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


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.


  1. Welcome back to your blog, Donna! The is just my kind of burger - sometimes you do have those big beefy cravings for monstrous burgers, but often times, I'd much rather have lighter, flavorful versions, and this would be it! I can definitely see making this in the near future.

  2. Hi, Liren! Thanks for visiting! I eat a lot less red meat than I did in my "younger days," and I find that I've gotten used to ground turkey. When I do eat red meat, such as a steak or large burger, it feels a lot heavier in my gut. :( I don't have this issue when cooking with the turkey though.

  3. Hi, Donna!

    These look really yum! I love the combination of ginger, green onion and sesame oil. An Asian trilogy!

    Some years ago, I did a variation of this using ground chicken infused with Thai satay sauce that were a big hit at a family gathering, so I definitely need to try this recipe.

    Glad to see you blogging again!

  4. Hey, Mochikochan! Thank you for stopping by. The chicken satay dish you mentioned sounds very yummy. If you still have the recipe, please send to me. I'd love to try it one of these days.

    Have a great week! :)

  5. That burger looks amazing! You should submit the recipe to the Recipe4Living Juiciest Burger Contest here!

  6. Hi, Kathryn! Thanks for the tip about the burger contest! And thank you for coming by my little blog. :)

  7. The burger patties look tasty. I would like a serving of rice to go along with this dish.


Related Posts with Thumbnails