Asian Turkey Burgers with Ginger Sesame Slaw


All the flavor of my favorite potstickers without the tedious wrapping and folding.  Both burgers and slaw  take about ten minutes of chopping, and then YEAH!  Gold stars for us!   Ginger, lemongrass, and that delicious jaw zapping umami flavor exploding like pop rocks in my mouth.  It’s killing me NOT to go in for seconds!

Serves 4

Asian Slaw

  • 1/4 cup  rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced pickled ginger
  • 1/4 small head napa cabbage, finely shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4  red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 /2 cup diced cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts finely chopped

Toss salad ingredients in a large bowl with dressing.

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (I like the ground thigh meat at Whole Foods)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal oelek or sriracha, optional
1 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2-inch piece of lemongrass, finely minced
One 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Optional Garnishes:
4 seeded burger buns
Asian Slaw (recipe below)
1/4 cup mayo mixed with 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
thin slivers of red onion

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F to keep the first batch of burgers warm.

For the burgers: Coat a large saute pan with olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt and bring to a medium-high heat. Cook the onions until they are soft and very aromatic, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, soy sauce, sambal oelek, ginger, water chestnuts, cilantro and the cooked onions and garlic. (Reserve the onion pan to cook the burgers in later.) Add one-quarter to one-half cup water; this will help the burgers stay nice and moist. Using your hands, squish everything together until all ingredients are really well combined.  Season with kosher salt and pepper.

When the burger mix is seasoned appropriately, form the mix into 4 equal size patties.

Coat the saute pan with new olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Place the burgers in the pan. Be sure not to crowd the pan, if you need to work in batches go ahead! Cook the burgers for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

Toast the buns in a broiler or toaster. Top with your favorite goodies and a pile of Asian slaw and eat ‘em up!

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