Now, I’ll admit: I’m not even remotely Korean. My heritage is Persian-Taiwanese, which is why I like to bring some aspects of Iranian food to the table when I cook. Asian fusion has been around forever, there’s no denying it. Plus there’s way too many “origins” of soups like ramen or phở (but I won’t get into that, my mom would kill me).

My first experience with Korean food came from my half-Korean childhood best friend, whose grandmother always wanted us to eat her homemade meals. Despite some of the weirder things she brought home from the local Korean grocery store, this experience created my love for kimchi, which in turn inspired this recipe.

I always love eating kimchi, as long as it’s paired with food that seems somehow related to Korean food (i.e. not as a taco topping). After buying some kimchi at the Blacksburg farmers market, I thought to myself: why not blend Korean food with my own heritage?

Asian fusion happens a lot, but I had never heard of anyone fusing it with Persian. And, surprisingly, there’s actually a huge demand for Korean food in the Middle East (did anyone know that? I certainly didn’t). I knew what flavors went into Persian food—I grew up with it, after all—but I wasn’t as sure when it came to Korean.

So, I examined some Korean recipes (including ones on Spoon, like our kimchi fried rice) and formed a base for the flavor profile of my dish. Combining Iranian sour and rich flavors with the spiciness and pungency of Korean food, I was able to marry the styles in a burger with two key ingredients: garlic and mint.

Lamb Burgers

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:10 minutes
  • Total Time:30 minutes
  • Servings:6
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoon Korean BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 20 oz ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon mint, minced
  • 2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • Kimchi
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Turmeric egg
  • Persian mint yogurt
  • Sourdough burger buns
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 1

Mix ground lamb, bbq sauce, avocado oil, lime juice, sesame seeds, mint, and red pepper flakes together in bowl.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 2

Shape mixture into burger patties.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 3

Place patties on grill, flip after 3-5 minutes.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 4

Once cooked to your desired level, remove from grill.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 5

Assemble your burger with some kimchi, the Persian mint yogurt, a turmeric egg, and sautéed mushrooms.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Persian Mint Yogurt

  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:0 minutes
  • Total Time:5 minutes
  • Servings:3
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 8 oz Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Lemon zest
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 1

Mix ingredients together in bowl.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Red Pepper Sautéed Mushrooms

  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:10 minutes
  • Total Time:15 minutes
  • Servings:3
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 4 oz golden shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoon avocado oil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 1

Heat up your pan and add avocado oil. Once your oil is heated, place garlic and red pepper flakes into the pan, then sauté until the garlic is golden brown.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 2

Add mushrooms and sauté until fully cooked.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Turmeric Egg

  • Prep Time:0 minutes
  • Cook Time:5 minutes
  • Total Time:5 minutes
  • Servings:2
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 1

Heat your pan (add oil if necessary) and crack your egg into it. Season with turmeric, salt, and pepper.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim

Step 2

Flip when cooked on the bottom and cook to desired yolk consistency.

Photo by Susanna Mostaghim
Photo by Susanna Mostaghim