Vietnamese Super Burger

Making a Super Burger, Vietnamese-Style

Sarah Kemp led Team Noble to victory in the Ardmore Corporate Fitness Challenge Super Burger Contest in June 2018. Now she shares her award-winning recipe for a Vietnamese-style burger.

  Estimated read time: minutes


  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
  • 1/4 medium cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large radishes, sliced
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup minced green onion
  • 3-4 hamburger buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 medium jalapeño, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

Yields: 3-4 burgers


Step 1: Combine the sugar, rice vinegar and warm water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrot, cucumber, onion and radishes to the pickling liquid (the liquid should cover everything). Let sit for about 20 minutes then drain the liquid.

Step 2: Combine the pork, soy sauce, ginger powder, garlic powder, sesame oil and green onion. Form into 1/2-inch-thick patties.

Bowl of cut vegetables
Sarah Kemp mixes the burger ingredients in the bowl.

Step 3: Prepare a gas or charcoal grill or a grill pan at medium-high heat. Brush and oil the grates.

Step 4: Make a thumbprint in the center of each burger then place burgers on the grill. Grill the first side until grill marks form, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 155° F, about 3 minutes more.

Sarah grills the burgers
Forming the burger patty

Step 5: Remove the burgers from the grill and let rest on a plate. Place the buns on the grill and toast until grill marks form on both sides, about 1 minute per side.

Step 6: Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on the upper and lower halves of the buns. Lay the burger on the lower bun. Top with a quarter of the pickled carrot, cucumber and onion; jalapeno slices; a few cilantro leaves; pickled radishes; and the top half of the bun.

Grilling the burger
The finished Vietnamese burger

About the Inspiration

Sarah’s super burger is based on bánh mí, a Vietnamese-style sandwich made with baguette bread and filled with one or more meats (commonly pork meatballs or chicken) and vegetables like cucumber, cilantro and radishes. There are many variations of the bánh mí sandwich, which shares its name with the Vietnamese word for “bread.” It was made popular in Saigon in the late 1950s. You can still find it across Vietnam as a popular street food. Today, the sandwich is also gaining popularity in the U.S.

Sarah Kemp

Sarah Kemp, Food Service Supervisor

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