[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

It's time for another round of The Food Lab. Got a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Email Kenji here, and he'll do his best to answer your queries in a future post. Become a fan of The Food Lab on Facebook or follow it on Twitter for play-by-plays on future kitchen tests and recipe experiments.

The first time I had a frita—the frita is a classic regional American burger created by Cuban immigrants in South Florida—was at El Rey de las Fritas in Miami. There, the burgers are made with a combination of beef and pork, cooked thin, griddled, and well done, placed on a bun covered in spiced ketchup, and topped with a handful of crisp shoestring fries.

It's a great sandwich, to be sure, but I'm the kind of guy who likes cooking outdoors in the summer, and for the grill, those thin patties just end up drying out and the ketchup-based sauce doesn't add back enough fat to combat the problem.

So this version starts with a slightly larger patty—same beef and pork blend, same basic seasoning (a mix of garlic, paprika, and cumin)—grilled and served with a creamier sauce and few more vegetables. The crisp shoestring potatoes that are the hallmark of a traditional frita remains the same.

Get The Recipe

Grilled Cuban Fritas (Spiced Burgers with Shoestring Fries) »

More Burger Toppings!

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Love hamburgers? Then you'll Like AHT on Facebook! And go follow us on Twitter and Pinterest while you're at it!


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: