Spicy Turkey Burgers with “Som Tam” Slaw
There are a couple nights this week where Elysabeth is scheduled to come home late. Tonight she had to work late and in a couple days, she’ll be getting a haircut. Seeing as tonight was one of those nights, I wanted to make something a little cool and different, but not terribly challenging. I also wanted to get away from our “all-chicken-all-the-time” rut and make an interesting burger. Instead of making burgers with ground beef or chicken, I settled on turkey, and looked around for interesting turkey burger recipes, finally settling on this one over at Blue Kitchen. Given that these burgers were somewhat spicy, I decided to pair them with a cooling, non-mayo coleslaw. I incorporated a flavors inspired by the Som Tam Thai salad (a new favorite of mine), in an attempt to give the slaw a “Southwest (US) meets Southeast (Asia)” flair.
This meal was a lot of fun to make, and was pretty darn easy too. I used one shortcut: pre-shredded “angel hair” slaw, making this meal much more doable for a weeknight. The burgers are mildly spicy, and that can easily be increased by adding more jalapeño, chili powder, or a mix of both. The slaw has a very tiny kick, a lot of lime flavor and some sweetness. It was fun, easy and I was surprised how great the dressing for the slaw turned out!
Spicy Turkey Burgers (Serves 5) :
- 1 package (about 1.3 lbs) ground turkey
- 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, chopped finely
- 2/3 medium onion, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- freshly ground black pepper
- cooking spray
- slices of cheese (optional)
- 5 buns (use whatever you like)
- Place medium frying pan on medium heat, and add onion and pepper and cook until just soft, about 3-4 minutes. Let cool.
- Combine burger ingredients in large bowl until just combined, and add onion and pepper mix when cooled. Form into 5 patties.
- Season patties with salt and pepper and spray both sides of the burger with cooking spray. Place on very hot griddle pan or grill.
- Cook patties for a few minutes on each side, and then turn heat down to medium to finish cooking insides, turning if necessary.
- Place cheese on patties and place patties on buns. Serve with slaw (below).
“Som Tam” Slaw (Serves 2-3) :
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 dry red Thai chiles, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 3 tbsp. fish sauce
- 3 tbsp. lime juice
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
- crushed roasted peanuts
- torn fresh cilantro leaves
- Add garlic, chiles, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar to bowl and mix with fork until sugar dissolves. Let sit to let chiles reconstitute and flavors mix.
- Right before serving, toss cabbage with dressing and combine thoroughly.
- Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and peanuts before serving.