It may seem crazy to fix it when it ain’t broken, but I’ve Koreanized burgers and thrown in some pancetta to boot. Since pancetta is pork belly and a beloved cut in Korea, it just seemed to make sense. To me, at least. Sometimes you have to take these risks to come up with something phenomenal.

Pancetta can vary greatly in saltiness. If your pancetta isn’t very salty, sprinkle some extra salt on the patties before cooking. Like most burgers, this one is good with chips, but instead of the typical potato variety, try Lotus Root Chips.



  • 3 small cloves garlic
  • 1 (1 cm/1⁄2 in) knob fresh ginger, peeled
  • 115 g (4 oz) thinly sliced pancetta, roughly chopped and kept cold
  • 1⁄2 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 4 tsp doenjang (Korean soya bean paste)
  • 4 tsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 700 g (11⁄2 lb) minced beef chuck
  • 2 tbsp soda water, chilled
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Sea salt (optional)

To Serve



  1. With the motor running, drop the garlic and ginger into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the pancetta and pulse until finely chopped. Add the onion, chilli flakes, soya bean paste, chilli paste, sugar and pepper, and process until fairly smooth. Set the pancetta mixture aside.
  2. Crumble the beef into a large bowl. Add the soda water, sesame seeds and pancetta mixture and mix together with your hands, being careful not to overwork the mixture. Form it into four patties, each 2.5 cm (1 in) thick and 10 cm (4 in) wide. Make a depression in the centre of each patty, as burgers tend to rise in the middle during cooking. This will help them come out flat. If not cooking immediately, cover the patties and refrigerate.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Lightly season the burgers with salt, if necessary. Put them in the pan depression-side up and cook for about 7 minutes, flipping halfway through, until browned and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a two-burner griddle/stove-top grill pan or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Spread both sides of the buns with the butter and cook cut-side down for a minute until lightly toasted. If working in batches, toast the bottom buns first. Transfer to individual plates.
  5. Put a burger on each bottom bun and top with lettuce and then the cucumber kimchi. Smear some Korean ketchup and doenjang mayonnaise on the top buns and place on the burgers. Secure with a bamboo skewer or long toothpick, if you like, and serve immediately.

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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageWe made it into the commercial! We have been cooking at Tottenham’s H-Club for a few seasons now thanks to @regionallondonchef.  So fun to bring some Korean flavors to the Spurs VIP club.  COYS! 
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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageVery honored to attend the Korean President’s state dinner. My cousin, Eugene, as my date! 🥰 
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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageWow!  What a busy week! And, now this morning check out my kimchi pancakes recipe on James Martin’s Saturday Morning show. Was so fun hanging with @jossstone @carolvorders @chefronniem @jamesmartinchef and feeding them!  Such a great group with delish food and laughs!  It was National Kimchi Day this week and this savory kimchi pancake recipe is perfect to celebrate Korea’s fave dish. 
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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageHappy 84th birthday daddy!! 

My father was born in 1939 in Chongju, a city in what is now in North Korea. He and his family (8 brothers and sisters) fled south during the war and he grew up as a refugee on Jeju island.  He still remembers asking American soldiers for “bonbons” as a child. Somehow he made it to Seoul National University medical school through hard work and determination. He immigrated to the USA to do his internship and residency and practiced as a psychiatrist, until retiring at 75. 
He raised two daughter (me and my sis!) with my mom and is a source of constant inspiration for us both to this day. At 84 years old he is still super healthy, doesn’t take any medicine (unheard of at his age!) and still going strong in every way. 

I love you daddy so much!  Happy happy birthday!  Xx❤️❤️ I’ll always be your little girl! ❤️❤️

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