Spicy Turkey Burgers

Spicy Turkey BurgerBird on a Bun
My family has a group chat so that we can check in during the day to discuss such important matters as When was the last time you showered?, Did you put the dishes in the dishwasher? and We’re out of cereal. My personal favorite is the afternoon ritual of What does everyone want for dinner? If I am lucky, I will get an actual text response, usually from my husband because, like the old people that we are, we text in complete sentences. My kids like to respond with emojis and more often than not, the response is the cheeseburger emoji.

I am an unapologetic burger lover and I have passed this love of meat and cheese on to my children. My husband also loves the sacred burger but, because he is a better person and more concerned about such things, he will oftentimes opt for a turkey burger to give his arteries a break. While I applaud his efforts, I have found it difficult to emulate them because I had yet to find a turkey burger that is worth it. They tend to be flavorless and dry. Sometimes I do come across a recipe that I have to try.

This recent find is what’s for dinner tonight since it is hot as Hades and there ain’t no way I am turning anything in the kitchen on when it is 95 degrees out. Plus, the kids have practice and burgers be fast and easy. Slice up a watermelon and you have a quick cool tasty hot summer dinner…

Spicy Turkey Burgers
Adapted from the Food Network
Yields 4 Burgers

I recommend first cooking up a small test burger to check that the degree of spiciness and seasoning is to taste. That way, if you are not too keen on spice, you can add the chili paste gradually. 

Extra-virgin olive oil for the pan
1 yellow onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1-1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

4 hamburger buns
Sambal Mayonnaise: 1/4 cup mayo mixed with 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
tomato slices
red onion slices
Red leaf lettuce

Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt, and bring it to a medium-high heat. Cook the onions until they are soft and very aromatic (about 7 to 8 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Once cool, in a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, soy sauce, sambal oelek, ginger, cilantro and the cooked onions and garlic. Using your hands, combine all the ingredients thoroughly.

This is when you can make a small test burger. When the burger mix is seasoned appropriately, form the mix into 4 equally-sized patties.

Coat the same pan you sautéed the onions in with more olive oil and bring it to a medium-high heat. Place the burgers in the pan making certain not to crowd the burgers. It usually takes about 5 to 6 minutes on each side for the burgers to cook. Or, follow my example and cook them on the grill.

Toast the buns in a broiler or toaster. We like to put out all the fixings and allow each person to build their own burger.

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