Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.
What is a Burger?
What immediately springs to mind when you think of a burger? A fried patty of meat, served on a bun, with some French fries on the side? That will unquestionably be most people's perception - but where does that then leave the veggie burger? Trawling Google for different types of burgers and different definitions of burgers certainly leaves your head spinning. It also, however, tends to form the conclusion that we can actually stretch the definition of a burger to being any type of hot (usually meat based) sandwich, served with some appropriate side dish and designed to be consumed by hand.
If we employ a mixture of journalistic licence and culinary imagination to accept this definition, even for a short time, it becomes possible to open ourselves up to burger options of unlimited different types - and even afford them cultural identities, all their own. This page is therefore given to taking a brief look at popular or traditional foods from different countries around the world and adapting an appropriate burger recipe in each instance.
The Scottish Burger: Haggis, Lorne Sausage and Scottish Cheddar Cheese on a Scottish Morning Roll with Real Chips
Haggis will be unlikely to need much of an introduction to most people but Lorne sausage may well be a different prospect entirely. Lorne is a type of sausage where the meat is compressed in to large blocks and is subsequently sold in slices, rather than in the shape of traditional sausages. It is for this reason that Lorne sausages are also known in Scotland as sliced sausages, or even square sausages. If you are unable to obtain access to Lorne sausages, you could always make your own!
Ingredients per Serving
2 slices of haggis, ½” thick
1 Lorne sausage
1 Scottish morning roll (plain bread roll where unavailable)
2oz Scottish cheddar cheese (or similar hard cheese)
1 large, floury potato
Salt and malt vinegar
Chips in Scotland and throughout the UK resemble French fries but are much larger and made from whole potatoes. They are normally simply once or twice fried in hot fat or oil but if you want them to be extra crisp on the outside and extra fluffy on the inside, you may wish to try the following method.
Peel your potato and slice and chop it in to chips. Add the chips to a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for five minutes only before draining well and submerging the chips in cold water to cool quickly. Add the chips to a plastic dish with a lid and refrigerate for half an hour. Dry them carefully in a clean tea towel before deep frying for five minutes. Drain, cool and refrigerate for a further half hour. The chips will be given a final five or six minute frying while the burger ingredients are being cooked.
Add a little vegetable oil to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. The haggis and Lorne sausage should be added to shallow fry for around five minutes on each side until done.
While the haggis and sausage are frying, grate the cheese and cut the bread roll in half horizontally. The chips should be put on for their final fry when the meat components are turned.
Remove any plastic rind on the haggis slices after cooking. Lay one slice of haggis on the bottom of the roll, followed by the sausage and second haggis slice. Carefully place the cheese on top and place under a hot grill to melt the cheese. Remove the chips to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain.
Plate the burger and chips as shown and don't forget to season the chips with salt and malt vinegar.
Fancy a Beer with your Burger?
A burger and a beer - it rolls off the tongue so well, it would be almost criminal not to indulge, don't you think? In the spirit of this page, we should, however, attempt to marry each particular burger with a beer from the same country. Heather ale (Leann fraoich, in Gaelic) has only been commercially produced in Scotland for about twenty years but it is believed to have been privately produced going back four thousand years.
Heather ale has a slightly unusual taste which often has to be acquired - but surely no other beer can lay better claim to providing a truly traditional taste of Scotland?
The Indian Burger: Biryani Spiced Chicken Pieces in a Naan Bread with Cucumber and Mint Raita and Spiced Onions
This suggested Indian burger clearly represents the biggest detraction from conventional burgers of the three ideas featured on this page. If we consider, however, that it does represent a hot meat sandwich with sides, it does meet the criteria established in the introduction to this page for being considered a type of burger. Note that as one naan bread will provide two servings of this recipe, all ingredient quantities are for two people.
Ingredients for the Spiced Onions and Raita
1 large white onion
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp dried mint
Generous pinch of salt
6oz tub of plain natural yoghurt
3” piece of cucumber
1 tsp freshly chopped mint
1 garlic clove (optional)
Ingredients for the Biryani Spiced Chicken Naan Burger
Note: Do experiment with different options for the chicken. Tandoori chicken prepared on an outdoor grill would be another excellent option for serving in this way.
3/4lb diced chicken breast
2 tbsp corn oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
½ tsp hot chilli powder
Pinch of salt
10 to 12" naan bread
All of the elements for this dish will require time to marinate and for the flavours to infuse, if they are to be enjoyed to best effect. This is most important with the spiced onions, which should be prepared at least two hours in advance.
Add all the ingredients for the spiced onions - bar the actual onion - to a stone or glass bowl. Mix thoroughly and well to a smooth paste. Peel the onion, half it and finely slice it before stirring it through the paste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
The raita should be prepared next by pouring the yoghurt in to another bowl. Deseed and moderately finely dice the cucumber. Finely chop the mint and peel and grate the garlic. Add these ingredients to the yoghurt, stir well, cover and refrigerate.
It is not essential to marinate the chicken in the oil in spices but doing so for around half an hour does seem to add a little extra taste to the finished dish. Chop the chicken to roughly 1" pieces. Stir the spices and salt in to the oil to form a paste before mixing through the chicken.
The chicken is cooked in a wok, which should firstly be brought to a high heat. Add the chicken, spice and oil mix and stir fry over a high heat for four or five minutes, until done. As always, make sure the chicken is properly and fully cooked.
If you are feeling adventurous and time of course permits, you may wish to make your own naan bread. If simply using purchased naan bread, however, heat as instructed on the pack before cutting in half. You may wish to do this approximately diagonally, ensuring the two pieces are of the same shape and size. Gently open each half to form a cup and carefully add half of the chicken to each. Plate along with the spiced onions and raita, each of which may be transferred to small serving dishes.
Cobra Indian Beer
The types of Indian beer to which you have access are likely to vary hugely, depending upon where you are in the world. Cobra is not only one of the most commonly exported Indian beers, it is absolutely delicious, served with Indian foods of many different types. Make sure it is very well chilled and its cool, crisp taste will complement your Indian burger and spicy sides to perfection.
Is this More in Keeping with your Idea of the Perfect Burger? - Quick Guide to Making a Homemade Cheeseburger
The Moroccan Burger: Lamb Burger on a Bread Roll with Soured Cream and Cucumber, Served with Paprika Sweet Potato Wedges
Morocco is perhaps most famous in a culinary sense for meals cooked in its distinctive cooking pot, the tagine. Lamb and sweet potatoes are but two of the ingredients popularly cooked in the tagine and have been used here in conjunction with the popular Moroccan herb mint and the spice, paprika. Khoubz is one of the most popular Moroccan breads and you may wish to try your hand at making it. Alternatively, a pleated bread roll from your supermarket such as the one used in this recipe makes an excellent and attractive alternative.
Ingredients per Serving
6oz minced/ground lamb
½ tsp dried mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium sweet potato
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp paprika
1 bread roll
2 tsp soured cream
2 slices of cucumber
Shredded lettuce for garnish if desired
Scrub the sweet potato very well and cut off the top and tail. Half it lengthwise and cut each half in to four wedges. Mix with the oil, salt and paprika and bake on a tray in the oven for forty minutes at 400F/200C. Turn the wedges half way through cooking.
Add the lamb to a bowl and season with the mint, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly by hand. Note that there are no breadcrumbs or egg in this recipe - they are unnecessary. Pure seasoned meat and nothing more. Form the lamb in to a ball and pat in to a patty about three-quarters of an inch thick. Fry over a medium heat in a little oil for six to seven minutes on each side until done.
When the burger is ready, sit the pan aside for it to rest for a few minutes. Remove the potato wedges from the oven and lay them on some kitchen paper on a plate to drain.
Lightly toast the inside of each half of the bread roll. Spread one teaspoon of the soured cream on the bottom half. Add the burger, the rest of the soured cream and the cucumber. Sprinkle with a little more mint, if desired. Plate the sweet potato wedges and the lettuce and serve.
Moroccan Beer is not Always Easy to Get...
If you are in what is unfortunately the likely position of struggling to get a hold of Moroccan beer, such as its most popular variety Casablanca, you are simply going to have to improvise. As one of the most popular imported beers in Morocco, you may find Heineken to be an ideal choice in this respect, to lend at least some authenticity to your meal.
Coming Soon to a Hub Page Near You - More International Burger Recipes!
These burger suggestions have deliberately been made to represent three very different countries, on three different continents, around the world. They are, however, but the tip of the iceberg and more international burger suggestions of this type will be featured on Hub Pages in the very near future for your reference and hopeful enjoyment.
Links to further international burger recipe concepts will appear immediately below as and when they are created.
- Homemade Burger Recipes: English Themed Burgers
This homemade burger recipe incorporates classic English ingredients, including pork, apples and Stilton cheese. It is wholly recognisable as a burger but its slight adaptation gives it a new and refreshing feel, especially when it is served with a g
- Homemade Burger Recipes: German Themed Burgers
Homemade burger recipes can on occasion be repetitive and unimaginative, however tasty they may be. This German themed burger is part of a series devoted to giving the burger concept an international slant, based on a particular country's popular foo
Convinced? Or Heading out for a Big Mac...?
I hope that you have seen from this page at least the possibilities which exist not only for varying burger recipes but for giving them a truly international flair and using the burger concept as a familiar way of sampling other cultures and cuisines. Why not try coming up with these ideas for yourself, simply by picking a country, spending a few minutes on Google researching its traditional cooking ingredients and using your imagination to delight your family and perhaps the guests at your next grill party!
Irrespective, thank you for visiting and taking some time to look through this page. Any feedback may be left in the section below.
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 27, 2011:
suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on July 27, 2011:
You've made me hungry - great Hub!
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 27, 2011:
Thank you, akirchner - I'll take that as a compliment! :)
Audrey Kirchner from Washington on July 26, 2011:
For a guy, you surely do a great job on cooking and recipes~! That is totally cool in my book. Congrats on making it into the Fab 14 - and good luck, Gordon!
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 26, 2011:
Thank you, Simone. Yes, Indian food is very much suited to vegetarianism. Now, there's an idea, international vegetarian burgers - I'm thinking now! :)
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 26, 2011:
Hahaa, these are awesome! I don't know if I'd go for the haggis burger, but the Indian one sure does look good! I bet I could whip up a really good vegetarian version of that.
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 23, 2011:
Thank you, nancynurse. Hope you give something along these lines a try.
Hello, Prasetio. Thanks for the visit and comment. The beer may be considered an "optional extra" and the burgers can still be enjoyed with an alternative drink, I promise! You have a good weekend, too.
Thank you, iZeko. Glad you liked the ideas and hope the concept has got you thinking! :)
iZeko on July 23, 2011:
Another mouth-watering, saliva-dripping hub. Thumbs up!
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 22, 2011:
I am burger lovers and I love your recipes. It sound delicious. Thanks for writhing this and share with us. You complete this hub with step by step direction and the pictures also. But I don't like drinking beer, so I'll pass this section. Well done, my friend. Vote it up. Have a nice weekend!
Nancy McClintock from Southeast USA on July 22, 2011:
Love it Great recipes