Beef · Pork

The Onion Burger…a Childhood Favorite

Growing up in an immigrant family in Minnesota, our meals primarily consisted of Vietnamese food. Occasionally we would have an “American” dish that my mom and sisters learned to prepare from our sponsors or friends. Those dishes such as lasagna, sloppy joes, “steak-umms”, and spaghetti bring back such vivid memories for me at that young age as they would be “treats” from our standard Vietnamese fare. But as life would have it, I would gladly trade any of those “American” items to enjoy those old dishes again…..well, with the exception of our lasagna and onion burgers.

Our lasagna recipe is Top Secret–but trust me, it’s darn good. Now our onion burgers, that’s a whole different story. Why? Well, because the recipe is printed on a box—a Lipton Onion Soup Mix Box to be exact.

Ok, ok….we can’t really claim it to be “our” own recipe. But growing up, this is how I knew homemade burgers to taste like. So when we moved to California and I had other homemade burgers, I was underwhelmed. Where’s the seasoning? Where’s that great flavor in the patty? Needless to say, we continued making these onion burgers–with slight tweaks to the boxed recipe.

However, there’s good news for you dear friends. You, too, can get your little hands on this  yummy burger. It’s tasty and super easy to make. Let’s not forget to mention that you’ll have this on the table within a half hour. 30 Minute Meals has nothing on this burger! 🙂

So get those grills (or grill pans) ready because Summertime = Burger Time!


Onion Burgers
Serves 4


1 Pound Ground Beef (80/20 mix)
1 Packet Lipton® Onion Soup Mix (or your preferred brand)
2 Teaspoons Garlic, finely minced
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Liquid Smoke (optional)

Grilled Onions
Crispy Bacon
Provolone Cheese
BBQ Aioli Dressing (combine 3 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce & 2 Tablespoons Mayo)
Ciabatta Rolls (or your choice of bread), toasted

Combine all ingredients for the patty, except the liquid smoke. Divide the mixture into four equal patties. Flatten patties and make a small indentation in the center. This is to help the patties from “puffing up” when they cook. If cooking on a grill, place patties directly on oiled grate and cook approximately 3-5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  If cooking on a stove top with grill pan, heat pan to medium high and cover lightly with cooking spray. Brush each patty with the liquid smoke (optional) and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. *For both methods, place a slice of cheese on top of each patty during the last minute of cooking.

Spread a spoonful of the BBQ Aioli Dressing on the bottom of each toasted roll and place patty on top. Continue adding the remaining accoutrements. Serve with chips and pickle spears.


Appetizers/Small Plates

Awesomely-Blooming Onion Flower

You know that fried onion thingy you can get at various mass chain restaurants in the States? Yup—we made it. 🙂

It was surprisingly easy once you correctly slice the onion. Although true, the BF was in charge of this one— but even he was pleased at its simplicity.

Recommendations for next time:

  1. Try using a Maui onion for a complex onion flavor;
  2. After soaking the onion in chilled ice water, gently use fingers to pry the “petals” open further to get a nice “bloom”;
  3. Gently push the dredging ingredients into the base of the onion or only the tips will be covered;
  4. Perhaps adding cornstarch or a bit of finely ground cornmeal to the dredge would add a crispier exterior to the onion;
  5. Be sure not to fill your fryer/pot with too much oil or it will overflow and that’s just No Bueno;
  6. Roast your own peppers for the dipping sauce. Canned versions just don’t do the aioli justice;
  7. For even more heat, add a few teaspoons of Sriracha Chili Sauce to the mixture.

Overall…we were quite happy with the results. Super easy, crispy—and just darn fulfilling to pull that “onion flower” out of the oil since it looks close to the original.


Slicing the onion…..the BF has got some knife skills 🙂


After the first dredge….


Bubbling away…


Finished Goodness with a Creamy/Spicy Aioli



Awesomely-Blooming Flower Onion
Adapted from



1 Large Onion
1½ Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Cup Buttermilk Mixture (1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt, ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper, ½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper)
Vegetable Oil for frying
Salt and Paprika to finish

Dipping Sauce
½ Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Roasted Peppers
½ Teaspoon Garlic Salt
½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Powder
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all dry ingredients for the onion together.

Onion may be sliced like a blossom by cutting the top ¼ off, the top has the stem. Then peel and be very careful to leave the root intact. Carefully slice from the top of the onion down but stop about ½ inch before you get to the root, taking care not to cut through the root. Slice the rest of the onion like a pie into many servings. When complete, soak onion in cold ice water for 30-45 minutes so the onion’s petals will start to open up and bloom.

Drain onion and dip in flour mixture and dust well. Dip onion then in buttermilk mixture and back in flour mixture. Place in hot oil and fry until golden. Oil should cover onion. When done drain well and place on plate and cut center out of onion so the petals may easily be removed. Garnish with paprika and kosher salt.

Dipping Sauce: Combine all together in a food processor and stream in olive oil.