Thai Turkey Burger with Cucumber Relish

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What’s up, Hungry People!

Today, I’m going to show you a fantastic way to elevate a regular burger into something extraordinary. Trust me, this recipe is going to blow your taste buds away! Not only is it a healthier option compared to traditional beef burgers, but it also packs a punch of amazing flavors that will leave you wanting more.

I’m always on the lookout for creative ways to spruce up classic recipes, and when I stumbled upon ground turkey in my refrigerator, my culinary gears started turning. I’ve always believed that turkey burgers, in my humble opinion, taste even better than their beefy counterparts. Plus, they offer a healthier alternative for those watching their waistlines.

Asian Influence in the Mix

After a couple of weeks filled with delicious Asian-inspired dishes like Indonesian Bakso and Chicken Biryani from India, my pantry was stocked with a variety of enticing spices. So, I decided to infuse this turkey burger with an irresistible Thai twist.

Unlocking Authentic Thai Flavors

To capture the true essence of Thai cuisine, I incorporated an essential ingredient: fish sauce. Its unique umami flavor adds depth and authenticity to the burger. But that’s not all! I also created a flavorful blend of ginger, curry, red curry paste, and a touch of brown sugar. This combination creates a delightful balance of sweetness and heat that will leave you craving more.

Here’s What You Need

For Turkey Burgers:

  • Ground turkey: The main protein source for the burgers, providing a lean and flavorful alternative to beef.
  • Red onion: Adds a mild onion flavor and texture to the turkey mixture.
  • Fish sauce: Adds umami and savory notes, bringing an authentic Thai flavor to the burgers.
  • Thai seasoning paste: Infuses the burgers with a blend of aromatic spices, such as lemongrass, cilantro, and chiles, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Garlic: Adds a robust flavor and aroma to the turkey patties.
  • Yellow curry powder: Adds warmth and depth of flavor, complementing the Thai-inspired spices.
  • Red curry paste: Provides a spicy kick and enhances the overall curry flavor profile.
  • Brown sugar: Balances the flavors by adding a touch of sweetness, creating a harmonious blend of sweet and savory.

For Quick Cucumber Relish:

  • Cucumber: Offers a refreshing and crisp element to the dish.
  • White vinegar: Provides acidity to the relish, enhancing the tanginess.
  • Lemon juice: Adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the relish.
  • Sugar: Balances the acidity and adds a touch of sweetness to the cucumber relish.
  • Thai seasoning paste: Infuses the relish with Thai flavors, including lemongrass, cilantro, and chiles, tying it into the overall theme of the dish.

For Serving:

  • Brioche burger buns: Serves as the base for the turkey burgers, providing a soft and slightly sweet bun.
  • Iceberg lettuce: Adds a cool and crunchy texture to the burgers.
  • Sliced tomatoes: Provides a juicy and refreshing element to the burger.
  • Mango habanero aioli (optional): Offers a creamy, fruity, and spicy sauce to complement the flavors of the Thai-inspired burgers.
  • Sliced red onion: Adds a sharp and pungent flavor to the burger.
  • Mayonnaise: Can be used to add creaminess and moisture to the burger.

The Perfect Accompaniment: Quick Pickled Cucumber Relish

To complement the vibrant flavors of the burger, I whipped up a refreshing cucumber relish with a Thai twist. It’s incredibly easy to make! I started by using a mandolin slicer to julienne the cucumber, ensuring thin, even slices.

Then, I combined it with a medley of Thai spices, lemon juice, white vinegar, and a hint of sugar. The relish marinades in the refrigerator while you prepare the turkey, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Crafting the Flavorful Turkey Patties

With all the ingredients prepped and ready, it’s time to bring it all together. I personally love getting my hands dirty in the kitchen, so I use my hands to mix the ground turkey with garlic, red onions, red curry paste, yellow curry powder, ginger powder, Thai spice paste, and a touch of brown sugar. This step ensures that every bite of the burger is bursting with deliciousness!

