Kimchi ‘Bella Burgers

This post has been at least a year in the making. Last summer, I made some Asian-inspired portobella mushroom burgers for a friend and he told me they were the best burgers he’d ever tasted! I’ve since then made the recipe several times, tweaking things and adding different toppings.

This year, I’m participating in #VeganMofo for the first time! I’m mostly posting quick micro-blogs on Instagram, because grad school is my #1 priority at the moment. My life since last week: studying + studio all day every day (with breaks for food *photography* + quick runs to the gym). However, Vegan Mofo’s theme for Day 5, “best sandwich ever,” prompted me to create an entire blog post dedicated to this beautiful burger. 🙂

Burgers are sandwiches, right? 😉 I stepped up my game this time with double the ‘bellas, a creamy avocado basil sauce, and delectable caramelized kimchi (inspired by this dish made by ELY of Buzzfeed). This may be the best reincarnation of this burger yet! 

Kimchi 'Bella Burgers |

Kimchi Portobella Burgers
(makes 2 – 4 servings, depending on if you double up the ‘bellas or not)

Total time (to make burgers + fixings): ~1 hour

  • 4 large portabella mushrooms
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 T low sodium tamari/ liquid aminos
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Lemon pepper
  • Lime juice (to serve)
  • Green onions
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Greens (I used a supergreens mix of baby spinach + mizuna)
  • Avocado basil sauce (recipe below)
  • Caramelized kimchi (recipe below)


  1. Clean the mushrooms by wiping them down with a damp towel. Remove the stems if they are tough.
  2. Combine all the ingredients (except garlic, lemon pepper and lime) in a bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. I used my toaster oven! ^.^
  4. Cut shallow X’s on the top of the mushroom caps. It helps
    the sauce soak in more!
  5. Rub the marinade all over the mushrooms and let them sit in a shallow pan for about 15 minutes. While I was waiting, I prepared the caramelized kimchi (recipe below).
  6. Place the mushrooms in a baking pan or on a baking sheet, with stems facing down.
  7. Pour the leftover marinade evenly onto the mushrooms. Sprinkle them with lemon pepper and the minced garlic.
  8. Bake the mushrooms at 350 degrees F for about 40-50 minutes. Halfway through, turn them over and sprinkle with lemon pepper before continuing. While the mushrooms are baking, prepare the avocado basil sauce (recipe below).
  9. Once the mushrooms are done, squeeze some lime juice on them before placing them on your favorite burger buns. Layer on toppings—greens, caramelized kimchi, red onions, avocado basil sauce, green onions, and roasted sesame seeds! I like to cut my burgers in half so that they’re easier to handle (and also more photogenic, of course).

Caramelized Kimchi

For this, you’ll need about 2 cups of kimchi (cut into bite-size pieces, more or less) and some sesame oil. Currently, my preferred brand is Ozuke, but if you want to DIY, here‘s a vegan kimchi recipe by Serious Eats.

In a nonstick pan on medium-high heat, sauté the kimchi in sesame oil until the pieces start to get shiny and brown, about 5 minutes. Then, pile it on with your other burger toppings! 🙂

Kimchi 'Bella Burgers |

Avocado Basil Drizzle
(makes about 1.5 cups)

In a food processor, combine the following (adjust water and seasonings to your liking):

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil (packed!)
  • 3 cloves garlic (about 1 T minced garlic)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper

Drizzle on burgers as desired!

These burgers were soooo good. I hope you make these and enjoy every last messy bite!

I was so in love with these I had to take a few more photos…much to my hungry sister’s disappointment. She modeled the burger gorgeously with her hands though, don’t you think?

Kimchi 'Bella Burgers |

Kimchi 'Bella Burgers |

I’m on a mini vacation (24 hours) in Austin right now, but I’m about to head back to UT Arlington so I can hit the books again…hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!!

I hope to post some back-to-school recipes and recipes inspired by my recent travels soon! Also if you’re interested in seeing my daily #VeganMofo posts this month, check out my Instagram. I love browsing #veganmofo on Insta–people can be so creative!

vegan mofo

11 thoughts on “Kimchi ‘Bella Burgers

      • elle says:

        Oh, I absolutely plan on trying this out! I don’t think it will turn out as pretty though haha.
        There are these purple rice steamed buns at the local Chinese grocers that I’ve tried making an Asian style burger with once before. It’s been a little while, but now I think I have an excuse to buy some more of those 😀

      • missannmai | says:

        Yay!! It will be pretty for sure–all those colors just come out beautifully. haha. 🙂
        And OMG that sounds like a great plan!!! That would be absolutely gorgeous, especially with the redness of the kimchi!! I would love to see pics if you do it! I love steamed buns…I’ve been working on a steamed bun recipe inspired by a dish I had in Portland a few months ago. 🙂 hehe

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