Have you ever tried a rice burger? Unlike American burgers, which use squishy wheat buns, rice burgers feature chewy rice patties instead. This style has been on the menu at MOS Burger, a fast-food chain in Japan, since the 1980s. And in the past few years, its template has become especially popular on social media. In this version, for the filling, I’m using king oyster (aka royal trumpet) mushrooms. First you boil them, then cut them into a cutlet, then pan-fry with homemade teriyaki sauce. (For a visual on this fun technique, check out this video here.) Note: If you can’t find large king oysters, you can swap in 12 to 16 medium ones, depending on their size. In that case, no need to halve the stem crosswise; and instead of slicing in a spiral to create a flat cutlet, just cut a single slit, then open up like a book.
Now, let's talk rice: Compressing it in a straight-sided bowl creates a beautiful “bun.” You might be wondering how the rice can hold together—the trick is to firmly compact it with the back of the spoon. And don’t swap in another rice variety. Thanks to its stickiness, short-grain white rice is a must here. The rice patties are crisped until browned, a method similar to making onigiri. Fun to make and fun to eat, this is one of my favorite meals. —WoonHeng Chia
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- makes 4 burgers
- Teriyaki Sauce & Sriracha Mayo
1 1/2 tablespoons
fresh ginger juice (or 1 teaspoon grated ginger)
Sriracha, to taste
- Rice Burgers
large king oyster (aka royal trumpet) mushrooms (see Author Notes)
Neutral oil, for cooking
cooked short-grain white rice, cooled
Avocado slices, for assembly
nori snack sheets
- Make the teriyaki sauce: Whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, maple syrup, 1½ tablespoons of water, and the ginger juice in a bowl until well combined.
- Make the sriracha mayo: Combine the mayonnaise and a big squeeze of sriracha in a bowl. Mix until combined, then add more sriracha to taste, if desired.
- Prep the mushrooms: Clean the mushrooms with a brush to remove any debris. Cut off the mushroom top and reserve that for another dish. Halve the stem crosswise. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, then season with salt. Add the stem pieces to the hot water. Boil for 5 to 8 minutes, until the skin turns from white to grayish. Transfer to the ice bath to cool. Drain and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, make a slit lengthwise, then continue to slice in a spiral motion to make a cutlet. Score one side to uncurl the cutlet. Pat dry again.
- Cook the mushrooms: Add a drizzle of oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sear the cutlets over medium heat until browned on both sides, about 4 to 6 minutes total, pressing them down with a spatula if they start to curl up. To season, take a cutlet and dip into the teriyaki sauce and return it back to the pan, searing until browned and charred. Repeat with another baste if you’d like. Transfer the teriyaki mushrooms to a plate. Clean the skillet—we’ll be using it again in a bit.
- Shape the rice patties: Line a small, straight-sided bowl or ramekin (about 3 inches in diameter) with plastic wrap and add ½ cup of rice. Using the back of a spoon, tightly press the rice into a patty. Unwrap and set aside. Repeat with the remaining rice. (You can also do this by hand with oiled palms if you’d like.)
- Sear the rice patties: Set the nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a thin layer of oil. Add as many rice patties as will comfortably fit. Cook undisturbed until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip and add a bit more oil if needed. Brush the browned side with the teriyaki sauce and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the other side is slightly charred, basting a couple more times along the way. Transfer the patties to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the rice patties.
- Assemble the rice burgers: Place a seared rice patty on a plate, then top with avocado slices and a nori sheet. Pile with 2 mushrooms cutlets and some sriracha mayo. Close with another rice patty. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients to make 3 more burgers.