A taste of Thailand… in a chicken burger!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil **
- 2 pounds ground chicken breast
- 1/2 cup (about a handful) cilantro, chopped
- 1 three-inch knob ginger, peeled and finely grated, divided
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste **
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon honey **
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 shallots, chopped **
- A few dashes hot sauce (add more if you like it spicy!)
- 1/4 cup tamari (dark soy sauce)
- 1/2 cup creamy nut or almond butter
- 1 head red leaf lettuce (or lettuce of choice)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (a small handful) basil, chopped
Yields: 4 servings
**Modifications: I used ¼ cup quick oats in the mix, I did NOT use the honey, I used 1 tbsp yellow curry powder in place of the red curry paste (didn’t have any), and I GRILLED mine on the BBQ (hence, no need for the oil). I also threw the shallots right into the burger. These were sooo good and very flavorful. I also didn’t use the peanut sauce, but rather used 1 tbsp FAT FREE mayo mixed with a tsp yellow curry powder, and spread a bit on top of each burger. If using a bun is a must for you, use a SMALL whole wheat bun or an Ezekiel bun, which you can purchase at Eat It or Vita Health, and sometimes at Superstore.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of vegetable oil, about 2 tablespoons. While the oil is heating up, grab a large mixing bowl and add the ground chicken, cilantro, about two-thirds of the grated ginger, the red curry paste, lime zest and juice, honey, garlic, and salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Use your hands to mix everything up then press the meat down into the bottom of the bowl. Use the side of your hand to score the meat into four portions. Scoop out one portion and shape it into a burger that is about an inch thick – don’t forget to press it down in the middle to prevent it from bulging while cooking. Shape the rest of the meat the same way to make four burgers.
Once the oil in the pan is hot, lay the burgers in and cook them, turning once, until golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.
While the burgers are cooking, get out your blender or food processor and combine the shallots, hot sauce, tamari, peanut butter, remaining grated ginger and an extra-large splash of water (about 1/2 cup). Turn the machine on and puree everything to make a dipping sauce (if you need it a little thinner, add a little more water – remember you can always add more but you can’t take it out!). Transfer the sauce to one large or four individual serving dishes and set aside.
When the burgers are about done, prepare four plates or a platter with a small stack of lettuce leaves for each burger. Lay the burger down over the leaves and top each with some of the sliced pepper, cucumber and chopped basil. Serve the burgers up with the dipping sauce alongside and a knife and fork