Americans so often use ground beef or hamburger when we do burgers, but pork is a wonderful option. You know how The Goddess likes pork. So today she was feeling something Thai and fast. So she fired up the grill, seasoned some ground pork and the Thai Burger was dinner!She was thinking about things Thai and pork…why? Who knows, but as she was painting the hallway wall, she kept thinking about what she had on hand and realized she had everything she needed to make a great Thai-flavored burger. Well, she didn’t have the ground pork, but the wall needed to dry anyway, so a trip to the store solved that problem.
Let’s see…what are Thai flavors exactly? I’m guessing that’s sort of up to the individual, but for me they are lemongrass, kaffir lime, cilantro, scallions, ginger, soy, fish sauce, a few other odds and ends. I add an ice cube, let it stand in the meat, which I put in the fridge, then when it’s melted I mix it in. The ice cold water helps set the fat and keep it firm. You don’t want the meat to warm or the fat will begin to soften and you’ll end up with a dry, compact burger…not good.
Grilled Thai Pork Burger
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 2 scallions, finely minced (including some of the green)
- 3-4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons lemongrass
- 2 teaspoons finely minced Kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
- 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons ice water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Using your hands, mix to combine, packing the mixture as little as possible. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Form into patties and grill to an internal temperature of 155°F. (That’s a higher temperature than I would normally cook a solid piece of pork to, but the burgers won’t continue to cook as much after they are removed from the grill.)
Serve on toasted buns with slices of cucumber, onion and tomato. You may wish to add a smear of mayo or hoisin sauce and sriracha, if desired.
Grilled Thai Pork Burger Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015. All rights reserved.
If you’re gluten-free, omit the bun and julienne the veggies, squeeze a bit of hoisin on the patty and eat it as is. The Green-Thumbed Engineer shared some lovely tomatoes and cucumbers from his garden, Hollywood Acres. Where do you think all those zucchini come from? Anyway, I toasted a potato roll, which isn’t very Thai-like, but it makes a great foil for a burger. A smear of Pan-Asian Mayonnaise is a tasty addition, if you have some in the fridge…and you should, you know!I tossed a little red onion on and a good squeeze of hoisin. Okay, so the hoisin isn’t really Thai, but it is Asian, so we’re going with that. And besides, I love hoisin sauce. It should be a food group. And that’s really all there was to it. Now, you can dig in and “Thai” one on!