Umami Bomb Burger

Fair warning: this is NOT a kid’s menu burger. It’s a sophisticated, flavor-packed, savory, umami experience you won’t forget!

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve absolutely LOVED burgers. I’ve just never been a big hot dog person; I’ll choose a burger over a hot dog every single time. As a self-appointed Burger Guy, I’ve found there are two toppings I love most on a burger: guacamole OR onions, preferably of the caramelized variety. I also absolutely love mushrooms, and wanted to find a way to incorporate them in a burger, too, and thus, the idea for the Umami Bomb Burger was born!

The onions get caramelized with whole grain mustard and balsamic vinegar until they’re sweet-yet-savory, jammy perfection. The mushrooms are sautéed to draw out even more umami flavor, and the addition of blue cheese takes the umami in this burger to true bomb level. I added a creamy mustard spread on top, which adds some welcome tang and acid after all of those intensely savory flavors. Fair warning: this is NOT a kid’s menu burger. It’s a sophisticated, flavor-packed, savory, umami experience you won’t forget!

1. Umami

Umami is the 5th flavor that people can taste that you’ve probably never heard of! You may be more familiar with the first 4: sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is hard to describe, but it’s best to think of it as very, very savory.

2. Onions can become JAM?

Despite what onions taste like when they’re raw, they actually have a very high natural sugar content. If they’re cooked over low heat for a good amount of time, those sugars release, caramelize, and thicken, turning them into onion jam.

3. For the bleu cheese haters…

Bleu cheese has tons of savory, umami flavor, so it was an easy choice for this burger. That said, I understand that it’s a polarizing flavor as far as the cheeses go, so know that this burger will also be delicious with almost any other cheese (goat, gouda, or swiss would be great!), or even no cheese at all.

Umami Bomb Burger

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 625.5 kcal


For the Caramelized Onion Jam

  • 3 medium yellow onions thinly sliced into half moons, about 1 1/4 lbs
  • cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the Burgers

  • 1 ⅓ pound ground protein of choice if using beef, be sure to use a higher fat content like 80/20
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 4 ½ ounces oyster mushrooms stems trimmed, torn into 2 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns

For the Creamy Mustard Spread

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste


For the Caramelized Onion Jam

  • In a medium stainless steel skillet over medium low heat add oil, onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the edges begin to brown. Then, add vinegar, sugar, mustard and pepper and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until a thick, jam consistency has been achieved.
  • To deglaze the pan and help incorporate browned bits, periodically add ¼ cup of water to the pan and stir, gently scraping the bottom. Use up to a cup throughout cooking to help onions cook evenly. Once the mixture is thick enough, remove from heat and transfer to a resealable container. Allow to cool to room temperature, then seal and refrigerate until ready to use. This can be made several days in advance !For the Creamy Mustard Sauce
  • While onions are cooking, make creamy mustard spread. Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Crispy Mushrooms

  • In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, add oil. Once shimmering, add half of mushrooms and cook, undisturbed for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side, cooking for another 3 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate and season with salt. Set aside.

For the Burgers

  • Gently shape ground protein into 4 equal sized patties (⅓ pound each) and place back into the refrigerator. Be sure to season assertively with salt and pepper right before cooking.
  • Heat a large skillet, or grill, on medium high heat. If using a skillet, add oil and once oil is shimmering, add patties, working in batches of two if necessary. Cook patties for 3-4 minutes for medium, adjusting time as needed for temperature preferences. Flip burgers and cook for another 3 minutes for medium. Transfer patties to a plate.

For Serving

  • Spread bottom hamburger buns with onion jam and top buns with creamy mustard sauce. Add burger patty on top of onion jam, followed by crispy mushrooms, bleu cheese and top bun. Serve immediately.
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