RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Asian Burgers

This recipe is an excellent idea starter; vary herb depending on season and taste. Then, use a different liquid for the soy sauce, depending on the herb used. Build a burger buffet playing off this recipe. Serve burgers on platters next to the bottle of wine chosen for each burger.


1 ounce dried shitake mushrooms
Wine to cover mushrooms--same wine you will serve with burgers 1/4 to 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 peeled garlic cloves
2-inch slice peeled fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons soy or teriyaki sauce
Dash of liquid smoke (optional)
Pinch salt (if available, use smoke salt and/or omit liquid smoke) Freshly ground black pepper (about l teaspoon)
1 l/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh or canned pineapple slices


Put mushrooms in glass measuring cup; add wine to barely cover and microwave on high about l minute, until hot. Let stand while preparing burgers. In food processor, process cilantro, garlic, and ginger until roughly chopped. Add soy sauce, liquid smoke, salt, pepper and chicken. Pulse machine until mixture is chopped but not pureed. Lightly squeeze wine from mushrooms. (Save the liquid.) Add mushrooms to processor and process briefly. You should have a chunky mixture. Shape chicken mixture into 6 to 8 burgers. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until burgers are browned. Do not overcook. May also grill burgers but must be careful because they are delicate. Brown pineapple slices in pan juices or on grill. If doing in pan, add a little or the wine mushroom soaking liquid at beginning of browning.


These burgers are excellent layered with pineapple and greens on a bun. Serve with wine that goes well with Asian food--especially a crisp chilled white in the summer. For condiments, serve Chinese mustard, mayo mixed with soy or teriyaki sauce. Another touch if you really want to keep adding layers of taste--brush the buns with the wine soaking liquid and lightly grill.