TAG’s Blended Burger

February 20, 2017
Serves 16 burgers

Raised in both Hawaii and San Diego, Troy Guard spent much of his youth in either the ocean or the kitchen. At the age of 21, Troy began training with legend Roy Yamaguchi. By age 25, he was responsible for several of Roy’s outposts throughout Asia. Troy spent eight years working closely with Yamaguchi before taking the coveted post of Executive Chef at New York City hotspot Tao. Aside from working with Roy, Troy led several other restaurants to success—including nine75 and Ocean.

Still, the dream of owning his own restaurant was always on his mind, and 2 years later, Chef Guard opened TAG in downtown Denver. A culmination of a life-long dream, TAG embodies Guard’s unique vision of Continental Social Food, a combination of his Hawaiian roots, his Pan-Asian expertise and fresh, local Colorado ingredients.

Since the opening of TAG, Guard has created five more concepts, each with the same sense of culinary passion expressed in different way



  • Roast Trumpet Mushrooms
  • 2 Pounds
    trumpet mushrooms, halved
  • 4 Tablespoons
    canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon
    fish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Quinoa, pork and mushroom patty
  • 6 Pounds
    ground pork
  • 2 Cups
    prepared quinoa
  • Roast Trumpet Mushrooms (1/2 batch from recipe above)
  • Fish sauce caramel with avocado
  • 1 Cup
    granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup
  • 1/4 Cup
    fish sauce
  • avocado, sliced
  • Tofu aioli
  • 12 Ounces
    silken tofu
  • 2 Tablespoons
  • Pinch of salt
  • Canola oil (if necessary, to taste)
  • Crispy shallots
  • 2 Cups
    canola oil
  • large shallots, thinly sliced into rings
  • 4 Tablespoons
  • Lemongrass slaw
  • stalk lemongrass
  • carrot, thinly sliced into strips
  • 5 Ounces
    mung bean sprouts
  • bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon
    canola oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Prepare the mushrooms. In a large saute pan over high heat, add canola oil and heat until smoking. Place the mushrooms in the pan, cut-side down. Once caramelized, add salt, pepper and fish sauce
    Make the patty. Divide the roasted mushrooms into two parts – one part for blending into the patty, one part for topping. Finely chop the first half and add to pork and quinoa mixture. Knead the mixture until combined.

  2. Make the fish sauce. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Cover with lid and reduce, checking every few minutes to ensure it doesn't burn. Bubbles will start small and gradually get larger. Continue to cook until it turns an amber color. Slowly pour in the fish sauce, whisking constantly. (The mixture will bubble up, so be sure to stand back while whisking.) Continue to mix until it becomes clear again. Remove from heat and transfer into heatproof jar. Once cooled, pour over avocado slices and brûlée until golden brown.

  3. Make the Aioli. In a blender, blend tofu, sriracha and salt until smooth. If necessary, add canola oil 1 teaspoon at a time to reach desired consistency.

  4. Fry the shallots. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, heat oil to 275 F. Add flour to shallow bowl and toss shallots to coat. Fry shallots until golden brown and crispy. Transfer shallots to paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Make slaw. the Remove tough outer leaves on lemongrass. Cut off upper green stem so only the white bulb remains. Use the back of a knife to smash the bulb, then chop into thin slices. Add to mixing bowl with carrot, mung bean sprout and cilantro and toss together. Add lemon juice to taste, canola oil and salt.

  6. Assemble the burger. Cook burger patties on griddle or stovetop until medium well. If desired, toast buns in oven until golden brown. Place tofu aioli and lemongrass slaw on the bottom bun, then top with patty. Place remaining sautéed. trumpet mushrooms on top of patty. Add crispy shallots and brûléed avocado to finish.


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