Asian Turkey Burgers with Wasabi Sauce

Posted on September 23rd, 2010  |  Filed under Episode 108 « Sara's Weeknight Meals Season 1

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.



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