Thai Turkey Burger with Cucumber Relish

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Thai Turkey Burger with Cucumber Relish

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I'm always looking for new ways to dress up what I would consider an otherwise boring burger. When I found some ground turkey in my refrigerator, the wheels in my head started turning. Turkey burgers are not only a healthier alternative to their beefy counterparts, in my opinion, it even tastes better than beef.

There were a few consecutive weeks of Asian themed meals, including Indonesian Bakso and Chicken Biryani from India - so needless to say, I had a lot of Asian inspired spices just laying around.

A true authentic taste of Thai food is fish sauce, so I made sure to include some in the burger. I also used a mix of ginger, curry, and red curry paste with some brown sugar to offset the sweet meets heat combination.

I also made a very quick pickled cucumber relish with some Thai seasoning, white vinegar, and sugar.

I julienned the cucumber using a mandolin slicer, then mixed it together with the Thai spices lemon juice, white vinegar, and sugar; then I let it marinade in the refrigerator as I prepared the turkey.

I used my hands to combine the turkey with the garlic, red onions, red curry paste, yellow curry powder, ginger powder, Thai spice paste, and brown sugar.

Then I just rolled out the ground turkey into balls and flattened them to be about a half of an inch thick, before slapping them onto a hot cast iron grill. If you don't have a cast iron grill, you could also use a regular outdoor grill, or a regular skillet. Whatever gets the job done. I just like seeing those nice brown lines on my burgers.

You'll want to take extra care to get the burgers cooked all the way through - unlike beef, you don't want any pick in the center of this burger! Mine took about 4-5 minutes for each side, and I rotated every two minutes for even cooking.

Then just top your burger with the quick pickled cucumber relish and your other desired toppings! It's the perfect blend of sweet, sweet heat.


Tags: Thai , Turkey , Burgers , Cucumber , Relish

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Thai Turkey Burger with Cucumber Relish

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Makes 3-4 patties

Turkey Burgers

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  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai seasoning paste (or lemongrass + cilantro + ginger + chili peppers)
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced ginger)
  • 1/2 tablespoon yellow curry
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

For Pickled Cucumber Relish:

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  • 2 cups cucumber, julienned
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 cup lemon, juiced)
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Thai seasoning paste


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  • burger buns
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • mango habanero aioli
  • red onion

Here's How:

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  1. Begin by julienning the cucumber. Add the white vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and Thai seasonings, then chill until ready to serve (or at least 1 hour, it's best cold).
  2. Combine the red onions, fish sauce, Thai seasoning paste, garlic, ginger powder, yellow curry powder, red curry paste, and brown sugar with the ground turkey. Combine well. For fullest flavor, chill for an hour.
  3. Form the turkey into evenly sized balls then flatten to be about 1/2 inch thick. Grease a grill pan and turn the stove to medium high heat.
  4. When the grill pan is nice and hot, add the burgers with about 1 inch spacing between. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  5. Serve on a thick burger bun and top with the pickled cucumber relish and any other favorite toppings. Enjoy!

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