The toppings and condiments I call for here are for a classic burger with a spicy kick. You can put whatever you want on these burgers as long as you’re adding loads of flavor. You can follow the recipe below using Beyond Meat as well. Buy its preformed patties, then slice them each in half through their equators so you end up with two thin patties.
Make the spicy special sauce: Stir together the mayonnaise, relish, ketchup and cayenne in a small bowl.
Divide the burger “meat” into four even pieces (3 ounces each) and shape into thin patties the same diameter as your buns. Press firmly so the patties won’t fall apart.
Heat a large, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, griddle or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Coat lightly with a thin sheen of oil and put the burger buns, cut sides down, on the hot surface. Cook until dark golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plates, cut sides up.
Add more oil to the hot skillet so that the bottom is completely coated with 1/8 of an inch or more and heat until it looks wavy. Carefully slide the patties into the shimmering oil and cook until the bottoms are evenly dark brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Slide a thin spatula under a patty, wiggling if needed to help release it from the pan, and carefully flip. Repeat with the remaining patties. Sprinkle the browned tops generously with salt and pepper. Fry until the other sides are deeply browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, divide the special sauce among the bun bottoms. You should have a thick coating. Spread mustard all over the bun tops. Place the hot patties onto the bun bottoms. Shingle a layer of pickles over each patty, then top with the onion, tomato, lettuce and bun tops. Serve immediately.
Get our new Cooking newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.