While perusing through my pile of recent magazine recipes I came across one from Food and Wine for “Crunchy Pork Kimchi Burgers” and I thought well, this sounds weird, but oddly good at the same time. Then I went to the Northampton Tuesday Market and there was a vendor sampling fresh kimchi which was nothing like the shelf-stable stuff that I had eaten in the past — a little less crunchy, a little less bitter, more sweet, and simply lovely. Just a hop-skip-and-jump up from her stand was Mockingbird Farm who had ground pork for sale and I just knew that I had to give this recipe a try. I grabbed some baby spinach from Enterprise Farm and now had the makings for this lovely sounding dish, locally sourced. Since I was on a roll, and they looked fantastic, I grabbed some white turnips too (from Old Friends Farm) — I figured they’d be great for roasting.

Since I’ve eaten primarily grain-free since the beginning of this year, I adjusted the recipe to omit the flour and panko and obviously had a different end product than what was advertized in the magazine. I really loved the dish the way that I made it and will definitely make it again this same way.


  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped kimchi (I ran it through the food processor rather than hand-chopping)
  • Sprinkle of Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 10 oz. baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • sesame seeds (for garnish)


  1. In a bowl combine the ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with the salt
  2. Form the mixture into eight small patties, about half an inch thick (to get these all a uniform size, I used a number 2 scoop)
  3. In a large skillet (cast iron if you’ve got it), heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Add the patties and fry over moderate heat, turning once only, until you have a beautiful crisp on each side and there is no more pink visible from the outside (you want them to be cooked through)
  4. Set aside to drain on paper towels and let the juices finish distributing
  5. Pour off all of the vegetable oil from the skillet and add some toasted sesame oil and the baby spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-high heat until wilted (about 1 minute)
  6. In a small dish, mix the mayonnaise, sesame oil and soy sauce
  7. Pile the spinach on plates and top with the sliders, drizzle with the sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy

I will admit to eating two left-over patties the next day, straight out of the fridge. A different experience, but good still. The sauce is a bit salty, so be sure not to over-do it.