Asian Style Turkey Burgers
I was so excited to write the post about these burgers, because they were so amazing.
I decided to make some Asian style turkey burgers for dinner, and I was playing it by ear, trying to make use of what we had. You'll probably notice as I build these recipes, that I really hate food waste. If I can throw together what is in the fridge in a way that makes sense before any produce goes bad, I am all for it! I really feel, especially with social media, that we are so caught up in food that looks pretty that we're willing to waste bits and pieces of food in order to get the picture perfect plate. I've learned that it's something I personally don't care for. More and more frequently as I watch different videos of cool apps and mini versions of foods, my brain jumps to thoughts about the amount of waste being created. 'But what are you doing with the rest of the tortilla wrap?!?!' or, 'you can use that part of the vegetable!!!!'
This bothers me for a few reasons. For one, I think it shows a huge disconnect. There are so many people living below the poverty line, and unsure about where their next meal is coming from. I think a lot of people might not even realize that the people struggling to make ends meet do not look the part of the traditional poor family image that we've seen depicted in mainstream media. So for me, minimizing food waste is a way of being grateful for what I have, by making the most of it. Two, it's good for your wallet as you're making your grocery bill really stretch. And finally, it has to be good for the environment to cut down on waste in any sense.
It also is a good way to get creative and practice being resourceful! It's actually how I've come up with some fun and quick recipes.
These turned out so amazing. They tasted just like a dumpling, and if you know me, you know that I could eat an endless amount of dumplings. At any given time if the question is dumplings, the answer is yes.
In addition to the burgers, Greg had gotten these really nice onion and poppy seed rolls from the Walmart bakery. Normally I would say a burger needs cheese, but I don't usually think of Asian foods as having cheese, so instead I decided to pair the burger with our favorite sesame sauce from Just a Pinch, you can see the recipe here. Note that the recipe is for sesame chicken, and in this case we just made the sauce to top our burger.
We were both blown away by how amazing these burgers were. Greg tried it without the sauce and confirmed that it really did taste like a dumpling, and with the sauce it tasted like a dumpling dipped in a really great sauce. So even if you don't make the sauce, you'll have a flavorful burger. You can easily top the burger with your favorite store bought dipping sauce, and take your burger to the next level if you're short on time or ingredients.
I added some fresh crisp veggies to my burger; julienned carrots, cucumber, and a little red onion. The carrots added a little crunch and some great texture to the burger. The cucumber and red onion also helped add something light and fresh, as burgers can be a heavy meal. I think a burger isn't complete unless it has some type of veggie on it, even if it's just lettuce. Greg thinks that's ridiculous, but that's just one thing we'll have to agree to disagree on.
We were especially floored by how perfect the flavor was, considering these burgers are only four ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
1 lb ground turkey
2 green onions, thinly sliced (I used the green and white part)
1/2 Tbsp ginger paste (Can be found in a tube or jar in most grocery stores)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
2. Divide burger meat into 4 patties.
3. Heat non stick skillet on medium high heat (Note that every stove is different and you may need to adjust the heat higher or lower, depending on how hot it typically gets). It's important that the skillet be hot before you add the burgers so that you can get a nice sear on the outside of the burger and help keep all the yummy juicy flavor in the burger.
4. Add the burgers to the skillet. We cooked them two at a time due to the size of our skillet. You don't want to over crowd the pan either, but use your judgment.
5. Cook the burgers for 5-6 minutes before flipping.
6. After flipping, cover the pan and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
7. Optional: toast bun of choice. We like to toast our buns a little, but you don't have to.
8. Check that turkey burger is cooked through. If you are not sure, or if you are unfamiliar with how hot your stove gets, you can use a meat thermometer and the internal temperature of the burger should be about 165F.
9. Move burger to bun and top with sauce and/or veggies of choice.