While it’s true that hamburgers have the same general size and shape throughout the world, you might be surprised at some of the unique twists that other countries have put on their patties. Here are just four examples of international burgers and what makes them so special.
Perfect for people who don’t like bread, the rice burger swaps out buns for rice patties. It’s usually made with a special sticky rice that clumps together instead of falling apart. Rice burgers are popular in Asian countries like Japan and Vietnam, and they’re often filled with variations of their country’s favorite meats, veggies and condiments. For example, a Japanese rice burger might be made with seafood instead of beef.
In addition to the usual cheeses and onions, Australians like to add another topping to their burgers: beetroot. No one is sure how it started, but it’s a tradition that can be traced back to the ‘30s and ‘40s, and it’s still thriving today. Slices of fresh or canned beetroot are added to the burgers just like an American might add tomato. It stains the bun a dark, unusual color, but it’s said to be delicious.
Hamburg Steak Burgers
Originating in Germany, the Hamburg steak is similar in taste and consistency to the Salisbury steak. However, the Germans don’t limit it to frozen dinners. They put it on a bun and turn it into a hamburger, or they serve it with crusty breads and dripping sauces like a hamburger-inspired dish. The great thing about Hamburg steak burgers is that you can customize them to your own satisfaction, so whether you’re a fan of kaiser rolls or special cheeses, you can create a Hamburg steak burger to your particular tastes.
Kimchi is a staple of the Korean diet, and kimchi burgers are so common that you can find them on McDonald’s menus in Seoul. If you aren’t familiar with kimchi, it’s a tart, spicy concoction made through fermentation. It’s good for your gut like yogurt and sauerkraut, and flavor-wise, it can really give your food a kick. It’s usually prepared with vegetables like cabbage, but it can also be used as a topping or filling for fish, pork, chicken or ground beef.
Because the primary religion in India is Hindu, beef and pork are very uncommon. But this does not stop the people there from finding their own delicious variations of hamburgers to eat. Hamburgers are often made with chicken, although vegetable patties and lamb are other possible options. McDonald’s has even accommodated its menu for this region, offering the Maharaja Macs, made with chicken patties, instead of the standard Big Macs.
These are just a few foreign hamburgers that put the traditional patty-and-bun combination to shame. If you’re looking for a new way to grill this summer, you should consider going global and taking your cues from these international meals.