Umami Meatloaf Burger

March  9, 2010
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

I created this recipe for the Your Best Meatloaf Contest. Since my oven debacle, I've been using the stovetop to cook a lot. There are not many stovetop meatloaf recipes out there to inspire me, but recently, I watched Giada dig into an umami burger on one of her shows. Which led me to thinking, "Hmmmm... I wonder..." White On Rice Couple has an umami burger recipe on their site, so I found some inspiration there, too. In case you're wondering, umami, the so-called fifth primary taste, contributes savoriness to a dish. Flavor Bible has a whole section on umami-rich foods. You should definitely check it out! If you prefer smaller burgers, you can divide the meat into 8 portions (about a quarter-pound each) and use mini Martin's Whole Wheat Potato Buns. —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

This burger takes everything you thought you knew about umami and doubles it. Think: flavorful, rich patties, topped with the most over-the-top umami ketchup. Oh, and did we mention the aged cheddar cheese, melted on top? Better make that “triples it.”

This recipe was featured in "Umami Five Ways, Coming Right Up." —The Editors

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • For the umami ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mellow (sweet) white miso
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • For the umami burgers
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup cubed bread (I used one small Martin's Whole Wheat Potato Bun)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 recipe of umami ketchup (see above)
  • 1 small bunch watercress
  • 6 slices aged cheddar, grated Parmigiano, crumbled gorgonzola, Stilton, or sliced American cheese (or 4 if making larger patties)
  • 6 large hamburger buns (or 4 if making larger patties)
In This Recipe
  1. Make the umami ketchup. Mix all ketchup ingredients together and blend well. Set aside to let flavors meld.
  2. Place beef, fish sauce, garlic, onion, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine bread cubes and milk. Mix together until bread is uniformly moist. Add to beef, with the egg.
  4. Add half of the umami ketchup to the beef. Mix everything together gently, but thoroughly. Cover bowl with plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Form 4 to 6 equal-sized patties (about 4 to 6 ounces each). Don't pack the meat, or handle it too much. Use a light hand for the best juicy burger results. Chill the patties until you are ready to cook.
  6. Heat a non-stick pan to medium-low. Cook burgers for 4 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.
  7. Turn heat down to low. Top burgers with cheese of your choice. Cover pan for a minute, or until cheese begins to melt.
  8. Build your burger! Place watercress on bottom bun. Top with burger. Generously slather umami ketchup over. Serve with potato chips, or lastnightsdinner's Red Hot Onion Rings.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • inpatskitchen
  • lapadia
  • Lizthechef
  • student epicure
    student epicure
  • aargersi