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Old Chengdu Burgers

These burgers pack a punch, so you'll need some tolerance of heat to appreciate them.<br />

Old Chengdu Burgers
12 portions
Prep and cook time: 60 min

• 500 g (1 lb) ground pork
• 1 kg (2 lb) ground chuck, 80 per cent lean
• 75 ml (5 tbsp) finely chopped fresh ginger
• 15 to 20 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 60 ml (4 tbsp) Shaoxing cooking wine
• 45 ml (3 tbsp) Szechuan peppercorns, coarsely ground in a mortar and pestle
• 75 ml (5 tbsp) chive-infused oil or 60 ml (4 tbsp) peanut oil
• 150 ml (5 oz) Sichuan black-bean chili paste
• 30 ml (2 tbsp) dark soy sauce
• 6 to 8 fresh chilies (such as serrano, cayenne or Thai), finely chopped
• 16 flatbreads
• 85 g (3 oz) bok choy or napa cabbage, shredded
• 2 leeks, white parts only, sliced into thin rounds
• Sriracha sauce, to taste


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground pork, ground chuck, ginger, garlic, wine, peppercorns, oil, chili paste and soy sauce. Add half of the chopped peppers. Mix vigorously until all ingredients are well incorporated. If using your hands to mix, wear rubber gloves.

2. Portion mixture into balls that are slightly larger than table-tennis balls (about 60 g/2 oz each).

3. On a greased pan or a sheet of waxed paper, press each ball into a very thin but loosely packed patty.

4. Heat a grill to high. Set a cast-iron skillet over the grill.

5. Toast flatbreads on the grill until slightly browned and crispy. Set aside.

6. When the pan is hot, coat it with cooking spray. Grill burgers in the pan until the edges start to crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

7. Place one patty on the bottom of a flatbread, add some of the bok choy, then place another burger on top. Top each with some of the remaining peppers, leeks and Sriracha.

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