Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thai Turkey Burgers

While walking to work yesterday, it occurred to me that instead of making larb with the ground turkey I had in the fridge, I should make Thai turkey burgers incorporating the flavors of larb.  By the time I got to work I had the recipe all worked out in my head - about 1/4 cup of herbs, some shallots, some scallions, lime zest, fish sauce and a spicy sriracha mayo.  So I sent Alex an email telling him that we were having Thai turkey burgers for dinner.  But we agreed to make the burgers tonight instead of yesterday since we already had dinner plans yesterday and he was already having burgers from Five Guys for lunch.  I had to ask him after dinner tonight which burgers he preferred - his Five Guys bacon cheeseburger with jalapenos, grilled onions, and BBQ sauce, or our Thai turkey burgers.  His answer?  Our turkey burgers!  He almost seemed a little mystified by the fact that he liked them as much as he did, since turkey burgers can get a little dry and lack the inherent hearty flavor of beef.  But these burgers were very flavorful, as well as moist.  The addition of herbs and lime zest made the burgers bright and fresh, while the fish sauce and shallots added flavor and kept them very moist.  This is the type of recipe where you could (and should) whip up a double batch and then freeze the extra burgers to cook in the future.  They really are that good.  I know it's kind of hard to believe that turkey burgers would be worth the extra batch, but I honestly think they are.

Recipe after the jump!

Thai Turkey Burgers
1 lb. ground turkey meat
2 shallots, minced
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp Thai basil, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp vegetable oil, separated
2 tbsp kewpie mayo
brioche burger buns
mesclun greens or butter lettuce

In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, shallots, scallions, mint, cilantro, basil, fish sauce, lime zest and sugar.  Use your hands to mix the ingredients thoroughly, but do not overmix.  Cover with saran wrap and allow ingredients to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and swirl to coat.  Pour remaining tsp vegetable oil over your hands and into the meat mixture.  Gently pat together four burger patties in your hands.  The mixture will be wet and a little fragile so you have to gently pack it together, but take care not to handle it too much.  Add burgers to the hot pan.  Cook burgers until fully cooked, flipping once, about 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove from pan and allow to rest for a few minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together mayo and sriracha to taste.  Top buns with burgers and lettuce.  Spread the sriracha mayo on the top bun.  Serve.

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