A Brilliant Burger and Other Inspired Recipes

Amanda M. Rye

When I was picking out this week’s recipes for you, I was dreaming of Memorial Day weekend gatherings and the days that follow, that first big summer-vibe weekend of the year. (By the way, our Food staff’s favorite recipes for the season are right here in this amazing feature.)

But then I noticed that the recipes below have something else in common: inspiration drawn from wide-ranging sources, some slightly tweaked and others reimagined to become something equally delicious. Kay Chun’s savory-sweet Korean barbecue-based burger is a superb example. Tell me what you’re cooking! I’m [email protected].

P.S. A reader wrote to tell me that she walked into the kitchen and found her daughters making pancakes, a well-loved copy of Eric Carle’s book “Pancakes, Pancakes!” on the table. My heart burst. Carle died this week, at 91, and his illustrations in the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” will sing out to anyone who loves one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake and one slice of watermelon.

1. Korean Cheeseburgers With Sesame-Cucumber Pickles

I hardly eat beef anymore, and I just about never cook with it. But a few times a year, the thing I want for dinner is a salty, juicy burger. And now the brilliant Kay Chun drives up with this recipe, which brings the flavors of Korean barbecue to the burger format. If beef is a hard no but you’re still intrigued, you could make this with plant-based meat, or try ground turkey. She broils the patties in the oven, but you could grill them (or cook them in a cast-iron pan on the grill).

2. Ginger-Lime Chicken

Ali Slagle uses a trick that J. Kenji López-Alt has written about to get brash flavor on this chicken: using mayo in the marinade, which helps the grated ginger and lime adhere to the meat and also encourages browning. No, you don’t taste the mayo. This is another recipe you could cook indoors (in a skillet or grill pan) or outdoors (on the grill itself), making it great for a Memorial Day weekend meal or, you know, a Wednesday.

View this recipe.


3. Salmon and Couscous Salad With Cucumber-Feta Dressing

Yasmin Fahr draws inspiration from both green goddess dressing and the Persian side dish mast-o khiar for the dressing in this gorgeous dinner salad, stirring together thick yogurt, feta and Persian cucumbers to toss with flaked salmon and couscous. Keep an eye on the cook time for the salmon: You may need far less, depending on the thickness of your fillets, and you don’t want the fish to dry out.

4. Salad Pizza With White Beans and Parmesan

A complete meal in pizza form, this dish is inspired by one served at California Pizza Kitchen, the American restaurant chain found in malls across the land. Ali Slagle bakes Parmesan onto the dough, which forms a crispy base for a pile of arugula and white beans. You could make the dough, but it’s totally fine to buy it.

View this recipe.


5. Yo Po Mian

The name of this staple from the Shaanxi Province in China means “oil-sprinkled noodles”: Noodles and greens are topped with garlic and chiles, and then hot oil is poured over the top. Hetty McKinnon’s version uses dried wide noodles, rather than fresh hand-torn noodles, for an enormously flavorful meal you can pull together in about 25 minutes.

View this recipe.

Summer, summer, summertime! Like what you see? You can subscribe to New York Times Cooking for full access to our database of recipes. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, or follow me on Instagram. Previous newsletters are here. If you need help with your New York Times Cooking account, [email protected].

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