Well, hello there. It’s been about nine months since my last post, when Gemma and I completed our 30-barbecue challenge. We’ve barbecued plenty since, but this year there’s no challenge (what with moving house, and a thesis to finish, we’re rather short on time). Nevertheless, there have been some great new recipes for you to try out, and this one is no exception!
Having been inspired by a Thai green curry I had a few weeks ago, I decided to attempt some Thai burgers, along a similar principle. Actually making chicken burgers involves acquiring chicken mince, which is quite difficult to come by (most butchers don’t do it, because it’s too wet). If you can’t find any, mincing your own with a food processor and chicken breasts will do fine, and turkey is perfectly adequate (though will be a little drier). Anyway, it’s barbecue season – give this a try!
Thai food tends to have a few key ingredients which set it apart from, say, Chinese food:
Makes four burgers
- 300g chicken mince (use turkey mince if you can’t find chicken, and more if you like big burgers. Obviously)
- Half a red onion or one small shallot, very finely chopped
- A thumb-sized piece of ginger, very finely chopped. If you can get its relative galangal, for a more authentic Thai flavour, do so.
- Two fat cloves of garlic, crushed
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- Half a teaspoon of Thai fish sauce (trust me. It won’t make your burgers fishy)
- Half a Thai green chilli. These are the hot little chillies you can find in supermarkets. If you can’t find one, use a whole, regular green chilli.
- A small handful of coriander leaves (cilantro), finely chopped
- The zest of one lime
- One stick of lemongrass
- Natural breadcrumbs, as needed (you may not need any, if you use turkey)
Quite a list! Luckily, they’re quite easy to put together. Begin by preparing the lemongrass – it’s rather woody and tough on the outside, so top and tail it, and take the first couple of layers off, discarding them. Chop it as finely as you can, then combine it with the chopped coriander, onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. Add the salt and lime zest.
Combine this mix with the chicken, and add the fish sauce. You should have a fairly wet mixture. If so, add breadcrumbs until the mixture can be moulded into burgers easily. Divide the mix into four burgers, make a dimple in the middle on both sides (which stops them rounding out as they cook), and cook for around five minutes per side on the barbecue. Delicious!