Tired Of Basic Burgers? One Fishy Ingredient Will Save The Day

two burgers
two burgers - VasiliyBudarin/Shutterstock

Do your burgers keep ending up dry and a bit bland, despite your best efforts? While hamburgers seem simple enough to cook, they can be difficult to master, and the last thing you want is to disappoint the guests at your next cookout. If your burgers are in need of a bit of flavor boost, you should consider turning to the ocean for inspiration. We're talking about fish sauce, of course.

Before you wrinkle your nose, hear us out. Made from fermented anchovies and salt, fish sauce may just be the surf and turf that will save your patties. This umami powerhouse is popular in many Asian cuisines, and often makes appearances in Vietnamese dishes or Thai dishes like pad Thai. Using fish sauce to season your burgers is incredibly easy. All you have to do is mix in around a tablespoon of fish sauce into the hamburger meat. From there, mix up the ground beef and form it into patties. A little bit of fish sauce goes a long way — it has a strong potency, and you want to avoid overpowering the flavor of your beef.

Fish sauce is actually a bit of a well-known enhancer for beef. Here's why the ingredient makes more sense than it appears.

Read more: 14 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking Burgers

Why Fish Sauce Should Be Your Go-To For Burgers

fish sauce in bucket
fish sauce in bucket - Bloomberg/Getty Images

Fish sauce has been used in everything from chicken to salads to give foods boost of flavor. Within certain Vietnamese families, this salty liquid has long been the default when it comes to enhancing the flavor of beef. Fish sauce abides by the tenets of umami, which is essentially a term for pure savory flavor. Beef does too, which is why fish sauce compliments beef well, even though they have different flavor profiles. With beef in particular, the savory, hearty meat goes well with the salty and slightly sweet nature of fish sauce.

At first glance, you may believe that fish sauce would just make your meat fishier. However, fish sauce actually adds depth and complexity to your meat without overwhelming the dish. Sure, you could go with Worcestershire sauce as a marinade, but that sauce may leave your burgers with a slightly tart or sour taste, whereas fish sauce boosts the meat's own natural savoriness.

More and more, people are beginning to understand the power of fish sauce in the world of beef. One just has to look to the California-based Umami Burger to see that the concept has already taken off.

Read the original article on Mashed.