Perfectly Purple Burger

Inspired by Filipino flavors, this burger is complete with bun, slaw and cheese — all in a pretty purple hue.


  • For the buns:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cups grated ube (purple yam or sweet potato), steamed and mashed
  • 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • For the cheese:
  • 4 ounces solid mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour or starch
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4-5 drops purple food color
  • For the patties:
  • 1/2 pounds fresh ground pork
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons White vinegar
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • For the slaw:
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 Thai chilis, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Make the buns: In a bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Add to flour while mixing. Then add ube and knead into smooth dough ball. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and gently knead to form a log. Divide into 6 equal portions. Gently roll each portion into a ball, place on individual parchment squares, cover the surface loosely with a clean towel, and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Cook in a steamer for a 15-18 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Make the cheese: In food processor, combine cheese, milk powder, tapioca flour, and salt. In a saucepan, combine butter, wine, and water. Cover and bring it to a boil. Pour the hot liquid over the cheese, a little at a time. Then process for about a minute, and then add food coloring. Continue processing until the cheese has melted and everything is combined well. Pour mixture into a small plastic-lined containter, smooth the top, and cover. Refrigerate until fully set and firm enough to slice.
  3. Make the slaw: combine all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  4. Make the patties: combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  5. To assemble: Slice buns and toast. Set a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Divide patty mixture. Place equal portions on the skillet, and use a spatula to smash the patties into flat rounds. Cook until the outer edges are brown. Flip and place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Once the other side is cooked and the cheese has melted, top on the bun, along with the slaw.