The sweet, savoury, umami punch of gochujang makes these burgers taste even beefier, while the cheesy melting middles add an extra surprise.
1. In a bowl, mix together the mince, gochujang and pepper with a large pinch of salt until evenly combined. Shape into eight even balls and put on a tray. Tip the grated cheese onto a plate and gently shape it into four rough patties. Take one of the mince balls and gently press it into a flat patty that’s roughly 1cm thick (you also want it to be slightly bigger than the base of the buns, as it will shrink when cooked). Put one of the cheese patties into the centre, then return to the tray. Press a second ball of mince into a patty, put this on the cheese-topped patty, and gently press the edges together to enclose the cheese. Shape into a neat patty, return to the tray and repeat with the remaining balls of mince and cheese patties to make four cheese-filled burgers. Chill until needed.
2. Toss the lettuce with the sesame oil, rice vinegar and some seasoning. Mix the kimchi with the mayo and season lightly.
3. Light the barbecue or heat a frying or griddle pan over a medium-high heat – you don’t want it too hot, as the gochujang can burn. Lightly brush each burger with oil and season well. Cook on the grill or in the pan for 3 minutes on each side. Move to a slightly cooler part of the barbecue, or cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down. Cook for 1 minute more until the burgers are completely cooked through.
4. To assemble, spread some of the kimchi mayo onto the bases of the buns, top with a tomato slice, burger, some kimchi (if you like) and a few of the dressed lettuce leaves. Spread the tops of the buns with more of the kimchi mayo, then add the crispy shallots and top the burgers.