For all of the things I get nervous about– and trust me, despite my totally cool demeanor, there are a lot of them: flying, accidentally stepping on bugs when I’m barefoot, and parallel parking, for example– I’m not one to hesitate when it comes to experimenting with seasoning and spice. What comes of these fearless forays into flavor-town? Sometimes it’s scorched taste buds or wasted groceries, sure, but sometimes, sometimes, I strike gold. Case in point: these Thai Curry Turkey Burgers with Spicy Mayo and Coconut-Lime Slaw.
In the realm of bland bases to tinker with, turkey burgers make the perfect subject. Because no matter how much we don’t want to admit it, they’re D-U-L-L on their own. The tabula rasa of the food world, my friends. But as it turns out, a little Thai curry paste and soy sauce can go a long way in terms of spice and savoriness, making these turkey burgers something that I’m actually excited to eat.
And by that, I mean that I ate three of them in a day. THREE. Judge away.
You try using self-restraint when your burgers are loaded up with lemongrass, ginger, and red chili flavors. Or when they’re topped with cooling slaw made of cabbage, sliced snow peas, peppers, cucumbers, and carrots, all tossed in a sweet and tangy coconut-lime dressing. Or when they’re slathered with spicy sriracha-spiked mayo. Or when they’re served on grilled buttery brioche rolls.
That all makes it sound like a lot of effort went into these, but honestly, they’re pretty dang simple to make.
Alright, you’ve gotta slice up all of the veggies for the slaw, but if you have a mandoline it takes basically no time at all. And if you don’t and you want to cheat and use pre-cut slaw mix for the bulk of it, well, I won’t tell if you don’t.
The dressing, though… you definitely have to make that on your own– no pre-mixed, bottled substitutes, please! Don’t worry, it comes together quickly. Just scoop out the coconut cream from the top of a can of coconut milk and mix it with rice vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, and a tiny bit of fish sauce. 👌👌👌 It’s dreamy.
I even got my coconut-hatin’ housemates to chow down on that one.
But back to the burgers, which obviously are the best part of this whole thing. Get ready for this.
All you need is ground turkey, Thai red curry paste, grated onion, crushed garlic, and soy sauce. That’s really it. There are no crazy techniques here, just mix it all together, form into patties, and cook. Easy enough for a weeknight dinner or impromptu bbq, which is exactly what I aim for with my burgers.
Oh and bonus: if you’ve had an issue with dry turkey burgers in the past, you don’t have to worry about it with these Thai Curry Turkey Burgers. Ground turkey thigh meat doesn’t dry out the same way that ground turkey breast might, and the moisture from the soy sauce, grated onion, and wet curry paste will help keep your burgers juicy.
There’s nothing to second-guess. Take the leap and make Thai Curry Turkey Burgers with Spicy Mayo and Coconut-Lime Slaw the next time you’re planning on firing up the grill. Savor every second of the flavor explosion, but not before taking a picture for Instagram or Twitter. Tag it with #hostthetoast so I can check it out (and drool over your Thai Curry Turkey Burgers, of course)!
For the Coconut-Lime Slaw:
- 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 cup trimmed and thinly sliced snow peas
- 1 cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons
- 1 small hot red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
- 1/4 cup sprouts or cilantro
- 3/4 cup coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
For the Turkey Burgers:
- 1.5 pounds ground turkey thighs
- 1/2 small white onion, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- Vegetable oil, for seasoning grill
For the Spicy Mayo:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 4–6 medium brioche burger buns, split
- 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
- In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, snow peas, cucumber, peppers, carrots, and sprouts or cilantro. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut cream, rice vinegar, brown sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce until well-combined. Pour the coconut-lime dressing over the slaw mixture and toss well to coat. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Place the ground turkey into a large bowl. Add in the grated onion (and its juices), garlic, Thai red curry paste, and soy sauce. Mix until evenly distributed and form into patties. Place on the lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the grill for medium-high heat.
- While the grill heats, make the spicy mayo. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, and fish sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Place the patties on the grill. Grill, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until a meat thermometer reads 165° and juices run clear. Grill buns, cut side down, until lightly browned.
- Serve the turkey burgers on grilled buns with slaw, spicy mayo, and chopped peanuts.