Jul 06 2011

Southeast Asian Turkey Burgers

Published by under Entrees,Recipes

Southeast Asian Turkey Burgers!  These burgers were moist and delicious.  Made from a paste of lemongrass, garlic, ginger and serrano peppers the taste was very flavourful.  At first when I spotted the recipe – I’m always on the look out for different turkey burgers, or any type of burger for that matter,  I was a little hesitant, in part because there was fish sauce in it.  And well…if you read the last post, you know how much Bill doesn’t like fish!!  He also really doesn’t care for cilantro either…but I’m working on him.  And when I made these the first time, he LOVED them.  He thought they were the best burger he ever had.  And then I made them a second time for my friends, Pam and Ron…and he LOVED them even more.  The difference between the first Southeast Asian Turkey Burgers than than the second time around?  The first time I only had turkey breast on hand.  I highly recommend using turkey thigh.  It is much more flavourful and juicier.  Not that using turkey breast was terrible.  It worked and worked well.  And of course, a little bit more of a healthier option.  But the turkey thigh just pushed it over the edge.  I used a mini food processor to make the paste which sure was helpful too.  A big food processor just wouldn’t work that well because the ingredients get lost in it and you won’t get the paste consistency you need.  And while the recipe says you can do it by hand … well, I’m not sure if I’d want to go there.

 Southeast Asian Turkey Burgers

Serves: 4


  • 2 stalks lemongrass, root ends trimmed and tough outer leaves discarded
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 (3-inch) serrano or jalapeño chile, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 4 teaspoons asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (dark meat only)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, split and grilled
  • 2 cups mixed fresh mint, basil, and cilantro leaves

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: a mini food processor


THINLY SLICE LOWER 6 INCHES OF LEMONGRASS stalks; you should have 1⁄4 cup (discard remainder). Combine lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, chile, water, and 2 teaspoons fish sauce in mini food processor and grind, scraping down sides frequently, to a paste.

Mix paste and turkey with your hands until just combined; do not overmix. Form into four 3⁄4-inch thick patties, 4 inches in diameter. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for 1 hour to allow flavors to develop.

Whisk together lime juice, oil, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons fish sauce in a small bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.

If using a charcoal grill, prepare it for direct-heat cooking over mediumhot coals; if using a gas grill, prepare it for direct-heat cooking over medium heat (see Grilling Basics, page 512).

If using a gas grill, turn off one burner (middle one if there are three). Oil grill rack and grill patties over hot coals or burner(s) (covered if using a gas grill), turning once and moving to cooler area of grill if flare-ups occur, until just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Whisk lime juice sauce and drizzle bottom of each bun evenly with 1 tablespoon sauce. Top each with a patty and 1⁄2 cup mixed herbs. Drizzle herbs with 1 tablespoon sauce and cover with tops of buns.

The patties can be refrigerated for up to 8 hours.


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