7.05.2010

Asian Turkey Burgers for Light Summer Meals

A New Twist on an American Classic: Asian Turkey Burgers It's been far too long since my last post! In a nutshell, I have been logging some heavy-duty hours at my new job. I also moved out of the desert and back to LA County (yay!), so there has been little time to catch my breath, much less blog, but now I'm back!

With the biggest barbecue holiday just behind us, I wanted to share my recipe for a lighter version of the traditional burger. The patties are smaller than the usual patty; I'm not sure why I prefer it like this. It may have stemmed from a dish my mom made for me about 15-20 years ago. I think she called them Korean hamburgers, and they were about two inches in diameter and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I haven't been able to replicate them exactly, so instead I did my own version of these mini patties using ground turkey.

Ginger and green onion with fish sauce flavor the turkey patties
My recipe incorporates green onion, ginger and fish sauce into the ground turkey. You can even add Thai sweet chili sauce to the ground turkey mixture if you like. It's definitely a recipe you can improvise with the flavors you like.

Turkey patties browning in a pan
Instead of a bun, I like to serve two or three mini-burgers wrapped in artisan leaf lettuce. I top the patties with Thai sweet chili sauce and garnish with some slivered carrots and cucumber for additional crunch. I love cilantro, so I like to add this, too, but, of course, don't feel compelled if you fall into the "cilantro-tastes-like-soap" camp. A sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds completes the dish.

Asian Turkey Burgers with Artisan Leaf Lettuce with Sesame Seeds and Slivered Carrot Bundle
Asian Turkey Burgers

1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
Couple dashes of fish sauce
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil (or to your taste)
1-2 Tbsps. Thai sweet chili sauce (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (I've used dry bread crumbs, and it's turned out fine, too)
1 pound ground turkey

2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Washed artisan leaf lettuce (or your favorite lettuce)
Slivered cucumber
Slivered carrots
Cilantro leaves, optional
Thai chili sauce

Directions:

Mix green onion with garlic, egg, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, Thai sweet chili sauce and black pepper. Stir until combined. Mix in bread crumbs. Crumble ground turkey and gently combine together with bread crumb mixture.

Wet hands lightly with water and make small patties, approximately 2 inches in diameter. Brown in pan until fully cooked. I use a meat thermometer to make sure the turkey has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can keep the patties warm on a sheet pan in the oven at 180 degrees F.

When you are ready to eat, place 2 or 3 patties on a large leaf of lettuce. Arrange strips of carrot and cucumber on top. Garnish with cilantro leaves and sesame seeds. Top with Thai sweet chili sauce.

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