RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Thai Red Curry Burgers with Coconut-Cilantro Mayo

In the past few years, I have gained an appreciation for Thai curry; especially those dishes which involve coconut, red curry, wheat noodles, vegetables, and beef. This recipe is my hamburger interpretation of those flavors.

Ingredients 

For the coconut-cilantro mayo:
1/4 cup coconut cream (from canned coconut milk; not "cream of coconut")
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, whole
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch salt pinch black pepper, freshly ground
For the hamburger patties:
1/3 cup onion, grated, with its juices
1 tablespoon garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
2 pounds ground beef (chuck is best, 80% lean)
2 teaspoons salt
vegetable oil, for seasoning grill
2 large red bell peppers, cut in halves; stems, seeds, and ribs removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 medium whole wheat burger buns, split
1 1/2 ounces spring mix

Instructions 

1. In a small food processor, combine the coconut cream, lime juice, and cilantro leaves and process until a paste forms. Slowly add the olive oil and combine until a consistency of mayonnaise is reached. Add the salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Chill until needed. 2. Preheat the grill to medium heat. 3. Combine grated onion, pressed garlic, and red curry paste in a large bowl. Add the ground beef and salt, and blend, taking care not to compact. Divide into 6 portions, and shape each portion into a 4½-inch patty (a 4½-inch round cookie cutter or ring mold works best for uniformity). Stack the patties with a sheet of waxed paper between each. 4. Season the grill grate by coating with vegetable oil. Grill the hamburger patties over a medium flame, turning only once, for approximately 6 to 7 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 160°. 5. Meanwhile, coat the halved red bell peppers with extra virgin olive oil, and grill until caramelized and slightly softened. 6. As the burgers reach doneness, remove from grill to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. 7. While the meat rests, toast the buns cut side down on the grill. 8. While the buns toast, remove the bell peppers from the grill and cut into 1/2-inch strips. 9. Spread 3/4 teaspoon of coconut-cilantro mayonnaise on each bun (both top and bottom buns). For assembly, place each hamburger patty on its bottom bun, and top each with 1/6 of the red bell pepper strips, 1/6 of the spring mix, and its top bun.

Comments 

Wine pairing: Purists may lean toward a red, such as a cabernet to honor the spice in this burger or a zinfandel to contrast it with fruit. Rule-benders (yours truly) find it hard to resist pairing even the heartiest of beef Thai dishes with the spicy-yet-fruity Gewurztraminer.