Asian Turkey Burgers with Wasabi Sauce

Makes 6 servings
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 30 minutes

Sure, ground turkey is a nice lean alternative to ground beef, but its very leanness guarantees that it will usually be quite dry. How to juice it up? Vegetables – in this case Napa cabbage, which gives off moisture as it cooks.

The various Asian elements in the burger – soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil – inspired me to complement it with Wasabi Sauce. Although authentic Japanese wasabi is very hard to find in America, the supermarket brands available here still pack quite a punch. If you like spicy food, wasabi should become a staple in your pantry.

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (white, dark or mixed)
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 small head Napa cabbage, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
4 scallions (white and light green parts), finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons rinsed, dried, and chopped fresh cilantro, mint, or basil, or a mix
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (use a microplane)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared wasabi
6 hamburger buns, toasted if desired

Stir together the turkey, bell pepper, cabbage, scallions, egg, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper just until well mixed. Shape the mixture into six patties about 1/2 inch thick.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium, add the burgers, and cook them for 5 minutes a side or until just cooked through, adding more oil if necessary.

Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise, wasabi, remaining 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.

Put a burger in each of the buns and top the burger with about 1 tablespoon of the sauce.


Thanks to

Sara's Weeknight Meals is produced by Silver Plume Productions and WETA Washington, DC, and distributed by American Public Television (APT) to public broadcasting stations nationwide. Corporate funding is provided by Best Buy, Gallo and King Arthur Flour. |

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