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Bento Recipes: Hamburgers


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Hamburgers are so ubiquitous, I didn't put up a recipe for a long time because - well, it's like a peanut butter sandwich. Who doesn't know how to make one? But then, I had to teach myself, and I made a few mistakes along the way, so here you go if you're a beginner.

Get you some ground beef. Lean is better, because who needs a lot of fat? Squish it into a patty a little larger than the diameter of the bun. Press it thinner than you'd think you ought, because it will pull in on the sides, and when I was first starting out I ended up with some nearly spherical burger patties!

Fry it in a pan, adding garlic and/or any other spices you like. Not salt; this can cause the burger to turn out dry. Turn once after a minute or two, depending on how well done you like it, and press it down with the spatula. Then drain the meat on paper towels. This removes fat and keeps the burgers from getting soggy in the box.

When you assemble the burger, put a leaf of lettuce above and below the meat to make sure it doesn't get the bread soggy. Top with sliced pickle (pressed between paper towels for the same reason as the meat), American cheese, and whatever else you feel like. Sauces like ketchup or BBQ sauce should be added when you're ready to eat.

One variation I recommend is adding chopped-up water chestnuts to the raw beef. They add a pleasant crunch to the texture. Yeah, it sounds weird, but I like it.

Another fun variation is the ham burger. Just use ground pork instead of ground beef.