Charcoal Pork Burger

I had wanted to make the Charcoal Burger Buns for a while, made famous initially by the Darth Vader Burger in France (though I’m not sure if they had used Charcoal powder or just food colouring but it was love at first sight), and then more recently by our very own successful myBurgerLab. Well, you know my obsession with black food already, from my previous Black Pizza post. Choosing to go with pork because it’s my favourite item in Sid’s Pubs and I’d just like to replicate at home and outdo them (sorry Frank).

Many have asked me where I got my charcoal powder: My mum got it from Bintulu. I’ve checked Baking with Yen in Taman Megah and they unfortunately do not stock it (Edit: the one at Puchong does!). I heard you can get them in Daiso, and this place called HOI (House of Ingredients) in Sri Damansara, Kepong too. Now go forth and make black buns or pizzas!

MMmmm. Sexy!
MMmmm. Sexy!

I’ve used the same recipe for the Brioche Burger Buns that I made for my Beef Burgers last time (mmm those were awesome!) with some changes. Firstly, the addition of charcoal powder. I’ve also swapped half the flour to wholemeal. This time I didn’t use sesame seeds because I want the buns to stay completely black (perhaps I could get some black sesame seeds next time). The toppings are pretty classic too as I thought I’d save the experimental stuff to next time.

Charcoal Wholemeal Brioche Burger Bun (Adapted from Comme ร‡a restaurant in Los Angeles, via the New York Times)

Makes 6 burger buns

3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 cup Bread flour
1 cup Wholemeal Flour
1 teaspoon Bamboo Charcoal Powder
1 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.

In a large bowl, whisk flours and bamboo charcoal powder with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 6 equal parts (each should be roughly 100g). Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours.

Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Brush some melted butter on the buns. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Black Beauties?
Black Beauties?

Pork Patties:

400g Minced Pork (I’ve gone with the leaner stuff, the liquid in this recipe kept the patties moist)
Half a medium onion, diced
3 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons HP sauce (or Worchestershire Sauce)
3-4 stalks Spring Onion, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 egg, whisked
1 tablespoon Wasabi (or Mustard if you prefer)
1 teaspoon Ground cumin
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
salt and black pepper, to taste


Butterhead lettuce, hand torn
Tomato slices
Onions, lightly caramelised
Sliced Beetroot

Prepare all your ingredients before you begin. Place the pork patties ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with your hands or a spatula until evenly combined. Divide the mixture into 5-6 equal portions (I weighed out about 120g each). Shape each portion with your hands into a patty. Dent the middle part so the patties will actually cook ‘flat’.

Place the patties onto a tray lined with- greaseproof paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest. Chilling the patties will help them hold together when cooked.

Cook the patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through. In the last couple of minutes, Place the cheddar slices on top of the patties.

Meanwhile, butter the burger buns (I only butter the top part) then place them cut-side down on a hot pan for 1 minute. Or go without butter and just lightly toast.

In steps.
In steps. (But I forgot the ketchup initially)

To serve, top the bottom halves of the buns with tomato and lettuce, place the patties (and cheese), squeeze some ketchup on top then finish with onions, and beetroot. Close with the top buns.


Don’t you just love the brilliant colours? Of course, you can choose to use any toppings. Blue cheese, why not? Or go more Malaysian by adding Sambal. I think Pineapple would be really lovely too. You can also make it extra porky by adding bacon. Yummo.

Let’s take another look!

Could just fit in my mouth, can never be too ambitious with burgers or risk using Knife and Fork.
Could just fit in my mouth, can never be too ambitious with burgers or risk using Knife and Fork.

The Pork patty was juicy just the right thickness for me, I like how the beetroot gave it a much needed sweet and tartness. You can just taste the pungent Wasabi in the patty, I’d probably add more next time or just mix some mustard in. How about the buns? Well they are definitely buttery, while remaining soft and fluffy. Using wholemeal flour adds a somewhat nutty flavour with some textural contrast. Unfortunately Frank is not a huge fan of pork so I made him vegetarian version, and he was very happy with that (he’s such a cheap date, isn’t he?).

So what are your favourite burger ‘toppings’? Do you stick to classic flavours (nothing wrong with that at all, they are after all tried and tasted recipes for many years) or are you a sucker for unusual flavours?

