Grilled Turkey Burgers with Thai Flavors

These turkey burgers get their rich flavor from a classic combination of Thai ingredients ~ basil, garlic, ginger, fish sauce and black pepper. If available, use Thai basil for its unique, peppery, anise quality. Also, adjust the amount black pepper according to your taste. We like bold black pepper flavor in these burgers, so we use a little more than what we call for in the ingredient list. Serve with chips or Garlic and Black Pepper Oven Fries (recipe follows).

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Thai Flavors

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Thai Flavors

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more or less to taste)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade of fresh basil (Thai or sweet)
  • 4 round rolls (we used deli thins)
  • Toppings:
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Sweet Thai chili sauce

Preheat a grill or broiler.

Place the ground turkey, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, pepper, salt and basil in a large bowl. Using your hands, combine thoroughly and form into 4 uniform patties.

Grill or broil the burgers for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Transfer to a plate, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Line the bottom of each roll with lettuce, then add a burger. Top with a slice of tomato, several slices of cucumber and about a teaspoon of sweet Thai chili sauce.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe Notes:
Because we're using fish sauce in this recipe, we've called for much less salt in both the burgers (and the fries below) than we normally would. If you omit the fish sauce, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the meat mixture and the same to the fries.

Garlic and Black Pepper Oven Fries
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 to 3 large potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick fries
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 425°F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk the vegetable oil and fish sauce together in a large bowl. Stir in the garlic, salt and pepper, then add the potatoes. Toss to coat with the oil mixture, then spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the fries are crisp and golden brown. Add salt to taste immediately after removing from the oven.

Makes 4 servings

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