- Add 1 tsp of olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add the sliced shallots.
- Sauté until softening.
- Add the diced figs.
- Sauté until soft.
- Add the apple juice (or cider), a pinch of salt and the balsamic vinegar.
- Reduce the heat to med and stir.
- Keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick and caramelized.
- Remove from the heat.
Portobello Mushroom Burger Buns
- Heat the oven to 375F
- Remove the stems from the portobello mushroom caps.
- Oil the caps with a drizzle of olive oil (or equivalent).
- Place mushrooms on a baking sheet, stem side down.
- Place in the oven, and bake until cooked and most of the moisture is gone (approx 15-20 mins).
- Remove from the oven and let cool.