Monday, September 02, 2013

Turkey Laab Burgers

I had purchased a pound of ground turkey with which to make some laab, a tasty Thai dish of seasoned ground meat. Then I remembered the two ciabatta rolls that were left in the freezer and offered Mr Minx the option of turkey burgers, instead. With laab seasoning, of course. I don't really like turkey all that much, finding it unpleasantly gamy, yet bland at the same time, so a goodly dose of chile sauce and lemongrass can only improve the stuff, don't you think?

Turkey also turns out some pretty dry burgers, so if you can swing it, add some chia seeds and water to keep the mixture moist. (I buy my chia seeds at

Turkey Laab Burgers

1 teaspoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons water
1 pound ground turkey (if you prefer chicken or pork, go for it)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2-3 teaspoons chile sauce (I used Sambal Oelek; Sriracha works too.)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons lemongrass paste (Gourmet Garden)
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 scallions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the chia seeds and water in a small bowl. Allow seeds to absorb water, about 15 minutes. If you're using ground pork, you can omit this step.

Mix all ingredients well, including the soaked chia seeds. Put a tiny bit on a microwave-safe plate and cook for 20-30 seconds. Taste for seasoning. If the mixture needs more of anything - ginger, chile sauce, lime juice, etc. - add it now, and make sure there's plenty of salt and pepper. Turkey has a very strong flavor (I think) and it takes a bit to mask it.

Form meat mixture into 4-8 patties. Cook in a bit of olive or other oil over medium-high heat until cooked through and browned on both sides.

Serve on buns with fresh arugula, mayonnaise with a bit of Thai basil or cilantro mixed in, sliced tomato, and cheese if you want.

Serves 4.

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