It's A Keeper: Five-Spice Burgers with Warm Mu Shu Slaw Topping, Pineapple, and Exotic Chips

I know Rachael gets made fun of for being the self-proclaimed Queen of Burgers (among other things), but I say if the shoe fits, wear it! Rachael's Five-Spice Burgers with Warm Mu Shu Slaw Topping, Pineapple, and Exotic Chips are just another example that her self-title is absolutely correct. You can check out this recipe in 365: No Repeats (it's not posted online).

I look back at those sad, thin little meat patties we used to consider good burgers and just shake my head. We now do at least a burger a week during the summer and each one is a little adventure. Last week's was a trip to Mexico. This week's is a trip to China.

You take the Mu Shu from your average Chinese restaurant and throw it on top of a burger instead of inside a little pancake. You end up getting a flavorful burger and a healthy serving of vegetables as a bonus.

Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or pork [I went for the chicken, but look forward to trying the pork.]
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning (a palmful)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 scallions, 2 finely chopped, 3 cut into thirds and thinly sliced lengthwise [One of these days I am going to lose a fingertip slicing scallions lengthwise. Maybe I could use my kitchen shears to do it?]
3 tablespoons tamari (dark aged soy sauce) (3 times around the bowl) [I think 2 was enough. I just added it till it looked like it was enough to be incorporated.]
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (twice around the pan), plus more for drizzling
12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced [No shiitake in my store the day I went, so I used criminis]
1/2 pound shredded cabbage (or buy a bag of cole slaw mix in the produce department) [I went for the bag of cole slaw mix - one less thing to chop.]
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Chinese barbecue sauce, available on the international foods aisle)
4 cornmeal-dusted or sesame kaiser rolls, split and toasted
1 fresh pineapple, cored (available in the produce department), cut into chunks [I buy the whole darn pineapple, since it's usually cheaper to core and peel it myself.]
1 package exotic vegetable chips, such as Terra brand

Heat a non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat [we used our outdoor grill.] In a medium bowl, combine the meat with the five-spice powder, grill seasoning, garlic, ginger, finely chopped scallions, tamari, and a drizzle of vegetable oil. Mix and score the meat into quarters, then form 4 patties, 1 inch thick. Cook the burgers for 6 minutes on each side.

Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. [Our grill has a little sideburner that we took advantage of for this part - no heat in the house!] Add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Cook the shiitakes for 2 minutes, add the cabbage, and stir-fry for 3 minutes more. Add the sliced scallions and hoisin sauce, toss to combine, and remove from the heat.

Serve the burgers on the buns piled high with mu shu slaw on top. Serve with chunks of fresh pineapple an exotic chips alongside the burgers.

4 Servings.


  1. Looks great I will have to give this one a try.

  2. Let me know what you think of it, Rick!

  3. You take the Mu Shu from your average Chinese restaurant>>

    I thought the whole point of the 30MM concept was that this stuff could be made in less time than it takes to get takeout. So why are you suggesting that we get takeout? Why not just get the mu shu and forget the burger?

  4. No Prunella, that's not what I'm suggesting. The mu shu to which I was referrring was hypothetical mu shu. As you can see from the instructions for the recipe, you make your own mu shu. Did you not read that far?

  5. I haven't tried this one yet, because I can't think what else I'd use five-spice powder for. My husband loves the buffalo turkey burger recipe (although I don't smother it in the hot sauce, since he's not a hottie lover). I also made the scallop burger recipe (substituting shrimp) and they are good.

  6. I'm surprised that I've continued to use the Chinese 5 Spice powder, but I can't remember how I have used it! I know she puts it on popcorn, too.


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