Asian Barbecue Pork Burgers with Slaw

Asian Barbecue Pork Burgers with Slaw

The coals are sizzling, the margaritas are flowing, and I’m gearing up for a day’s worth of grilling and chilling poolside in my hometown of San Diego this Fourth of July holiday. We’re cooking up hot dogs and brats, and kicking regular cheeseburgers to the curb in favor of Asian Barbecue Pork Burgers topped with quick-fix homemade slaw.

Ground pork subs in for classic shredded pork in this Asian-inspired take on ‘cue that stars Chinese Five Spice Powder and sweet and tangy hoisin. And while I’m all for making your own barbecue sauce, there’s something to be said for doctoring your favorite store-bought version (re: less time cooking = more time lounging).

Pile the patties and slaw atop toasted, barbecue-brushed buns, and don’t forget the ultimate celebratory grand finale: Patriotic Pavlova with Watermelon Stars. Who needs fireworks when you’re dishing out such a star-studded caloric lineup?


Purple Cabbage


Asian Barbecue Pork Burgers with Slaw

Asian Barbecue Pork Burgers with Slaw

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Asian Barbecue Pork Burgers with Slaw

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 2 hrs (includes marinating)

Cook Time: 10 min


For Slaw:

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
One (½-pound) wedge purple cabbage, cored and finely shredded
¼ cup chopped scallions (green parts only)

For Burgers:

¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup store-bought barbecue sauce (See Kelly's Notes)
1½ pounds ground pork
2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice Powder
4 buns, halved and toasted


Make Slaw:

In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar and vegetable oil. Add the cabbage and scallions to the bowl and toss thoroughly until well coated. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours.

Make Burgers:

In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin and barbecue sauce. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the pork, Five Spice and 3 tablespoons of the hoisin-barbecue sauce mixture. Mix the ingredients together with your hands and then shape the meat into 4 equal-sized patties.

Heat and lightly oil a grill or grill pan. Cook the burgers on one side for 6 minutes, then flip, brush with the hoisin-barbecue sauce and continue cooking until cooked throughout.

Brush any remaining sauce on cut-side of bun then sandwich patties and coleslaw between buns.

Kelly's Notes:

While any store-bought barbecue sauce will work, hoisin's sweeter flavor is balanced out best by a slightly tangier barbecue sauce.

The less you condense the meat while making the patties, the better. Compact, dense patties means tougher burgers.

Hoisin sauce is considered a "dry" ingredient and should be measured as such. As a general rule, any ingredient that can be leveled off (i.e. sour cream, honey, ketchup, etc.) should be measured in a dry measuring cup.

Burger recipe inspired by Gourmet.


  1. 2

    Alissa says

    Think these would be good substituting the pork for ground turkey meat?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — July 6th, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

      Hi Alissa! Yes, you could absolutely sub ground turkey (or even ground chicken) for the pork. Enjoy!

  2. 5

    Nancy says

    THese sound AWESOME! I was wondering, what is your favorite brand of Chinese fve spice? I know I have tried different spice mixes before, and have not been happy with them (to much of this or that in it-like in an “Italian spice mix) So if you have a favorite, I’d love to hear what it is!!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — July 30th, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

      Thanks Nancy! Truth be told, my all-time favorite Asian spice blend is McCormick’s Gourmet Collection Far East Sesame Ginger Blend. It’s available in most major grocery stores, but here’s a link online:

      I use it on chicken, pork, beef – you name it! It’s awesome in these burgers, and also on chicken wings. Enjoy!

  3. 6

    Nancy says

    Thanks for the quick reply! So, (stupid question) is that what you would use as the “five spice” called for in this recipe? I just put it on my shopping list for tomorrow! Thanks!!
    BTW-I recently found you through pinterest, I love your blog!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — July 30th, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

      Not a stupid question at all! Yes, sub in the McCormick’s for the five-spice (all that matters is that you somehow season the meat, as pork – much like chicken – needs all the flavor it can get). And welcome to Just a Taste!

  4. 7

    Kate says

    Have made this slaw quite a bit. I serve it with the honey balsamic pork in wraps. I’m currently preparing a bunch of freezer meals for when baby no.2 arrives. Do you reckon I could freeze the slaw without the dressing on it or would it turn out soggy when defrosted?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 29th, 2015 @ 11:03 am

      So glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Kate! I have never tried freezing it, so I can’t say with certainty what the texture would be like after defrosting it.

  5. 8

    Janet says

    Kelly, Thank you for the wonderful recipes. I cannot wait to try them all.

    Is there a bbq sauce that you recommend for this recipe?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — August 30th, 2015 @ 11:29 am

      Thanks, Janet! I like Sweet Baby Ray’s :)


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