My brother is a picky eater. He knows what he likes and everything else he dislikes. When he and my mom visited me while I was studying abroad in Spain, we spent a lot of time looking for restaurants with dishes we thought he would like. In the end, he ended up eating a lot of hot dogs while we enjoyed amazing tapas with Spanish beer and wine. One of the most hilarious moments during the trip happened when the señora I was living with cooked an elaborate meal for us. He couldn’t get himself to eat all the Spanish dishes she had made, but he couldn’t bear hurting her feelings by not touching any of the food. So he secretly passed morsels of food under the table to my mom, who in turn had to eat two portions of everything. Even thinking about it now makes me laugh out loud. My poor mom left a fabulous meal with indigestion.
As he gets older, older meaning 13 going on 14, the number of likes has increased, but at a slow rate. In order to provide a well balanced diet, my mom came up with ways to get him to eat his veggies without him knowing it. She modified standard, classic dishes without compromising taste! One of my favorites and judging by how clean my brother’s plate was tonight after dinner, one of my brother’s favorites is my mom’s hamburger patty. It’s soft and moist with a hint of Asian goodness (ie. soy sauce and sesame oil). The grated potatoes along with the diced onions and carrots keep the moisture level high. It’s not your typical greasy burger, however, it doesn’t lack in taste at all. In fact, the recipe more closely follows that of a meatball. I imagine they would cook in that form just as well.
For dinner we ate them with a little additional soy sauce and rice, however they are equally good eaten in a regular hamburger bun with a little bit of ketchup and lettuce.
Mom’s Hamburger Patties
Makes 5 regular sized patties
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Half a small potato grated
Half a small onion, diced very small
1/2 a large carrot, diced very small
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Salt and pepper
In a bowl, combine the ground beef and pork. Squeeze the juice out of the chopped ginger and discard. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into round disks. With you finger make a small indent into the middle of the patty. This will help prevent the patties from forming a bulge. Cook on a heated skillet or grill pan, flipping once.