Forget what you’ve heard, Chimichurri is not only a delicious Argentinian sauce! In fact, it’s an equally delicious Dominican Burger that you typically get late night and from a food truck. This burger is so iconic that the trucks themselves are nicknamed “Chimi Trucks” after this amazing burger.
Now this burger is super personal and like all food trucks, there’s a special sauce and recipe to each of them. No two Chimis taste alike and that’s one of the best things about this dish. You go hard for the Chimi Truck that you love because they get it right each and every single time. Unfortunately, my favorite Chimi Truck shut down so I’m in the market for a new one. NYC readers– list your go to Truck down below! Nonetheless, I had no other choice but to create my own Chimi! It took a few tries, but I’m proud to say that I’ve nailed it!
Before we jump right into the recipe, I want to note that there’s a science to a Chimi. Every Chimi starts off with amazing bread and depending on what you have access to, will determine which type of bread that you use. You can use Pan de Agua or Portuguese Bread. I always go for Portuguese Bread unless of course it’s sold out. If that’s the case, I’ll typically use a Hero, Regular Roll, Italian Bread, or Hamburger Buns if I’m making mini Chimi. In the end, use a bread that has some rigidity to the outside but soft on the inside. You want to use a bread that will stand up the other juicy elements of this burger.
Speaking of juicy elements, no Chimichurri is complete without the special sauce! Can a burger truly be great without its own special sauce? Unlike most special or secret sauce, this Dominican Special Sauce is super easy to make. All you need is ketchup and mayonnaise. And like all things traditional and sacred, EVERYONE likes their special sauce a certain way. Some like more mayo than ketchup, while others like equal parts, and some even like them separated and not pre-mixed. Me? I like my sauce mixed with a bit more ketchup than mayo!
Now the next layer of the Dominican Chimi is arguably the most important. It’s the meat! The meat is one of the hardest elements to nail down because you can use a variety of different meats. You can use a thin steak or you can use ground beef. Regardless of what you use, it has to be something juicy yet relatively inexpensive. Remember, we’re making a classic street food that will feed the masses especially after a long night of drinking and dancing. Now I’ve made the Chimi using both ground beef and chuck steak and my favorite way of making it is by using ground beef. The key is to season it just right and get the meat super thin. The thin meat is CLASSIC chimi! Now do keep in mind, that you can make your At-Home Chimi thicker than those from the trucks, but you still want to keep it relatively thin. It’s also key to cook this at a medium heat because you don’t want to burn the meat or dry it out.
Next, you have the cabbage. **Happy Dance**. The cabbage is HIGHLY underrated and you don’t realize just how important this element is to the Chimichurri until someone doesn’t get it right. News flash, Dominicans LOVE cabbage. We go Ga-Ga for it to the point that cabbage is in fact our classic salad. However, Dominicans treat the cabbage with a lot of love. We pickle it just a bit with water, white vinegar, and salt. This softens the cabbage a bit, and gives it awesome flavor. Fun fact, it also breaks down the element that makes cabbage gas-y. I honestly didn’t realize that cabbage made you gas-y until I ate it raw without vinegar…. Not fun.
After you’ve added the cabbage, here’s where the Chimi starts to get free-styled. Everyone is different and you can make your Chimi with all of the fixings or you could leave a few things. You could add onions and tomatoes, or you could skip out. My mom always add hot sauce to hers and some of the younger crowds add cheese. Traditionally, a Chimi must have:
- Awesome bread
- Dominican Special Sauce
- Flavorful yet juicy meat– beef
The rest is to your discretion but I would highly recommend adding onions and having those same onions get pickled with the cabbage and tomatoes.
Hungry yet? Let’s dig into this recipe! Feel free to visit my YouTube Channel: Chef Zee Cooks for step-by-step instructions on How to Make Chimichurri Dominicano | Dominican Chimi
Don’t forget to Pin this yumminess to your Pinterest Boards!
- 2 lbs Ground Beef 80/20 Blend
- 8 Garlic Cloves Mashed
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp Whole DR Orégano
- ½ Lime
- 1 tbs Sopita/Chicken Bouillon Cube or Adobo
- 1 head Cabbage thinly sliced
- ½ cup Vinegar
- ¼ cup Water
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 Tomatoes thinly sliced
- ¼ Red Onion Thinly Sliced
- ⅓ cup Ketchup
- ⅓ cup Mayo
- Pan de Agua or Portuguese Bread
- Let's begin by mixing together the ketchup and mayonnaise until it's well combined. Set aside
- Add the thinly sliced onions to thinly sliced cabbage. Add vinegar, water, and pinch of salt. Set aside
- In a mortar & pestle/pilon, add garlic cloves and pinch of salt. Mash until you form a paste
- Add Dominican Oregano and continue to mash until the oregano is and garlic are well combined
- Add sopita/chicken bouillon cube or seasoning salt of choice. Mash together as well
- Add seasoning paste to ground beef and 1/2 fresh lime. Mix until well combined
- Form thin patties that relatively the same size as the bread that you're going to use. Feel free to make them a bit thicker if you like. Set formed patties aside until all are ready
- Warm up stove griddle over medium heat and lightly brush on olive oil
- One by one, add chimi patties
- After about 2 minutes, gently press down on patties with spatula. You want patties to remain thin while cooking
- After about 3 minutes of cooking or until they've developed a brownish color flip them over. Be careful not to burn or over cook your chimis
- Cook chimi for an additional 3 minutes or until cooked entirely.
- Remove chimi and let them rest
- Cut bread in half and toast on griddle
- Once bread is toasted, build chimi to your liking
- First add special sauce, then chimi meat, then cabbage being sure to drain any access vinegar-water, add tomatoes, and onions