Behold the Hamburger. Meat, topping, and a bun. Simple. And , simply put, the world’s most perfect food.
Just like most things in life, hamburgers come in all shapes and sizes. They can be BIG….
And of course, they can be BIGGER…or, in some cases, just plain ridiculous…
Burgers can also be fun, and they can capture the flavors of the world in amazing ways! I elaborated on the world of sliders before, but since then I have learned SO MUCH MORE.
The key to an international slider is the condiment. Whether cheese, spices or sauces, it is all about what flavors the basic hamburger patty. As for the bun, I make sliders by using small dinner rolls, but there are many specialty stores that carry slider buns as well.
Your basic hamburger uses good quality ground beef with at least 15% fat content, to ensure lots of juicy flavor. I put minced onion in as well, and sometimes when I am feeling adventurous I use minced garlic. Other than that, I like to use a fun salt – like pink Hawaiian sea salt, and a fair amount of pepper. That’s it for me – upon this temple of meat flavor, these international slider recipes add unique ingredients that give them a special flavor…have fun!
I Like It Cold, Baby! Iceland Sliders
The key to an Icelandic slider is the sauce – specifically, a hamburger sauce called hamborgarasósa. One Icelandic dictionary says it has water, egg yolk, tomato concentrate, mustard, vinegar, and spices in it.
So make a regular burger and then add a mix of the above ingredients – your own home-made Miracle Whip, and you will be set!
Spice It Up! Indian Sliders
Lots of indian spices make this stand out. As the picture above shows, you can also add some grilled onions to this, but the key is spice, spice baby. Here is a recipe that lays out the unique flavors to add to your slider:
3 lbs ground beef
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh ginger , peeled and minced
1/4 cup minced scallion top
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped cilantro leaf , soft stems included
Grill your burger with all of these spices inside the meat, then top with some scallion and chopped cilantro. No cheese required!
Mai Oui? Why Not, It’s Your Burger! The French Slider
The definition of a French slider is blue cheese, and blue cheese ONLY – take your regular hamburger, and fold in crumbled blue cheese into the meat before you grill. What happens is the cheese melts while the meat is cooking, creating a blue creaminess that oozes out of the meat as you bite it…and the stuff around the edges that oozes out while cooking is evern better, as it forms a bit of a crispy crust…so crusty blue cheese on the outside, and oozy goodness inside. Score! If you want to go crazy you can wipe a smear of foie gras on the bun as well, but I don’t add anything else.
I found this special in Tokyo, but Hawaiians love their spam as well, and they grow the world’s pineapples, so why not a spam burger topped with a slice? Just grill a slice of Spam and a slice of pineapple, and voila, you are set!
I also think you can take any slider and top it with a slice of pineapple for the tropical flavor…but why not give spam a try?
Late Night Snack In Madrid – The Spanish Slider! – Hamburguesa
Spanish flavors take this slider to a whole new level – as always, start with your traditional hamburger patty. The key here are the condiments.
The topping here is an olive tapenade, that gets spread on top of the cooked slider – you can find recipes for making tapendade, or you can buy it in a jar, but it includes black olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice – cook the burger first, and after you turn it add a slice of Manchego cheese (a sheep’s milk cheese from the La Mancha region in Spain) and Jamón Iberico, (Iberico ham – prosciutto-like ham that comes from Spanish black pigs). Let the cheese melt as the burger cooks and the ham warms up…Take a bite and you will wake up in Barcelona – or Madrid!
Go, White Castle, Go! – what can I say? If you live on the east coast, you know all about White Castle. They are what they are. For me, they are a retro taste sensation that come to life when you add on the extras!
I buy them frozen and just microwave for a minute. Don’t get mad, this is my only option on the west coast. Then, add a big slice of tomato, a slice of pickle, and a swipe of mayonaise, and you have a burger popper that goes down easy!
Got Some Seoul? Kimchi Sliders!
When I was in Seoul, we ate every night at a korean BBQ, where you grill your own meats and seafood on the round grill embedded in your table, then wrap the grilled food around lettuce or thinly sliced pickled vegetables.
