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It’s time to turn up your grilling game with these Thai turkey burgers. They’re bursting with bright flavors and slathered in a spicy carrot ginger sauce for the win.
Clearly it’s no secret that I like to eat. Master of the obvious right? And it’s always been that way, with my tastes bordering on those of a very hungry, burly man at least twice my size. I actually resisted salads in my youth, leaning toward anything hearty, braised, fried or stewed. Well, thankfully for my waistline and arteries my tastes have expanded over the years to include plenty of fresh vegetables and lighter fare.
That’s never more true than in the summer. I shop small and frequently and if I can do everything on the grill, even better. Nothing makes me happier than snipping a handful of fresh thyme or parsley from my herb garden and incorporating it into dinner.
That’s not to say I don’t have room on my table for a juicy, mid-rare steak or a burger dripping with cheese. I do. Oh boy do I. But I have been known to grill up a veggie or turkey burger and be just as happy. Seriously. Don’t believe me?
I know…you think turkey burger and your mind immediately goes to dry and flavorless. Well, if your’s didn’t, mine did. But it simply doesn’t have to be that way. That said, grabbing a handful of turkey and throwing it on the grill does not a delicious burger make. You need to show that burger some love pre-grilling.
That’s where all of those fresh herbs and bright flavors come in and Thai cuisine is just the answer. Cilantro, mint and chives bring that fresh, herby flavor; fresh ginger, Sriracha and curry paste bring the heat; and a spoonful of mayo, dash of fish sauce and big squeeze of lime help to keep it moist.
Now sorry, but ketchup is simply not appropriate on this burger. We want to highlight and enhance those big flavors, not mask them. The answer? A slightly spicy, uber creamy carrot sauce. It adds even more moisture and it compliments the burger with just the right amount of sweet and heat.
Now, this burger slathered in the carrot sauce and sandwiched in a brioche bun is really all you need, but don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it. I love a scoop of coleslaw and a little butter lettuce on mine and I’m never going to say no to a pickled jalapeño or crunchy cucumber. So get a little crazy, think a little lighter and branch out for your next barbecue. Just means more room for s’mores!
- Spicy Carrot Ginger Sauce
- 4 large carrots about 3/4 lb, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter cold
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha or more to taste
- Thai Turkey Burgers
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise lite mayo works too
- 1 tsp green curry paste
- 2 lbs ground turkey or chicken
- 1/4 cup chives minced
- 1 Tbsp lime zest
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp cilantro minced
- 1 tsp fresh mint minced
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 Brioche or kaiser buns
- Optional toppings: coleslaw butter lettuce, pickled jalapeños, sliced cucumbers or butter pickles
Spicy Carrot Ginger Sauce: Combine carrots, ginger, water and salt in a small saucepan. Cover and cook over med/low heat until carrots are very tender, about 20 mins.
Uncover, add the cream and blend with an immersion blender. Continue blending and add the butter one tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition.
Mix in the sriracha. Set aside. (Carrot sauce can be stored in the refrigerator up to three days.
Thai Turkey Burgers:Whisk together the mayonnaise with the curry paste.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon until well combined.
Form into patties and chill while the grill heats up. Turn the grill to med/high heat and cook the burgers for about 4 mins per side for the large burgers (about 3 mins per side for the smaller burgers).
Serve on a brioche bun with the carrot sauce and your favorite toppings.