Happy Memorial Day weekend! I wanted to bring a fresh take on the traditional burger your way and this Bulgogi Inspired Burger will do just fine! Instead of marinated steak, I like to mix aromatics and sauces into the ground beef and make large burgers.

Those bulgogi burgers end up being slightly sweet, spicy, and SO juicy.

I serve mine with a quick purple cabbage slaw and a homemade kimchi mayo this is *chef’s kiss* perfect on this burger.

Controversially, I don’t like cheese on this burger, but I’ll give you some options if you want to cheese it up!

Let’s dig in and make some delicious burgers this weekend!

What is traditional bulgogi?

Traditional Korean bulgogi is a delicious food and one of my favorite items to serve over rice. Generally, it’s marinated steak that is seared in a skillet or cooked on a grill. Thinly sliced and served with sauce, it is a wonderful protein on rice bowls, usually served with pickled veggies and sauce.

I always trust Nagi from RecipeTin Eats if you are looking for a traditional bulgogi recipe that I’m sure doesn’t disappoint.

How to make the bulgogi burgers

I’m usually not one to mix things into my ground beef mixture for burgers because it can mess with the texture of the burgers. In this case though, the flavor you get from the aromatics and sauce works well and doesn’t change the texture of the burgers.

In fact, I found that my burgers ended up being super juicy even though I even slightly overcooked mine from what I would normally do.

Burger mixture for bulgogi burgers.

Mix together the ginger, garlic, beef, soy sauce, and gochujang. If you haven’t used gochujang before, it’s a Korean chili paste that is findable even in standard grocery stores these days. I found a decent version at King Soopers even!

Once you mix together the burger mixture, shape it into 1/3 pound burgers. You could get four if you wanted to make thinner burgers, but I like the thicker steakhouse style burgers for this recipe.

Cooking the burgers.

I cooked my burgers in a cast iron skillet with a little oil over medium high heat for about 4 minutes per side. That ended being about a medium burger. Season the burgers lightly with salt and pepper as they are already seasoned a bit.

Alternatively, you can grill the burgers as well over direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side.

When you flip the burgers, I recommend adding a fresh dollop of gochujang sauce right to the patty a minute before they are done cooking.

Adding more sauce to burgers.

These burgers are good to rest for a minute or two before you serve them and as I mentioned I prefer not to add cheese to them, but you can if you like.

While the burgers cook, you can make the other pieces of the burger.

Making the kimchi mayo sauce

This sauce is honestly the key to these burgers. Rather than chopped up pickles for a traditional burger sauce, mince kimchi (very fine mince) and add it to mayo with some extra gochujang sauce and a splash of the brine from the kimchi.

This burger sauce is NEXT LEVEL and I promise people will want to know what’s in it.

Kimchi Mayo sauce.

You can use a pretty liberal hand with this sauce. I like to really slather it on both sides of my burger.

Not a beef fan? Try my smashed chicken burgers!

Topping ideas for bulgogi burgers

The two toppings that I used for this burger besides the sauce are:

  • Cabbage Slaw: This was a simple purple cabbage slaw with scallion, rice wine vinegar, and some salt.
  • Cucumbers. Simple enough, but fresh sliced cucumbers are crunchy and delicious on this burger.

Some other idea for this burger might include:

  • Cheese: Not my favorite on this burger, honestly, but a mild cheese like gouda or something would be good on it.
  • Any pickled vegetable would go well. Think Korean pickles like pickled radish or kimchi would be just great as a topping item.
  • Lettuce: Any lettuce or spinach would go well as a base layer instead of the slaw.

What to serve with the bulgogi burgers

These burgers are delicious and can be served with a wide range of side dishes. I would serve these with some gochujang zucchini in a heartbeat. This pearl couscous salad would also be a great side dish with these bulgogi burgers.

Leftover BURGERS

These burgers keep perfectly in the fridge for a few days as long as you don’t store them assembled. The burgers can be microwaved to be reheated and then assemble just as you would on day one. They are delicious!

Bulgogi Burger with Kimchi Mayo

5 from 1 vote
Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 3 Burgers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
These bulgogi burgers are mixed with ginger, garlic, and gochujang sauce for a sweet and slightly spicy finish. Served with cucumbers, cabbage slaw, and a homemade kimchi mayo for a perfect burger combo!


  • 1 pound ground beef, 85/15 mix
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sliced cucumbers, garnish
  • 3 large Sesame hamburger buns

Kimchi Mayo:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon kimchi brine
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang

Cabbage Slaw:

  • 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Pinch of salt


For burgers:

  • In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, ginger, garlic, gochujang, and soy sauce. Mix well to combine and then shape patties into 3 burgers. Put a thumb divot in each burger so they cook evenly.
  • To cook the burgers in a cast iron skillet: Add a tablespoon of neutral oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and sear for 4-5 minutes per side until the burgers reach 135˚F in the thick part of the burger. I like to add another dollop of gochujang to the burgers when they are almost done.

To make the sauce:

  • Stir together the mayonnaise, minced kimchi, kimchi brine, and gochujang.

For the slaw:

  • Combine cabbage, scallions, rice vinegar, and a pinch of salt.

To build burgers:

  • Toast buns and spread with some of the sauce. Top with slaw and burgers. Then add cucumbers, more sauce, and the top bun. Serve immediately!


Serving: 1burger | Calories: 803kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 917mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 799IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Korean

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Tag @crunchtimekitchen