The classic American burger gets an Asian twist with juicy pork patties, a vegetable-filled egg pancake and sweet hoisin sauce in these Moo Shu Pork Burgers.
I hope you’re ready for the ultimate shake-up. That’s right, ASIAN-THEMED burgers that are going to knock your socks off. A total flavor mash-up that’s got so many flavors going on, you won’t know what hit you. A protein bomb that will keep you full for hours yet dreaming of the next time you can bite into something that tastes this good.
You’ve been sufficiently warned, and now I’d like to introduce to you my new best friends: Moo Shu Pork Burgers!
Okay, in all seriousness here, this wasn’t originally my idea. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog the inspiration I get from my dad (like when I made these Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting or his namesake Dad’s Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Chili), and these burgers are another such inspiration. It was one of those random ideas that came to him which he then proceeded to make a couple of times, without writing down any sort of recipe, and then proceeded to forget exactly what he had done.
So when I called him for a low-down on what he had done for these Moo Shu Pork Burgers that I had only heard about and never had the pleasure of tasting, we basically had to start from scratch and brainstorm together exactly what would make the ultimate Moo Shu Pork Burger.
If you’re not familiar with the popular Chinese dish, Moo Shu Pork consists of sliced pork tenderloin, tons of shredded/chopped veggies such as cabbage, carrots, bamboo shoots and green onion, and bits of scrambled egg all served with thin tortilla-like pancakes and a side of hoisin. It’s usually up to you to construct your own “wraps”, and I’ll be the first to tell you it’s easy to go overboard because it is all just soooo delicious.
After brainstorming with dad on how to make a typically taco-like dish into burger form, we decided on the following:
The first step in making a successful Moo Shu Pork Burger is a huge, juicy burger patty made from ground pork and a variety of Asian-influenced spices. I used a combination of cinnamon, fennel pollen, allspice, salt and pepper, but if you have Chinese 5 Spice on hand (I didn’t) you could easily just use that in lieu of everything else.
The second step is to make a “scrambled egg pancake”, loaded with all of the veggies you’d normally include in your Moo Shu Pork. For me, this included bamboo shoots, garlic, shredded carrots, cabbage and green onions.
And, if you’re wondering how to make a scrambled egg pancake, it’s basically just an open-faced omelet. You’ll want to use a nonstick pan with enough room for your egg mixture to spread out fairly thinly, and then just use a spatula to lift up the corners once they are cooked and let any runny egg drain under to cook. Once all of the egg is cooked through, turn off the heat and cut the pancake into wedges like you would a pizza to eventually transfer on top of your pork patty when you are constructing the final product.
Which is what we need to talk about next! After you have your patties cooked and your eggs prepped, the finishing touches of these Moo Shu Pork Burgers come together REALLY quickly. Which is a good thing, because when all these smells start permeating your kitchen you’re going to be chomping at the bit to dig in.
Although the ambitious side of me sort of wanted to make homemade buns from scratch that closely resembled steamed dumpling dough, the pregnant (and more practical) side of me said “Who are you kidding, no one’s going to want to make their own buns for a delicious weeknight meal such as this.” So instead I went for your basic white hamburger buns. Nothing special, but they were just what these Moo Shu Pork Burgers needed.
For assembly, simply plop the pork patty on the bun, add your wedge of veggie-loaded egg pancake, top with a generous dollop of hoisin (which you can find at any large grocery store in the Asian foods sections) and finish off with some fresh sprouts. The final test is to see if you can get your mouth around the entire thing once you’re done!
Moo Shu Pork Burgers
For the pork patties:
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, fennel pollen, ground allspice, salt and pepper
For the egg pancake:
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped bamboo shoots
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed cabbage and carrots
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 4 classic white hamburger buns
- Hoisin sauce, for topping
- Bean sprouts, for topping
- First, make the pork patties. Combine all patty ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then form into four large patties. I like to use two small, round bread plates with parchment paper on either side to press patties into uniform circles. Once circles are formed, press an indent in the middle with your finger.
- Turn your grill on at medium heat and place patties on the grill. Cook for 5-10 minutes each side, or until they no longer feel squishy in the middle. Remove from heat and set aside while you make your egg pancake.
- Warm avocado oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. While oil is warming, add all vegetables to your slightly beaten eggs, then pour entire mixture into pan. Let cook, without stirring, until the edges of the egg begin to harden.
- Once the edges have set up, gently lift go around the pan lifting them up and tilting the pan in that direction so any runny egg flows underneath to cook. Continue this process until there is no runny egg left, then turn off the heat.
- Cut the egg pancake into four wedges, then get ready to assemble your burgers.
- To assemble, first place a pork patty on the bottom half of the bun, then top with a wedge of the egg pancake, followed by a hearty dollop of hoisin and, finally, a sprinkle of sprouts. Top with the other half of the hamburger bun and enjoy!