Grilling to Perfection

Now, it’s time to cook those patties to perfection. I prefer using a hot cast iron grill because it gives the burgers those lovely, enticing brown lines. However, if you don’t have one, don’t worry! A regular outdoor grill or skillet will do the job just fine. Cook each side of the burger for about 4-5 minutes, rotating every two minutes for even cooking. It’s crucial to ensure that the turkey is cooked thoroughly, so no pink remains in the center.

Bringing It All Together

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for—putting the finishing touches on our Thai Turkey Burger! Top it off with the quick pickled cucumber relish and any other desired toppings of your choice. The combination of the succulent turkey patty, the tangy relish, and the additional toppings creates a harmony of flavors that is both sweet and spicy. Trust me, your taste buds will be dancing with joy!

Tips for Making the Perfect Turkey Burger

For Turkey Burgers:

  • Chilling the turkey mixture: For maximum flavor, consider chilling the turkey mixture for an hour before forming the patties. This allows the flavors to meld together.
  • Avoid over-mixing: When combining the ingredients with the ground turkey, be gentle and avoid over-mixing to prevent dense burgers.
  • Uniform patty thickness: Aim for consistent patty thickness to ensure even cooking. Consider using a kitchen scale or a burger press for precise measurements.
  • Oil the grill or pan: Before cooking the turkey burgers, make sure to oil the grill or pan to prevent sticking.
  • Use an instant-read thermometer: To ensure the burgers are cooked thoroughly, use an instant-read thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

For Quick Cucumber Relish:

  • Adjust sweetness and acidity: Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice in the cucumber relish according to your taste preference. Add more sugar for extra sweetness or more lemon juice for additional tanginess.
  • Experiment with other veggies: Consider adding other vegetables like sliced radishes or carrots to the cucumber relish for added crunch and flavor variation.

For Serving:

  • Toasting the buns: For an extra touch of deliciousness, lightly toast the brioche burger buns before assembling the burgers. It adds a nice crispness and enhances the overall texture.
  • Customize with additional toppings: Get creative and add your favorite toppings like avocado slices, pickles, or a fried egg to personalize the burgers.
  • Making ahead: You can prepare the cucumber relish and turkey mixture in advance and store them separately in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, simply form the patties and grill them for a quick and convenient meal.


  • Prevent dry burgers: To avoid dry turkey burgers, consider adding a tablespoon or two of olive oil or mayonnaise to the turkey mixture for added moisture.
  • Sticking to the grill or pan: Make sure the grill or pan is properly preheated and oiled to minimize sticking. Avoid flipping the burgers too early to allow them to develop a sear and release from the cooking surface more easily.

So, Hungry People, go ahead and give this Thai turkey burger with cucumber relish a try. It’s an affordable and fun recipe that will impress your friends and family. Enjoy the explosion of flavors, and don’t forget to let me know how it turned out for you!


Thai Turkey Burger with Cucumber Relish

The Starving Chef
Enjoy a flavorful twist on classic burgers with these Thai turkey burgers, featuring ground turkey seasoned with Thai spices, topped with a quick cucumber relish, and served on brioche buns for a delicious and unique meal.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dinner, Grill, International
Cuisine American, Asian, Burgers, International
Servings 4



  • 16 oz ground turkey
  • ¼ cup red onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai seasoning paste (ground lemongrass, cilantro, chiles, etc)
  • 4 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder


  • 2 cups cucumber julienned
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ tablespoons Thai seasoning paste (ground lemongrass, cilantro, chiles, etc)


  • brioche burger buns
  • iceberg lettuce
  • tomatoes sliced
  • mango habanero aioli optional
  • red onion sliced
  • mayonnaise


  • Begin by julienning the cucumber. Add the white vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and Thai seasonings. Chill until ready to serve (or at least 1 hour; it's best cold).
  • In a bowl, 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. Mix well. For fullest flavor, chill the mixture for an hour.
  • Form the turkey mixture into evenly sized balls and then flatten them to be about 1/2 inch thick. Grease a grill pan and heat it over medium-high heat.
  • Once the grill pan is hot, add the burgers with about 1 inch spacing between them. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  • Serve the burgers on thick burger buns and top them with the pickled cucumber relish and any other favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Keyword burger, cucumber, relish, Thai, turkey
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