Saigon Bistro Burger Extraordinaire

FH Browne


This is a tribute to Bahn Mi sandwiches I enjoyed on a visit to Saigon while working on a book about Asian cuisine. The chef let me watch her make it, and while I've changed a few things, this is pretty much what I had there. The Hawaiian sweet bun is my own idea. This takes a while to put all the steps together, but is well worth the time and effort. In case you don't want to shell out big bucks for the foie gras you can buy a pork loaf (sort of like a poor man's paté) at most Asian grocery stores which works perfectly well.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

1 Hr
20 Min



  • 3/4 lb
    freshly ground beef
  • 1 lb
    freshly ground pork shoulder
  • 1/4 lb
    finely minced raw shrimp
  • 4 slice
    (1/4-inch thick) foie gras

  • 2 c
    nuoc mam (fish sauce)
  • 1 1/4 c
    brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 c
    + 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, separated
  • 1 tsp
    pureed fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp
    garlic cloves, pureed
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 c
    thai yellow curry paste
  • 2 stalk(s)
    lemongrass, finely julienned
  • 1 medium
    shallot, finely minced
  • 3 sprig(s)
    fresh mint leaves, chopped, no stems
  • 3 sprig(s)
    fresh basil leaves, chopped, no stems

  • 1/3 c
    white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp
    nuoc mam
  • 2 Tbsp
    very hot water
  • 1 c
    mayonnaise (prefer olive oil base)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp
    mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp
    pureed ginger root
  • 1 tsp
    asian hot sauce, prefer sriracha
  • 3/4 tsp

  • 1 c
    white sugar
  • 1/4 c
    boiling water
  • 1 c
    nuoc mam
  • 1/2 c
    rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp
    pureed garlic
  • small
    thai red chile (optional)

  • 4
    hawaiian sweet hamburger buns
  • 8
    lettuce leaves
  • 1/3 c
    finely julienned or very thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/3 c
    finely julienned or very thinly sliced daikon
  • 1/8 c
    fresh cilantro (or italian parsley) leaves

How to Make Saigon Bistro Burger Extraordinaire


  1. For the BURGERS: In a medium bowl, combine the pork, beef and shrimp. Mix with your hands gently (don’t handle too much) and form into four 8-ounce burger patties, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Let foie gras come to room temperature, cover and set aside.
  2. For the BASTE: In a large bowl, whisk the fish sauce, hot water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lime juice, ginger, garlic, turmeric, curry paste, and whisk to break up paste. Then add the lemongrass, shallots, mint and basil and mix well.
  3. For the Vietnamese MAYO: Combine the sugar, nuoc mam, hot water, and lime juice and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Then add the mayo, curry powder, ginger, Sriracha and turmeric and whisk until smooth. Set aside and chill
  4. For the DIPPING SAUCE: In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar and hot water until dissolved. Add the fish sauce, vinegar, garlic and chile and mix well. Set aside and keep room temperature.
  5. Preheat a grill to 300˚F to 350˚F (medium to medium-high heat) for direct and indirect heating.
  6. Generously brush both sides of the burgers with the marinade, then grill to desired doneness (suggest medium rare). During the grilling process, brush the burgers several times on each side with the marinade so that the sugar helps form a nice crust on the burgers. Grill about 2 minutes over the heated side of the grill, 3-4 minutes on the unheated side.
  7. Brush the foie gras slices with the marinade, then grill about 1 minute per side over direct heat. While slices are cooking lightly butter and toast the Hawaiian buns, buttered side down.
  8. Place a burger on the bottom of each bun followed by a slice of the foie gras. Add 1-2 teaspoons of the mayo, and then some of the carrots and daikon, and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves. Finish with the lettuce and the top bun. Make all four burgers and serve with the nuoc mam on the side as a dipping sauce.

Printable Recipe Card

About Saigon Bistro Burger Extraordinaire

Course/Dish: Beef, Pork, Burgers
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Vietnamese
Dietary Needs: Dairy Free, Soy Free
Other Tag: Heirloom

Leave a Comment

Blue Ribbon Chili Recipes

Blue Ribbon Chili Recipes

Kitchen Crew

Whether I'm preparing a meal for game day or I'm looking to put a comforting dinner on the table, when the weather gets cooler I start making batches of chili....

7 Easy Prime Rib And Roast Beef Recipes

7 Easy Prime Rib and Roast Beef Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

There’s just something about having prime rib or roast beef for Christmas dinner. Many are intimidated to make these expensive cuts at home, but y’all - no joke, these recipes...

Prime Rib Roast Au Jus Perfect Every Time! No Fail Recipe

Prime Rib Roast Au Jus Perfect Every Time! No Fail

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

This no fail prime rib recipe is so easy and comes out perfect every time! Plus, with a side of au jus, this is an easy Christmas dinner anyone can...