Taking that as an inspiration, I have a great recipe here for Korean sliders – which can be made with grilled sliced beef, upon which you add pickled cucumbers, a splash of rice vinegar and kimchi. Thanks to the website The Chubby Vegetarian, you can also do a version without meat at all, or just pile it all on!
1 large head of napa cabbage
1/4 cup salt
2-inch piece of ginger (peeled)
1 small bulb garlic (about 10 cloves, peeled)
1 large Korean pear (peeled, cut away from core)
1/2 cup Korean red chili powder
1 cup daikon radish (shredded using a julienne peeler)
1 cup carrot (shredded using a julienne peeler)
Wash cabbage and chop into 1-inch pieces. Place cabbage into a large bowl and toss it with salt. Allow the cabbage and salt mixture to sit for at least an hour and a half.
While you are waiting, you can make the chili paste. Place the garlic, pear, and chili powder into a food processor. Blend until smooth; you may need to add a few tablespoons of water to get it going. Set mixture aside.
Now fill the large bowl with the cabbage in it full of cold water and rinse the salt off of the cabbage. Do this twice. Squeeze as much moisture out of the cabbage as you can using your hands. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage together with the garlic/ginger/chili paste and the carrots and radish. Place in an airtight container in the fridge. The flavor is best after about 24 hours and will become more sour over time.
Korean BBQ Sliders (Makes 6)
Recipe from The Chubby Vegetarian website!
1 tablespoon each of soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil (mixed)
3 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large portobello mushroom cap (thinly sliced)
6 slider buns
half of an English cucumber (sliced longways using a vegetable peeler)
Get a frying pan screaming hot, and add the vegetable oil. Once it starts smoking, add the sliced mushrooms and cook for about a minute or until they start to brown. Turn the mushrooms in the pan and add the soy sauce mixture and the green onions. Continually move the mixture around for a few seconds then remove from heat. Divide mushrooms among the buns, and top with about a tablespoon of kimchi and a few slices of cucumber. I love these with or without meat!
Japanese Bacon Egg Burgers
Just a quick sidebar: Tokyo has a ton of places called “First Kitchen”, and they serve a variety of western-style food. What I got for breakfast was a bacon-egg burger, very much like an Egg McMuffin, except you use a hamburger bun. Kind of tasty…but here is the real Japanese slider…
THE WASABI-AVOCADO Japanese Slider!
I read about this over the holidays and I made one…it was delicious! By using wasabi mayonaise, you get the flavor without too much of the heat, but buy some extra and amp it up as you choose!
It is very simple: just cook a slider patty as usual…no cheese needed. After you turn the patty, add some sliced avocado for a moment to warm it up, and once you put it on the bun, wipe a heavy dose of wasabi mayonaise on the top bun. Trader Joe’s sells it, or buy some great mayo and wasabi and mix it together to the strength you can handle…this is delicious with a Sapporo!
The All-American Bacon-Cheeseburger Slider!
What can I say? Here is a burger from top to bottom. Just toast the bun, cook the burger, add the cheese, let it melt, put it on the bun with the added ingredients, and you are set!
Cheese – melted and dripping
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Mayonaise, mayonaise, mayonaise!
See that? DO NOT DEVIATE – this is perfection.
G’Day Mate! The Perfect Australian Sliders!
I uncovered these two years ago in Melbourne. It is the best flavor, and everyone who tries it agrees it’s an American slider made even better!
An Aussie slider is just like ours, with two key differences. They add a slice of beetroot – OK, we call it beet, they call it beetroot – underneath the burger. It adds a great, slightly sweet and nutty flavor to the taste. Everything else is the same – add cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce if you like – and if you want to go totally Aussie, take the second step to complete fulfillment – add a fried egg on top….the best!
And finally…THE BEST SIDE DISHES IN THE WORLD!
When you are enjoying sliders, you can make salads and vegetables, but why not just serve the greatest invention in the world: TATER TOTS! Just buy them frozen and bake them up and you are done!
Or try this: a tater tot casserole, which is basically baked mac-n-cheese with tater tots added!
Here are more than enough ways to celebrate A Super Sunday!