Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Luau Burger

Mookalakakiki come on ya wanna lay me, pass the poi mahalo... and try a Luau Burger.

This is the fourth burger in our journey (longer posts about the Taco and Italian Burgers still to come) and quite frankly is our most adventurous and our dedication to Hawaii.

Hawaii is either our 49th or 50th state and very few people have ever been there, certainly none of the Sexy Burger crew. There is a lot of mystery surrounding their culture and their food, which really made this burger a challenge.

Sure we had heard the stereotypes that most of them are of Asian descent and they are all friendly. But what did our mysterious brothers and sisters to the east eat on a daily basis?

After months and months of research we determined that their chief staples were: pork, teriyaki, pineapple, maraschino cherries, and SPAM. Because SPAM is most likely gross, we decided to incorporate the other four ingredients, add some smoked cheddar cheese on top and serve the burgers on a classic toasted burger bun.

  • Ground pork: We chose pork over beef to pay tribute to the classic Luau pig roast. Since we had never worked with ground pork we were unsure of what type of flavor we would get. To control the flavor ourselves we added teriyaki, salt, and pepper to the ground pork. This resulted in very juicy and flavorful patties, although next time we would add more teriyaki because we did not account for how much the sauce cooks off.
  • Teriyaki: Again, added above in the ground pork, also added on top of the pork while cooking and used after as a condiment. This is the tribute to the Asian influence in Hawaii.
  • Pineapples and maraschino cherries: Because Hawaii is an island they probably have pineapples by the bushulful and the cherries (they must be maraschino for coloring and flavor) serve as perfect companions. We cooked the fruits in a frypan adding teriyaki to the mix until the fruit was slightly browned and candied. This was our largest risk taken as there was some skepticism that a sweet burger would not work. The skepticism was dead wrong. This shit was delicious.
  • Smoked cheddar cheese: This gave a nice smokiness to the burger that also called to mind a pig roast.
We served our burgers with a side of tater tots (not necessarily traditional Hawaiian fare but I'm sure they love these over there) and a delicious pineapple rum drink complete with mini-umbrella.

The experiment paid off better than expected placing the Luau Burger on the level with any burger we have tried before. The success of the Luau Burger has broken down the doors to us greatly expanding our ideas of where the burger can go. Stay tuned to one such barrier buster next week. Aloha.

The Luau Burger in Pictures

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