Cuban-Style Hamburgers


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes 12 to 14 burgers; Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

It is hard to eat only one frita, and that’s not just because they are small. These Cuban-style hamburgers are addictive! When hamburgers were first introduced to Cuba from the United States, Cubans found them a bit bland and “kicked it up a notch” by adding onion and other seasonings. Topping these tasty, three-bite burgers with freshly fried shoestring potatoes is another Cuban innovation that combines the flavors of a burger and fries in one compact package.


  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 to 14 small hamburger rolls, split and lightly toasted
  • 2 cups Papas Cintas (Shoestring Potatoes) or canned shoestring potatoes


Place the milk and bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl. When the crumbs have absorbed most of the milk, mix in the egg, 2 tablespoons of the ketchup, the Worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika, cumin, and pepper. Add the ground beef and stir or knead the ingredients with clean hands until well combined. Use a ¼-cup measure to divide the burger mixture into 12 to 14 portions. Press the meat into patties about ½ inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Fry the burgers in a hot, well-oiled skillet or grill them over hot coals for 2 to 4 minutes, until cooked to desired doneness. Place a frita on the bottom portion of each roll. Top each burger with a small bunch of Papas Cintas and a dollop of the remaining ketchup. Place the lids on the fritas and serve immediately.