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This is unlike any teriyaki burger you’ve ever tried. The flavorful, juicy patty is brushed with a gochujang teriyaki glaze that’s made using a teriyaki sauce, sweet Korean chile paste, brown sugar, fresh ginger and garlic.
When you combine that with the ponzu aioli, pickled red cabbage and grilled shishito peppers, one bite and it will quickly become one of your favorite burgers.
What does teriyaki mean?
Teriyaki is a style of cooking in Japan where meat is cooked at a high heat, usually with a grill or broiler. Then, it’s glazed with a soy-based sauce. This technique allows the meat to caramelize, making it extremely delicious.
Homemade teriyaki sauce is generally made with a combination of soy sauce, sugar and mirin, which is a sweet rice wine.
To save time, this recipe uses teriyaki sauce, which is already pre-bottled, so you don’t have to purchase the mirin and soy sauce separately.
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is a fermented Korean red chile paste that has a little bit smokier flavor than sriracha. It has a thick consistency like tomato paste and is made from red chiles, glutinous rice, soybeans, seasoning and sweetener.
You should be able to find it in the Asian aisle of your local grocery store.
I love using gochujang in lots of my recipes including my Spicy Pork Korean Burgers with Gochujang Mayo, Grilled Chicken Salad with Gochujang Honey Dressing and Grilled Korean Chicken Wings with Sticky BBQ Sauce.
- Ground Beef: For the best flavor use an 80/20 ground beef blend, which means there is 80% meat and 20% fat.
- Teriyaki Sauce: This is the key to providing the umami flavor. You can use regular or low sodium.
- Gochujang: This Korean chile paste provides a little sweet heat to the burger.
- Fresh Aromatics: Both fresh ginger and fresh garlic provide even more flavor to the patty.
- Burger Buns: These are big patties, so choose a larger hamburger bun. Gourmet buns with sesame seeds are a great choice. Brioche buns are another great option.
Suggested Burger Toppings
- Ponzu Aioli: Instead of ketchup or mustard, this mayonnaise mixture provides the perfect additional umami bomb that this burger deserves.
- Pickled Red Cabbage: Skip the lettuce and go with pickled cabbage for crunch and color.
- Grilled Shishito Peppers: Adding the peppers is optional, but they add an awesome level of spiciness that goes so well with the flavorful patty. And they’re grilled with sesame oil, adding to the umami flavors even more.
- Grilled Pineapple Slices: If you prefer sweet instead of heat, add grilled pineapple slices instead of the peppers.
How to cook the Keyword
Set your grill up to medium-high heat (350-375F degrees) with a direct heat setting.
If you have a gas grill, this means cooking the burger right over the burner that is turned on. If you have a charcoal grill, you’ll want to cook on the grill grates right over the coals.
- STEP ONE: Start my making the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, gochujang, fresh ginger and fresh garlic. Set it aside.
- STEP TWO: Divide the meat into 5 equal portions. These are going to be pretty big burgers. Shape them into patties that are slightly larger than the hamburger buns. Add salt and pepper to each side and use your thumb to press a dimple into the center of each patty. This prevents them from swelling up into a ball.
- STEP THREE: Place the burgers on the hot grill and cook for 5 minutes with the lid closed. Flip and grill burgers for another 3 minutes.
- STEP FOUR: Brush the glaze over the burgers and continue cooking for 2 more minutes with the grill lid open. Be generous with the sauce.
- STEP FIVE: Remove the patties to a pan and let them rest. Keep them warm by covering them with foil.
How to assemble teriyaki burgers
This glazed teriyaki burger is great on a bun all on its own, but if you want a big and bold burger, top it with sesame garlic grilled shishito peppers, ponzu aioli and pickled red cabbage.
These three condiments can be served on their own as an appetizer, but they’re even tastier when they join this burger party.
To assemble the burger, spread ponzu ailoi on the bottom and top buns. Add the cooked teriyaki burger to the bottom bun. To the top of the burgers, pile on pickled red cabbage and grilled shishito peppers. Add the top bun and enjoy.
If you prefer to skip the heat and go more sweet, add grilled pineapple instead of the grilled peppers.
To make the grilled pineapple rings, remove the outer skin from the pineapple. Slice it into 1/4-inch rounds. Remove the core from the center. Grill it for 3-5 minutes per side, brushing with the glaze.
If you have leftover teriyaki burgers, it’s best to save the cooked burger patties and toppings in separate airtight containers. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze the cooked patties for a couple of months. However, the condiments don’t freeze well.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- Use a blend of 80/20 ground beef for a guaranteed juicy burger
- Cook your burger on both sides, then brush it with the gochujang teriyaki glaze
- Top your burger with colorful ingredients like red cabbage and shishito peppers
Frequently Asked Questions
The term teriyaki burger has come to mean a burger patty grilled, glazed with a sweet soy sauce and topped with a pineapple. Sometimes Swiss cheese is also added.
The Girls Can Grill teriyaki burger is more elevated and even more flavorful, because in addition to the teriyaki sauce, gochujang is added to the glaze, and the entire burger is topped with pickled red cabbage and grilled shishito peppers.
All burgers taste great with a side of fries, even teriyaki burgers. You can change your French fry flavor profile to better match the burger by sprinkling them with a little Ooomami seasoning from Girl Carnivore.
The USDA recommends cooking ground meat to an internal temperature of 165F degrees. However, that would result in a well done burger. Many people enjoy their patties cooked with a little pink in the center.
If you like your burgers medium rare with a lot of pink in the center, cook them to 130F degrees. For medium, which is a little less pink, cook them to 135F degrees. If you like them with just a hint of pink, cook them to 145F degrees.
You can check the temperature with a digital meat thermometer.
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Gochujang Teriyaki Burgers
- In a small bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, gochujang, ginger and garlic. Set aside.
- Divide the meat into 5 equal portions. Shape into patties that are slightly larger than the buns. Lightly salt and pepper each side. Using your thumb, press a dimple into the center of each patty.
- Heat the grill to medium high. Place the burgers on the hot grill and cook for 5 minutes with the lid closed. Flip and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Generously brush the glaze over the burgers. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes with the lid open.
- Remove to a pan and let rest for 10 minutes.
- To assemble the burger, spread ponzu aioli on the bottom and top buns. Add a patty to the bottom bun and top with pickled red cabbage and grilled shishito peppers (stems removed). Add the top bun and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.