Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wafu Hamburger with Potato Salad

Wa means Japanese and Fu means style. So this dish is a Japanese-style hamburger (or hamburg), which is really a grilled beef patty (or a giant meatball) topped with a Japanese-style sauce. It sounds so simple, and yet the combination of the moist and tender beef with the shimeji mushrooms (love the texture!) and dashi gravy is so delicious. The potato salad is a great side dish for this as it helps so soak up some of that mushroom gravy and makes the perfect mouthful when eaten together with the hamburger patty. This was a comforting and enjoyable meal for both G and I, although the kids weren't too excited about it when they spotted bits of onion in the meat. I guess I should dice up the onions a little finer next time and hope they don't notice them!

Wafu Hamburger with Shimeji Mushrooms
Adapted from Essentially Japanese by Hideo Dekura


Vegetable oil
1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
600g (1 1/4 lb) minced beef
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or 1 piece white bread, soaked in 1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
Mushrooms to taste, such as shimeji, eringe or enoki
2 1/2 inch carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup dashi, warm*
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp tamari
2 tsp potato starch, mixed with 1/4 cup dashi*
1 spring onion, sliced
1 tsp ginger juice

Boiled egg
Cherry tomatoes
Lettuce leaves
Potato salad, to serve (click here for recipe)

* I used instant dashi granules (dashinomoto) instead: 1 cup dashi = 1/2 tsp dashinomoto + 1 cup water


1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and sautee onions until transparent. Set aside to cool.

2. Put beef in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix with hands until well combined. Add the soaked breadcrumbs and milk to the beef and mix well. Stir through egg yolk and onions.

3. Divide the mixture into four oval shapes. Using your thumb, make a dent in the middle of each patty. Place patties under a broiler or grill for about 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

4. Combine the dashi with the tamari and soy. While the hamburgers are cooking, trim and clean the mushrooms. Stir fry them with the carrot for 1 minute, adding the dashi mixture as they cook. Simmer for 30 seconds. Add potato starch mixture and stir until thickened. Add spring onion and ginger juice.

5. Transfer the cooked hamburgers to serving plates and spoon the mushroom sauce on top. Serve with potato salad, boiled egg, lettuce and tomatoes.

Wafu Hamburger with shimeji mushrooms and Japanese potato salad


Mel said...

This looks something special and different for me being as a hamburger. Looking for the ingredients in it, I know this is super yummy. Oh, what is tamari?

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Tamari is another type of Japanese soy sauce that is darker in colour and not as strong tasting as regular soy sauce. You can omit it if you wish. Or add a few drops of chinese mushroom soy sauce for a bit of colour and flavour. The original recipe does not use tamari though.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

What a fabulous idea!! Yum!

Shoutforfood said...

It is truly scrumptious

tigerfish said...

This looks so gourmet! and definitely scrumptious delicious. Love it.

I was at Ellena's Cuisine Paradise and popped by from the link.

mycookinghut said...

Looks really good!! Makes me really hungry now!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Ohhh your wafu hamburger is perfect! I want to take a look at Hideo Dekura's cookbook. I've heard about it and planned to buy but never had a chance. I'm not a cookbook person (or should I say I don't own many cookbooks?) and it's a really good investment when it's a famous chef's book! Must be really delicious! Haven't made wafu hamburg for a while... yum!