pork burger with sauce dripping next to two bowls

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South Korea has a few American touches, like McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Outback Steakhouse. But the menus aren’t quite what Americans are used to. Featured items include the bulgogi burger, bulgogi pizza and white sweet potato fries.

At McDonald’s the bulgogi burger is ground pork mixed with bulgogi marinade and topped with lettuce and mayo. It was fun to order when I was in South Korea, but was a little too simple. Korea is full of so many bold, exciting flavors. Iceberg lettuce and mayo just won’t cut it.

Burger components

Instead, let’s create a burger that embodies the spice and passion of Korea. To start, blend green onions, garlic, vinegar and ponzu sauce into a pound of ground pork. If you like things spicy, add a little Gochujang.

metal bowl with ground pork on left and soy sauce on right

Gochujang is a fermented chili paste known for its umami qualities and subtle spiciness. Add as much or as little as you like, depending on your heat tolerance. I find a tablespoon to be just right.

Next, we’re going to mix the gochujang with mayonnaise. The creamy mayo cuts the heat of the chilies, but adds another level of flavor.

Korean BBQ is almost always served with binchan – a variety of seasoned vegetables. I considered using kimchi for this burger. The pickled cabbage is one of the most common binchan vegetables. In Korea, it’s made in pots and buried in the ground to ferment for months.

Because of the fermentation process and the fish sauce used in the recipe, I have found kimchi to be an acquired taste, so I’ve topped this Korean burger with a more familiar flavor – Sigeumchi namul.

It may not sound familiar, but it is simply parboiled spinach tossed in garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds, and because it’s blanched, it maintains its vivid green color.

Layer up these ingredients onto a soft, buttery brioche bun and enjoy.

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4.86 from 7 votes

Spicy Pork Korean Burger with Gochujang Mayo and Korean Spinach

Change up your burger game by creating a spicy pork Korean burger topped with gochujang mayo and a traditional sesame spinach salad.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3


Spicy Korean Pork Burger Patty

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 3 tbsp ponzu sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

Gochujang Mayo

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp gochujang

Korean Spinach (Sigeumchi namul)

  • 5 oz bag baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • 2 tsps soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 hamburger buns


Spicy Korean Pork Burger Patty

  • Combine the pork, ponzu, vinegar, green onions, garlic, gochujang, sesame oil and white pepper. Shape into three patties.
  • Grill the burger on high for 7 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches 165F degrees.

Gochujang Mayo

  • Combine the mayo and gochujang. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Korean Spinach (Sigeumchi namul)

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach for 30-60 seconds.
  • Remove the spinach with a spider ladle, and run under cold water.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds.
  • Squeeze the water out of the spinach with a paper towel. Slice, and place it in the bowl. Toss to combine.


  • Toast the buns. Spread both sides with gochujang mayo. Add a patty. Top with spinach salad.


You can substitute soy sauce for the ponzu sauce and black pepper for the white pepper.


Calories: 771kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 32gFat: 58gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 838mgPotassium: 795mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 4510IUVitamin C: 18.6mgCalcium: 162mgIron: 4.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
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Hey BBQ Family

I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and top 10 category finishes. I’m an expert grill reviewer for BBQ Guys, and I have appeared on the Food Network and Ninja Woodfire Grill infomercials. I established this website in 2015 to share my BBQ tips and recipes.

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