Umami Miso Meatloaf Burger

March  9, 2010
5 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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)
  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 what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hannah
  • inpatskitchen
  • lapadia
  • Lizthechef
  • student epicure
    student epicure

15 Reviews

Hannah March 8, 2023
I tried the burgers once and while I did love them, I decided to make a meatloaf of this recipe that also turned out fabulous. About an hour in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit did the trick for me. The ketchup is a really delicious condiment for either situation, and even tastes good (to me, anyway) on a baked potato.
NXL April 25, 2021
Very flavorful and moist. The cooking time was perfect.
Ritacooks/bakes September 3, 2018
I made these burgers and cooked them on the grill and yes they did stick so maybe use just egg yolk when grilling. The taste was amazing very umami!
inpatskitchen September 1, 2018
Congratulations Liz! Your burger is saved and on my line up!
mrslarkin September 1, 2018
Thanks so much, Pat! 💕
dillybug March 18, 2015
Tasty. I expected Asian flavors to come out more in the burgers but they blended into the background and strengthened flavors. I skipped the egg and milk part and added some sriracha to the burgers. A definite repeat.
lapadia July 21, 2010
Beautiful photo and recipe...I can taste it!
mrslarkin July 22, 2010
Thanks, lapadia! It's definitely a burger with a twist!
Lizthechef March 10, 2010
Will you teach me how to take photos? I'm salivating, also seconding the recommendation for The Flavor Bible. I took your suggestion and now own a copy- need to sit down and dig in, to both!
mrslarkin March 10, 2010
Thanks, Liz! For some reason, the kitchen lights over my stove seem to act as a spotlight. And close-ups, close-ups, close-ups, is the #1 tip from my photog friends. You're going to love the Flavor Bible!
student E. March 10, 2010
mrslarkin March 10, 2010
Thanks, SE!
aargersi March 10, 2010
Wow, yum. This sounds amazing and the photo is great! This could be moved outside to the grill as well, yes?
mrslarkin March 10, 2010
Thanks, aargersi! I think it would grill up nicely. The patties are pretty moist though, so if grilling, I might use just an egg yolk in the mix, instead of the full egg.
aargersi March 10, 2010
Ah - good idea ... burger season is definitly upon us! I also just ordered the Flavor Bible :-)