Wife Jan asked for Japanese teriyaki burger for dinner. In chatting with the teller in the market he asked if I was going to use pineapple in the dish. I responded that that would make it an Hawaiian burger. Jan said yes to the idea.
This dish has a lot of moving pieces that takes some timing and several pans. Getting everything done and warm for the final assembly can be a challenge. The end result, however, is well worth the effort.
Note: Dole sells pineapple in 100% juice and small 4 slice cans that are available in most supermarkets.
Karl’s Hawaiian Hamburger
1 cup short grain Japanese rice
1 Tbs. peanut or vegetable oil, separate uses
4 pineapple rings
5 green onions, sliced on a steep diagonal
1 Tbs. corn starch, mixed with 2 Tbs. sake
1 lb. hamburger
1. Put the rice in a rice cooker and set it to steam the rice.
Tip: If you do not have one, you may use the original pot to cook your rice. However, if you make rice more than twice a month it is really worth the connivance—set it and forget it. You may buy a small one for less than $20.
2. Open the can of pineapple and drain the juice into a measuring cup.
3. Blot the pineapple dry with two sheets of paper towel.
4. Lightly oil the pan and fry the rings over a medium high heat, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Tip: You want them spotty browned.
5. Transfer the rings to a plate and set them aside.
Note: Just before assembling your dish you will want to microwave the fruit for 30 seconds to re-warm them.
6. Put the all of the sauce ingredients—except the cornstarch—into a small pot and set it over a low heat.
Tip: The juice from the can of pineapple should be enough to suit your needs for this dish.
7. When the sauce is simmering, add enough of the cornstarch mixture to thicken it to your desired consistency.
Tip: Use just enough of the cornstarch mixture to thicken your sauce. If the sauce is too thin it will just run off the burger. Too thick and it will sit in unappealing globs on top.
8. Form the meat into quarter pound patties.
Tip: Press a dimple in the middle of each patty. This prevents the burger from forming a dome while it is cooking. As the meat expands while it is frying the dimple fills in and leaves you with a flat burger.
9. Lightly oil a skillet and lay the burgers—with the dimples up—over a medium high heat.
10. After 4-5 minutes flip the hamburgers over.
Tip: The bottoms should be well browned and crusty. If not give them a another minute or two on the first side.
11. After frying the hamburgers for 2-3 minutes, place the green onions in the open edges of the skillet.
12. After one minute, stir the green onions.
13. Lightly oil a separate pan, with a tight lid, and place it over a medium heat.
14. Add the eggs, so that they do not run together.
15. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cover the pan.
16. Steam cook the eggs for no more than 3 minutes.
Tip: You want to end up with sunny-side-up eggs with a runny yolk and a set white. Do not lose focus on your eggs or they will be over done before you know it.
17. After another 1-3 minutes, check the hamburgers for doneness.
Tip: Well browned on both sides and an internal temperature of 160º F.
18. Add some rice to each individual bowl and microwave the pineapple rings.
Tip: If you wish you may splash a bit of the sauce over the rice or you may also top the rice with a shake or two of furikake.
19. Transfer one hamburger to each bowl and spoon some of the sauce over the burgers.
20. Stir some of the teriyaki sauce into the onions.
21. Top each burger first with a ring of pineapple and then with one of the eggs.
22. Garnish with the stack with the grilled green onions.
23. Serve while they are still warm.