I mean really, is there much better? You know the answer! YES, it’d be better if we were eating crappy food with no negative effects on our bodies and also watching chick flicks.
But we can’t have everything, can we?
This, though, is NEARLY everything. Teriyaki sliders that are done start to finish in 30 minutes, maybe less. SERIOUSLY. The sauce is straight from Keiko Hayashi’s Simple and Delicious Japanese Cooking, and the sliders are LEGIT. The sauce is super simple and flavorful, and then we dunk burgers in it! Like good Americans!
Let’s do this.
First, we’re gonna start the sauce. You can do this in advance, but you don’t need to. You’ll need soy sauce, sugar, white wine or sake, and mirin. Measurements are below! Here’s the key: we make the teriyaki in the same pan we cook the sliders, so that they get glazey and sticky and sexy. Is it sexy to be glazed and sticky? Don’t answer that. The mirin is really the only weird-ish ingredient here, and I’m going to say buy it instead of trying to substitute. You just….need the flavor for the teriyaki to taste epic. It’ll set you back $4 or less so…cheaper than 1 dang burger in a restaurant.
Then pour the sauce into a little dish for safekeeping. Taste. Yum. Keep the pan on medium heat and drizzle in some olive oil so the sugar doesn’t burn (unless you’re making the sliders later, then turn the heat off and take the pan off the heat).
Now, burgers! I made the patties while the sauce was cooking. We’re seasoning the meat with two things since the sauce has plenty of flavor and salt. Worcestershire and Sriracha, or any other hot sauce you like.
To a bowl, add the ground beef, Sriracha, and Worcestershire sauce. I didn’t use a ton of Sriracha, just enough for a liiiittle heat and the garlicky flavor it brings. Add as much or as little as you’d like!
Now, form patties slightly larger than the slider buns you’re using (since the meat will cook down a bit), and place them in the skillet you made the sauce with and then oiled. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Sizzle!
The sliders will only cook 3 minutes or so on each side in a hot pan. While they cook, shred some lettuce or cabbage for toppings, and grab some buns. I didn’t toast ‘em or ANYTHING, just burger + iceberg + teriyaki. You can add extra toppings, but they aren’t really needed here.
When the sliders have cooked for 2-4 minutes on the first side, flip one to see if it’s brown – if it is, flip the sliders! If not, let ‘em go for another minute or so to get that nice sear. I’m not a huge fan of rare burgers because there’s a lot higher chance of contamination in the meat (due to the added surface area), and sliders are hard to keep pink in the center because they’re so thin, so I work more on caramelizing the outside than worrying about a pink center on these guys.
As soon as you flip the sliders, add in about 3 tablespoons of the sauce – enough to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Let the burgers cook for 2 minutes in the sauce, then flip them around to really coat – the sauce will bubble and thicken around the burgers. That’s a good thing!
Now we build. Burger, lettuce, bun. Extra teriyaki sauce drizzled over the lettuce if you’d like, or a dot of Sirracha for heat. I tried both, and YES. Do one or both of those things on each slider. You’re welcome for the hard work I do for you.
The flavors here, friends, are GREAT. These are incredibly simple but the sauce (which can be used on anything, btw) is really delicious, and it’s a nice changeup to a normal gameday staple. Make these this weekend and ENJOY.
- For the Teriyaki Sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons sake or dry white wine
- 4 tablespoons mirin
- 8 tablespoons soy sauce
- For the Sliders
- 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups shredded crunchy lettuce such as iceberg
- 16 slider buns
- In a large skillet, combine the sugar, mirin, soy sauce, and wine/sake over medium heat. Stir for 3-5 minutes until the mixture bubbles and the sugar dissolves, then pour the sauce into a dish to reserve and drizzle the olive oil in the pan.
- Meanwhile, combine the beef, Sriracha, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Form into 16 even patties, about 1/2 inch thick, slightly larger in diameter than the slider buns.
- To the teriyaki sauce skillet with the oil, add the sliders a few at a time (you may need to cook a few batches) and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 2-4 minutes, then flip when the burgers are golden on the first side. Once you flip the burgers, add enough teriyaki sauce to the pan to evenly coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Cook the burgers for 2 minutes on the second side, then flip around in the sauce to coat.
- Serve on slider buns topped with lettuce with extra teriyaki sauce or Sriracha, if you'd like.