Curry Pork Burgers with Spicy Ketchup

Curry ketchup is a street food condiment I was introduced to on the streets of Bad Kreuznach, Germany. It's not as thick as what we're familiar with in the U.S., is a bit sweeter, and has a nice undertone of curry. I squirted it on bratwurst and French fries at the stands there called schnell imbiss, which translates as "fast food." Even at ten years old, I found the flavor combination of curry and ketchup pretty interesting. I now order bottles online and sometimes even make my own version. I love the marriage of the two flavors that complement each other like they are staring across the center of a color wheel. I've taken that contrasting flavor inspiration and put the curry in the burger, then topped it with an easy-to-make, spicy ketchup. Even the "only salt and pepper go in my burger" purists have tried this version and loved it. Makes 6
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

For the patties:

2 1/2 pounds ground pork, crumbled

2 teaspoons ground coriander 

2 teaspoons yellow curry powder 

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

3 scallions, finely chopped (white and green parts) 

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper 

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking the burgers

For the spicy ketchup:

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, grated on a rasp or finely minced 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

1 cup ketchup 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1 scallion, finely chopped (white and green parts) 

For the burgers:

6 potato hamburger buns

1 head Boston, Bibb, or other butter lettuce 

2 Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise 

Directions

  1. Season the pork. In a large bowl gently combine the pork, coriander, curry powder, Worcestershire, cayenne pepper, scallions, garlic, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Make 4 to 6 even patties. If refrigerating, allow to come to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Make the spicy ketchup. In a small saucepan over low heat, lightly cook the red pepper flakes and garlic in butter until tender and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, cayenne pepper and scallion. Cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature. 
  3. Cook the burgers. Preheat the oven to 175 to 200 degrees F. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and coat with oil. Sear the patties until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. When you flip the burgers, put the buns in the oven to toast. Cook the burgers in batches, if necessary. 
  4. Assemble the burgers. Place a burger on each bun and top with lettuce, tomato, and a generous squirt of the spicy ketchup. 

Cook’s Note

In a large straight-sided pan, cook the seasoned ground pork with a bit of oil, then add 1/2 pound of your favorite cooked pasta, a spoonful or two of the pasta water, and a sprinkle of your favorite cheese and stir to combine for a one-pot meal.