I keep circling back to the Vegas restaurant scene, probably because it was my playground for many years, but the global eats offered in Sin City are some of the finest in the world. Elite chef’s and restauranteurs haven’t hesitated opening establishments on and off the Strip, their calling cards creating phenomenal offerings for shrewd local foodies, gourmands and first-time visitors.

Most of the overactive Vegas eaters shy away from the strip, especially on their days off avoiding the daily tourist insanity.  However, if you are considering visiting Sin City and want a mind-blowing burger experience, you have to include Fuku burger as a must-try joint in your destination. It’s off the strip in Chinatown, but seriously worth a $12 cab ride, because these are the Umami of Burgers.  Their creations are not only a one-off and award winning but once you’ve sampled their food, you’ll go back to try everything on their menu, guaranteed.


1 LB of shitake mushrooms – sliced

1 LB of aged sirloin – ground by the butcher

4 potato buns – toasted

1 TSP togarashi spice


8 oz of ginger root – peeled and cut into chunks

1 ½ TSP Kosher salt

1 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup of sugar

Place the ginger in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar and let it stand for about 45 minutes.  Add the ginger into a mason jar.

In a small saucepan add the sugar and vinegar and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  Allow it to cool.  Pour the cooled liquid over the ginger and close tightly with the lid. Place in the refrigerator for at least a week.  The liquid will turn to a pinkish color and that is due to the reaction of the ginger and vinegar.  When ready to use, slice pieces of ginger into matchsticks or thin slices.


1 TBSP Sake

1 TBSP soy sauce

1 TBSP Mirin

1 TBSP sugar

½ TBSP each of sesame oil and yuzu

Pinch of garlic powder and onions powder


1 TBSP Mirin

1 TBSP Sake

¼ cup of soy sauce

3 TBSP sugar

1 TSP cornstarch


1 cup of homemade mayo

½ TSP Wasabi powered

1 TBSP soy sauce

½ TSP ketchup

Whisk the ingredients of the marinade together.  Form the patties, massage the marinade into the patties and place them in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

Mix the ingredients for the Wasabi mayo and set aside.  For the teriyaki, place the mirin and sake in a small saucepan and allow them to reduce by half.  Add soy sauce and sugar and whisk to emulsify.  Take about 1 TSP of cold water and dissolve the cornstarch then add it to the pan and whisk to thicken.  Set aside to cool.

Heat up some sunflower oil in a skillet and start sweating the mushrooms for about 5 minutes – add about 1 TBSP of the teriyaki sauce, some kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes till soft.

Heat up some sunflower oil in a cast-iron skillet and cook the patties for about 3 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Spread a bit of butter on the sliced buns and place them over the griddle to toast.

To assemble the burger, place the patty on the bottom bun, add the sautéed shitakes, the pickled ginger and drizzle the wasabi mayo on top and finish with a sprinkling of togarashi. If desired can top with some crunchy fried shallots.


Togarashi is Japanese a spice blend containing seaweed, ginger, orange zest, sesame seeds and chili powder.  It’s sometimes called ichimiand typically a fine sprinkling is placed on the top of many dishes as a finishing spice.  It’s a very welcome addition for any pantry, as it’s great on many dishes not only Asian inspired – burgers, pizza, sandwiches and sauces – it might even substitute your use of red pepper flakes.

If you don’t have time to invest in pickling your ginger, its easily available for purchase in the Asian section at most supermarkets.

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Pantry Rat