Earlier this spring, I hosted a birthday gathering at my house for a couple of friends. I think I’ve mentioned this before – I’ve been meeting with a group of women every thursday night for the past 20 years. The group shifts, a few have come and gone through the years, and not everyone is present every single thursday night, but for the most part, we gather as best we can, to eat, drink and commune. Together we ride the steep waves of our lives, supported, held up, loved. It is truly one of the best things in my life, and birthdays are extra special. We make a big deal of them, celebrating and honoring each other, and taking the pressure off our spouses.
So it was at one of these birthday celebrations, these Thai Turkey Burgers came to be. Infused with fresh lemongrass, ginger, lime zest, shallots and basil, they are full of flavor. They are topped with a Thai Cabbage- Carrot Slaw and fresh cucumber ribbons, and the buns are lathered with a spicy aioli. They can be grilled or pan-seared, and are perfect for weekend barbecues, a much lighter alternative to beef.
Tis’ the season to fire up the BBQ!
The cucumber ribbons and Crunchy Asian slaw add refreshing texture and flavor.
And then there is the spicy aioli….easy and yummy. Mix Spicy Chili sauce like…. Sriracha, with either mayo or tarter. That’s it.
For an even lighter option, serve in butter lettuce wraps and go totally bread free.
Add picked onions, spicy greens, avocado, sprouts….or even pickled radishes would be good!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and may the sun shine down on you wherever you are.
- Turkey Burger:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 3 tablespoons shallot, very finely diced
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh grated, or chopped ginger
- 2 garlic cloves- finely minced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped lemongrass
- 1- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 scallion, chopped
- ½ - 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped ( or substitute 1 Tablespoon sriracha sauce, or red chili sauce)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce ( don't leave this out)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper- optional
- Crunchy Asian Slaw:
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice ( or rice wine vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper
- Spicy Aioli:
- ¼ cup mayonnaise or tarter sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- Optional Additions: Toasted Buns, Cucumber Ribbons, pickled red onions ( yum), Pickled radishes, spicy greens like watercress, sprouts, avocado
- Preheat Grill to medium high.
- Combine all the burger ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well using hands. Shape into 3 burgers. Place on a plate in the fridge.
- Toss the slaw ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Mix the spicy aioli ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Grill patties on a pre-heated grill or pan sear in a skillet until deeply golden, finishing in a warm oven.
- Toast the buns.
- Spread aioli on the bottom bun, top with the patty, then the slaw, cucumber ribbons ( optional) , more aioli, then top bun. Enjoy!!
- NOTES: To make cucumber ribbons, use a veggie peeler to make long thing slices. No need to peel English or Turkish cucumbers, but do peel those with thick waxy skins. The burger patties can be made a ahead and refrigerated until ready to grill.