32 Comments Add yours

  1. theragingcook says:

    This looks absolutely fantastic!!!! I love staring at the colourful combination of pork, charcoal bun and the bright salad!!!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Heheh yeah I love eating colourful food! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Eunice says:

    Hey, you can find it at Bake With Yen , Puteri, just went there ytd with my mom, saw a bunch of it… and it’s a whopping RM19.00 per bottle.. gosh, the price has gone up to twice the original price I bought months ago… guess it’s highly in demand…

    By the way, you really made me wanna chomp on the screen la.. your burger looks absolutely delicious!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Oh thanks! We went to the one in Taman Megah and they didn’t have it. RM19 is quite pricey, though a little bit goes a long way. ๐Ÿ˜› That bottle will last quite a few bakes! Maybe myburgerlab is swallowing up all the supplies. lol..

      Thanks! I think it’s the attractive colours that make the burger look extra tasty. Some might not like the black colour though. It scares them. Haha!

  3. suituapui says:

    Ah!!! Beetroot! I like! Like those I had in NZ… They all had beet root in them. Yummmmm!!!!!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yeah! I love having beetroot in my burger. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Wow these look SO damn good and I had no idea that you could actually buy charcoal powder and make these black looking burger buns at home ๐Ÿ™‚ So have you thought of opening a cafe!!! Everything you make looks great~

    1. kellysiew says:

      Haha I don’t think I’ll have time to do anything else if I operate a cafe, maybe in a few years time when I ‘retire’. ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. Chef and Sommelier says:

    Hi Kelly! This reminds me of the Kuro Burger from Burger King in Japan.

    Lovely colour combination! This gets my thumbs up?

    1. kellysiew says:

      Just googled it, it even has black ketchup, flavoured by squid ink! *swoon* I haven’t been able to find squid ink here yet.

  6. Very special charcoal burger,it look really attractive with all the the way, I still not yet receive your email, maybe it went to spam emails. Anyway , I wil pick up the details from your blog and updated in the next round up .. Thanks for your entry.

    1. kellysiew says:

      How weird, must have gone into spam!

  7. Poh Huai Bin says:

    I love your burger Kelly! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Beetroot in burgers is something I haven’t seen since my days in Australia. I love the charcoal buns.

    Black beauties indeed!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Fat boys does a nice Bushtucker burger (obviously inspired by Oz) with beetroot, I liked it. ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thanks for visiting!

      1. Poh Huai Bin says:

        Nice! I’ll look out for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Hey, I didn’t know you’re from Sarawak too. Happy CNY!

      2. kellysiew says:

        Hehe yeah happy CNY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. great color combo for the burger! the contrast between the black and the vibrant vegetable hues is really eye-catching and pretty dynamic ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yeah and we eat with our eyes! The pretty colours help boosting appetite. Hehe

  9. The Yum List says:

    The black buns looks so inviting and any burger with beetroot has my attention. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yeah I love beetroot in my burger! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. KY says:

    this looks positively delicious!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Hehehe it was! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. look the addition of the beetroot.. cos it stands out so gorgeously against the black beauty! Hope when the festive season is over, I can try out this recipe… ๐Ÿ™‚

    my must have in burgers- fried onions or deep fried onion rings (no raw ones pls) and bacon in addition to the norm… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. kellysiew says:

      Ooh onion rings, good one! I think Crayon burgers has one with onion rings in it.

  12. Choi Yen says:

    The beetroot adding a beautiful colour to the burger, nice contrast with the black bun too!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Indeed! I’ve always liked the colour of beetroot. So appetising!

  13. Baby Sumo says:

    Looks great Kelly, and you’ve so cleverly added all the vegetables, cheese etc to make it so colorful ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. kellysiew says:

      Yeah the contrasting colours are actually pretty appetising! Thanks!

  14. ulric says:

    Wonder contrast of colours! I m sure it tastes good too…hehe ๐Ÿ˜›

  15. Lisa says:

    Not only is this pork burger beautiful and vibrant with the added veggies..but I’m in lust with the Charcoal Wholemeal Brioche Burger Buns! I have to try them..AND this burger!

    1. kellysiew says:

      I’m so glad to get a bread master’s approval!

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