18 June 2013

thai turkey burgers. with a vietnamese salad.













Over the weekend, we spend the most beautiful June day on the Eastern Promenade in Portland with our friends, Paige and Adam (Check out Paige's Pottery as seen in some of these pics). The sun was shining, the clouds were puffy, the sea breeze was blowing the sail boats around the harbor, & the day was full of good food & great company. Perfect, right?

Since we were grilling, I decided to change up the flavors of traditional BBQ for Southeast Asian flavors. These burgers are packed with amazing flavor, that takes a grilled burger, to a grilled burger with tons of flavor that stands on its own. I served it next to a bright, crunchy salad with a sweet & salty shallot dressing that compliments these flavorful burgers. For imbibing, we had Maine made vodka from Cold River, seltzer water for some fizz, & fresh limes (of course there was beer too, it was a cookout!).  

thai burgers.
I've made these Thai burgers from Gwyneth Paltrow's 'It's All Good' four times now. I have made them with ground chicken, like in her recipe, and with dark ground turkey meat. I like them both, so really it's up to you & your preferences. I have listed the recipe the way it is written in Paltrow's book because all that I changed was the poultry. Also to speed things along, I toss the garlic, herbs, shallots, & chili in the food processor to get fine bits for burgers, but again, it's up to you.
serves 4

1 pound ground chicken (preferably dark meat)
2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
2/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 shallots, very finely minced
1 teaspoon very finely minced red chili (or more or less, however hot you like it)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed, or safflower oil)


  1. Thoroughly mix the chicken with the garlic, cilantro, shallots, red chili, fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 burgers, each about ¾ inch thick.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Rub each burger on both sides with a bit of the safflower oil and grill for about 8 minutes on the first side and another 5 minutes on the second, or until nicely marked and firm to the touch.
  3. Serve on a buns of your choice or along side the salad for healthier option. 

sriracha-mayo.
This mayo is great on the Thai burger...it is mellow, but has a little bite. 
1/2 vegenaise or your favorite mayonnaise
2 TBL sriracha
1 TBL lemon juice
sea salt & cracked pepper
  1. Whisk ingredients together & serve with Thai burger.


vietnamese salad with shallot dressing. 
This recipe is an adaptation from Paltrow's website GOOP (the dressing is how it is written on her website). It's perfect. And Easy. Win-win.
serves 4

1 bok choy, shredded
1/2 nappa cabbage, shredded
the inside leaves of red leaf lettuce, shredded
1/2 bunch of scallions, chopped on a bias
2 carrots, peeled, halved & sliced on a bias
1 pickling cucumber, halved, seeds scooped out, & sliced on a bias
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup of cilantro, chopped
  1. Toss together in a large bowl with a 1/4 cup of the shallot dressing. 



shallot dressing.

¼ cup fresh lime juice

1 TBL rice wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp hot pepper sesame oil
2 TBL agave nectar or raw honey
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 TBL finely diced red onion or shallot
  1. Whisk ingredients together & serve alongside the Vietnamese salad.  
happy eatings & cheers!
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