The Goddess has never been all that enamored with chicken burgers per se. Having said that, these beauties are different. Chicken burgers tend toward the dry, but not these babies. They are jam-packed with flavor, and the Thai chili sauce and cucumbers add that sweet and extra crunch that is just ooooh! so lovely. I’ve had people say their family just isn’t fond of chicken burgers. But, I think maybe the problem is “burger”. When we hear that, we conjure up a certain vision of what a burger tastes like and these don’t taste anything like a beef burger. So maybe we need to rethink this…a burger by another name is a “patty”. Okay? Now we’re talking about a shape, not a flavor and that may help. These are truly delicious, but they aren’t a hamburger. They never will taste like that.
The chicken mixture is flavor-packed with some wonderful herbs and other nice additions. This goes together pretty quickly, and quick is a good thing. Let’s face it, you’re a whirlwind. You have stuff to do. So, just put the meat, scallions, carrots, lime juice, fish sauce, ginger and garlic, salt, the herbs, black pepper and the lime zest together in a decent-sized bowl. Use your fingers (or a spoon, if you must…you never made mud pies, did you?) and thoroughly combine the ingredients. It takes a bit to get the herbs evenly distributed, but keep at it, about a minute or so. I like to chill the mixture for a couple of hours. This allows the meat to firm up a bit and the flavors tango a bit, so the end result will be more flavorful. When I make these up, I use an ice cream scoop. I just plop the “mounds” in a hot skillet and
flatten them out with a spatula. It works well, but don’t be pressing down on them after they begin to cook or you end up with a dried up mess. Brown on one side, then flip the patty over and cook until the internal temperature reaches 170°F. These brown quite nicely. Then, a couple of teaspoons of the Sweet Chili Sauce on the top bun, and some arugula leaves and on the bottom a schmear of Peanut-Hoisin Aïoli, thin slices of cucumber (I prefer the Persian cukes), some raw onion slices and the patty! Then, enjoy! You could absolutely grill these, instead of frying, if that’s what your little heart desires.
I make up a big batch of the Peanut-Hoisin Aïoli (that’s it there in the Talenti™ gelato container. I love those containers for things like this), as I could smear this on a wood chip and enjoy it! The Sweet Chili Sauce is always in my cupboard. I even add a little rice wine vinegar to it and it makes and interesting vinaigrette, particularly with tropical fruits and greens. I like these on potato rolls, but any bun you like will be delicious, I’m sure. It’s easier to form these into patties, if you are using your hands, if you wet your hands first. The meat won’t stick quite as bad. Now, go make dinner!
Thai Chicken Burgers with Scallions, Ginger and Herbs
- 1 pound ground chicken or turkey (thighs or dark meat have the best flavor)
- 1 scallions, finely chopped (include some of the green part)
- 3 tablespoons very finely grated carrots
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sriracha salt)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoons snipped chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Thai basil
- 1 teaspoon finely minced mint leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Sweet Asian chili sauce for serving
- Fresh arugula leaves
- Thinly sliced raw onion, if desired
- Thinly sliced tomatoes, if desired
- Sesame buns
- Persian cucumber slices, for service
- Peanut-Hoisin Aïoli, for service
Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Using your fingers, mix just until combined. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. The mixture will be quite soft. You can wet your hands and form into patties, or use a lever-type ice cream scoop (5 ounce scoop). Skim a hot skillet with some vegetable oil; carefully plop the scoop into the skillet and press down with a spatula until flattened. Now, leave it alone. DO NOT press on it further. When the first side is nicely browned, flip the patty over; this takes about 3 minutes on medium-high heat. Cook until the internal temperature is 170°F; this will take from 3-5 minutes, depending on how thick you make the patties. Remove and place on a bun with the chili sauce, arugula, cucumber slices and Peanut-Hoisin Aïoli. I always add onion and sometimes tomato slices.
Chicken Burgers with Scallions, Ginger and Thai Flavors Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.
This version always seems to be nice and juicy. I don’t add a binding agent, like an egg. I think when the protein in the egg coagulate with the heat, that’s when the chicken patties/burgers become dry…just my theory. But, use the cucumbers, okay?