Bringing the Outdoors In

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

The end of this month kicks off barbecue season in the U.S. But not everyone is having the kind of weather yet that merits a cookout.

In fact, even in San Francisco, after weeks of gorgeous weather, we had a bit of rain on Saturday and it was fairly cool. Not that we mind—every day of rain helps a little to mitigate the drought that has plagued our state for four devastating years.

If weather in your area inhibits you from firing up the grill quite yet, here’s a simple recipe with the promise summer to tide you over. It’s made indoors, on the stovetop.

I used ground pork for these burgers, which makes them turn out moist and juicy.

Pork and Pineapple Burgers

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon naturally brewed soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
1 pound extra-lean ground pork
1 egg, beaten
½ cup panko bread crumbs
6 slices fresh pineapple rings or canned pineapple slices in juice
1 tablespoon oil
6 small hamburger buns (3 ½ inches in diameter)

In a small bowl combine soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and onion; stir well to combine. Place ground pork in a medium bowl, add soy sauce mixture and mix well with a rubber spatula. Add egg and panko and mix well. Try not to mix with your hands; the warmth of your hands can toughen meat.

Scoop up meat mixture level into a ½-cup dry measuring cup. Form into a patty about ¾-inch thick. Repeat to make 6 patties; set aside.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat; when hot, heat the pineapple slices on each side until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Clean pan with a damp paper towel. Heat oil in the pan and cook pork patties, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until nicely browned and the centers are no longer pink.

To assemble, spread bun bottom with mayonnaise, add lettuce, top with pineapple slice, pork burger and bun top. Repeat to make six pork burgers.

Makes 6 burgers.


  • Measure the size of the buns before you begin this recipe; If you are using bigger buns, increase the size of the burgers.
  • Instead of as a sandwich, you can serve the patties as a main dish with rice and a side salad.
  • If you have any burgers left, crumble them up and utilize in making fried rice

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Posted: May 8th by Sandy_Hu