Korean Cheeseburgers With Sesame-Cucumber Pickles


  • 2

    teaspoons distilled white vinegar

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar

  • 2

    large Persian cucumbers, sliced 1/8-inch-thick

  • ¼

    cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 2

    tablespoons chopped scallions

  • 2

    teaspoons minced garlic

  • ½

    cup mayonnaise

  • 2 ½

    teaspoons roasted sesame oil

  • 1 ½

    pounds ground beef (preferably chuck or sirloin)

  • 4

    slices American cheese

  • 4

    hamburger buns

  • Butter lettuce, sliced onions and sliced tomatoes, for serving


  1. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add cucumbers and toss to coat, then let stand at room temperature.
  2. Heat broiler to high and set oven rack set 6 inches from heat. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, scallions, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the marinade to a small bowl and stir in mayonnaise and ½ teaspoon sesame oil. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine beef and 3 tablespoons of the scallion marinade. Gently mix to incorporate. Form into 8 thin patties (each about 4 ½ inches wide) and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush tops with half of the remaining marinade. Flip and brush with the remaining marinade. Broil until golden and caramelized on top, about 4 minutes.
  4. Arrange cheese on 4 patties, top with the remaining patties and let stand until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
  5. Pour off all the liquid from the cucumbers and stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil.
  6. Smear the cut side of the buns with some of the seasoned mayonnaise. Arrange bottom buns on plates. Layer with lettuce, onion, tomato, double-stack burgers, pickles and top bun. Serve with extra pickles on the side.