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The Best Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger Recipe

Cooking dishes from Hawaii is our way of life—though living 3000 miles away from home, we bring with us our culture and style of cooking.

Rice, teri-burger, garlic broccoli... ono.

Rice, teri-burger, garlic broccoli... ono.

This One Is Ono!!

This is such a quick and easy dish to make, but it tastes as if it was a lot more complicated. The sauce that you will be using is very similar to most teriyaki marinates. There are many variations but most teriyaki marinates contain sugar and shoyu (soy sauce). A note about shoyu—there are so many different types of shoyu. In Hawaii, there are two primary types of shoyu; Aloha and Kikkoman Shoyu. Aloha is sweet, and Kikkoman is on the salty side. Most people understand this and use the appropriate shoyu to cook with for their dish.

Our family and friends love this recipe. If you're away from Hawaii, this dish will bring you just a little closer to home. Serve it on a hamburger bun, on a plate of rice or your favorite starches. I hope you'll keep this one in your recipe file. Ahui hou. Peace. Kawi.

Island Foods

When considering what shoyu (soy-sauce) to use, remember one thing;  Aloha shoyu sweet, Kikoman  shoyu salty.

When considering what shoyu (soy-sauce) to use, remember one thing; Aloha shoyu sweet, Kikoman shoyu salty.

Hawaii's Favorite Aloha Shoyu Soy Sauce

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

45 min

1 hour

4lbs serves 8 or 4 Polynesian kids


  • 4 lbs ground hamburger
  • To taste green onions, chopped
  • 1 Lg onion yellow, diced
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups aloha shoyu
  • 1 Tbsp—to taste sesame seed oil, careful, not too much
  • 1-1/2 cup water
  • To taste garlic, minced
  • To taste ginger sliced or grated, paste okay too

Easy Step-by-Step with Pics

  1. Place hamburger into a bowl, and add green onions and diced onions. Lomi (massage) onions into the hamburger until onions are mixed evenly throughout the burger.
  2. Place Shoyu and water in a sauce pan and warm (not cook). Slowly add sugar stirring throughout the process until sugar is melted. Add Sesame seed oil, garlic and finally the ginger. Continue warming and stirring sauce until all sugar melts, and the ginger aroma comes out of the sauce.
  3. When the sauce cools just a bit, pour into the bowl with hamburger mix. Continue to fold the hamburger into the sauce until the sauce spreads throughout the hamburger.
  4. Crack the bottle, and start making patties. You can grill the burgers, or simply fry in a pan. With the shoyu and brown sugar, you'll notice that there will be a lot of brown sugar carmelizing.
  5. Some helpful hints: If you grill the burgers, you can lay some foil on the grill to save any break-offs. You can free form burgers by hand, on a plate or with the help of wax paper. It's a bit messy but most things that are messy taste great. Lol.

Are you Akamai (Smart) in Hawaiiana?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Delishably

  1. What Hawaiian word means hello and good-bye?
    • Aloha
    • Wahine
  2. What does the Hawaiian expression Ahui Hou mean?
    • I love you
    • Till we meet again
  3. Hele On means
    • To go or leave or move on
    • Hot molten lava
  4. What time is Hawaiian time?
    • 30 mins to 1 day later
    • 10 to 15 minutes
    • 15 to 30 minutes

Answer Key

  1. Aloha
  2. Till we meet again
  3. To go or leave or move on
  4. 30 mins to 1 day later

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: Auwe. Better luck next time.

If you got 2 correct answers: Auwe. Better luck next time.

If you got 3 correct answers: Not bad, Imua!

If you got 4 correct answers: No ka oi! The Best!

Questions & Answers

Question: Wat do ahuihou and malama pono mean in Hawaiian?

Answer: Ahuihou loosely translated means 'until next time', and malama pono means 'take care'.

© 2012 Kawika Chann

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