Named after the Argentinian herb sauce the chimichurri, but having nothing in common, this Dominican burger lovingly called “chimi” has become a staple of the Dominican Republic. Rarely made at home and typically consumed late night after a few drinks with friends, it’s a flavorful burger patty made up of a few ingredients and topped with a creamy, rich vegetable slaw.
Chimis can be found nearly in every neighborhood of Santo Domingo, where I’m originally from. They’re open from around 6pm until the last customer strolls in, around 2am. The stands are set up as food carts or trucks, and at times (if the chimi is very popular) it becomes a brick and mortar chimi “restaurant”. A casual ambiance, the cart is surrounded by plastic tables and chairs, endless stacks of napkins, and a cooler filled with beers for purchase.
Another important component is the slaw; it’s shredded cabbage and carrots, steamed to soften them up and then tossed in the classic sauce of mayonnaise and ketchup, with a splash of vinegar. Seriously, it might sound crazy, but trust me. Make enough of that slaw because it imparts great texture and flavor to you burger.
So do yourself a favor: if you’re ever visiting the Dominican Republic, please please please scout out the closest chimi stand and have one! You won’t regret it and you’ll get to hang out with food loving locals.
- for the burger patties:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large yellow onion, small dice
- 3 tablespoons dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- for the cabbage slaw:
- 1/2 small green cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 small red cabbage, shredded
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1-2 tablespoons vinegar
- In a medium bowl, mix together the beef, garlic, onion, oregano, soy sauce, and hot sauce. Season with salt.
- Form into thin patties and set aside until ready to cook.
- Make the slaw steaming/sauteeing the cabbage and carrots for 4-5 minutes. This is accomplished over medium heat, add the vegetables and a splash of water. Cover and let cook.
- Cool vegetables and add mayonnaise, ketchup, and vinegar to make a slaw. Set aside.
- Cook burger to desired temperature and serve with chilled slaw on burger buns.
- Take a bite and enjoy – these are some delicious but juicy, messy burgers!
Marnely Murray is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, now working as a sous chef, food blogger, and social media consultant on Martha’s Vineyard. Her love for food takes her all over the globe.