Summer Burgers with Alan's Asian Guacamole

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 30m

Serves 4

This recipe combines beef burgers tweaked with Pacific Rim flavors and a refreshingly different guacamole from one of Hawaii's premier chefs, Alan Wong. Alan and his restaurant, Alan Wong's, are a major reason why Honolulu is now a travel destination for food lovers. Although you won't find burgers on Alan's menu, his Asian guacamole pairs wonderfully well with grilled fish and poultry. You may also wish to serve it with a bowl of tortilla chips at your next party.


  • For the Guacamole:
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions (green part only)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili sauce with garlic (such as Sambal Oelek)
  • 1 teaspoon Alan's Chili Pepper Water (see Notes), or 1/4 teaspoon finely minced jalapeno chile
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • For the Burgers:
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/4 pounds high-quality lean ground beef
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Tabasco Soy Sauce (or 1/4 cup soy sauce mixed with 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 large sesame-seed rolls or hamburger buns, toasted



Combine all of the guacamole ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix gently without mashing the avocado. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.


To prepare the burgers, heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the ginger, garlic and red and green peppers and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl, and cool. Add the beef, scallions and cilantro, and gently mix to combine. Add the soy sauce gradually, adding just enough to flavor the beef but not so much that the mixture becomes soggy so that the burgers will not hold together. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Divide the beef mixture into 4 equal pieces, form with your hands into balls, and then flatten to make patties. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick saute pan. Sear the burgers over medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side.


Turn down the heat to medium and continue to cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Split the rolls in half and toast until golden brown; serve the burgers open-faced on the rolls. Top with a generous helping of guacamole, or serve it on the side.


Alan's Chile Pepper Water, used in the guacamole, is a mild all-purpose table condiment popular in Hawaii. To make it, combine in a blender 1/3 cup cold water, 1 garlic clove, 1 red serrano chile (or 1/2 jalapeño), 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 2 teaspoons minced ginger, and a pinch of salt. Puree until smooth. Bring 1-1/4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, add the puree, return to a boil, then remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a glass bottle and keep refrigerated. Use as a seasoning for salads or fish dishes, or place it on your table during mealtimes and use it as a condiment. This will keep 2 to 3 weeks if refrigerated.


A lighter-style California Merlot or a St. Emilion from France would work best.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.

RecID 3368

nutrition information per serving

790 calories; 47g total fat; 52mg cholesterol; 1934mg sodium; 54g carbohydrates; 11g fiber; 39g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.