RECIPES: Recipe Details

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MAI THAI BURGER

I adore Thai food – my love for this cuisine really developed in Hawaii where we often would go to one of the nearby Thai restaurants after classes. The combination of flavors: salty, sweet, sour, and bitter with the zest of heat is unique and seductive. Thai food often has contrast in texture as well as taste. I have tried to capture some of my favorite Thai flavors in the glazed beef burger and texture contrast with the crisp Thai-style slaw.

Ingredients 

¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon soy sauce
6 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoon light brown sugar
1½ cup sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic clove
2 tablespoon lemon grass, about 8 inches, thinly sliced
3 red serano chilies (can also use green)
2 lbs. ground chuck
¾ cup (packed) cilantro leaves, chopped
1 egg
¼ cup warm water
8 oz. of finely shredded cabbage
¼ cup mint leaves, julliened
6 challah or soft egg bun Colavita olive oil (for grill)

Instructions 

Prepare Mai Thai Sauce and Glaze: Add ¼ cup fish sauce, ¼ cup lime juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ cup chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoon sliced lemon grass, and 2 chilies (seeded and membranes removed) into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Process until the ingredients are well chopped and mixed. Set aside ½ cup of sauce for burgers and reserve the remainder for the glaze. Prepare burgers: In a large mixing bowl, add 2 lbs ground chuck, 1 cup finely chopped onion, ½ cup chopped cilantro, 1 egg, and the ½ cup of reserved Mai Thai sauce. Mix together just until combined. Divide and shape into 6 burgers. Set aside. Heat charcoal in chimney. When coals are hot and covered with ash (about 20 minutes) add to charcoal grill, spreading into a single layer. If needed, add charcoal and let all coals get hot (another 20 minutes). Prepare Thai-style slaw: In a small bowl make the vinaigrette for the Thai-style slaw by mixing 2 tablespoon brown sugar, ¼ cup rice vinegar, ¼ cup water, 1 serano chili sliced into circles, and 1 garlic clove minced. In a large bowl, toss the 8 oz of cabbage with ¼ cup mint leaves and ¼ cup cilantro leaves. When you are ready to cook the burgers, pour the vinaigrette over the cabbage-mint-cilantro mixture and toss. When the coals are hot, brush the grill with olive oil. Toast the buns over the grill, only 1 or 2 minutes on the cut side. Brush both sides of the burgers with remaining portion of Mai Thai sauce/glaze. Re-brush the grill with olive oil. Cook burgers about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium doneness. Assemble burger from the bottom with bun, burger, slaw and top of bun. Serve with a crisp Sutter Home wine - I like the Gewürztraminer or Chenin Blanc with this burger. Serves 6.