Thursday, February 4, 2010

Turkey Burgers - or Dumpling Filling

It's true, I'm a sucker for ground turkey. I'm not really sure why, perhaps because it's relatively rare compared to ubiquitous German pork. It's slightly healthier, it tastes simmilar to pork, but really, I think I just like turkey. And ground turkey is easier to prepare than roasting a whole bird.

Normally, I favour turkey burgers with grilled figs but the local green grocer didn't have figs. I scoured online & found an idea (it's far too forgiving to be an actual recipe) for turkey potstickers. I didn't feel like making the dumpling skins myself, and it was a cold day outside so I wasn't about to buy them. I made burgers.

Asian Turkey Burgers
(adapted from The Fortune Cookie Chronicles)

1/2 head napa cabbage, chopped
300g ground turkey
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 chopped scallions
1tsp minced garlic
1tsp minced ginger
1 shredded carrot
1 1/2 tsp light miso
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 rolls with sesame seeds on top

Sautee cabbage to get rid of moisture.
Mix cabbage, turkey, soy, sesame oil, vinegar, scallions, garlic & ginger in a bowl. Form into 2 patties. Grill. Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise and miso. Slice open rolls, spread a bit of miso mayo on each half. Remove burgers from grill, place on roll. Top with Kimchi & carrot.

I was not only enamored with the burgers, I was also enamored by the blog from Ms. Lee.

After clicking through a few pages, I realized I needed to order the book. While I don't normally plug anything except local farmers, I can only recommend this book. I, like many people, love Chinese food. Ms. Lee does not talk about Chinese food, she talks about the Americanization of Chinese food - a concept which can be applied to other countries as well, to varying degrees. The life of an immigrant is hard, one often is confronted with a lack of acceptance. Degrees and qualifications are not recognized; locals think that you are a threat to the local economy and will take away jobs from citizens (this is something that I have not only been subject to, it is something that I see going on around me). Ms. Lee explains how the Chinese have become more American that apple pie (When was the last time you ate apple pie? she asks. When was the last time you ate Chinese food?) and shows the evolution of restaurant workers; from illegal immigrants, to restaurant owners, to parents of children who are not to own restaurants.

At least I got to think about something while eating my turkey burgers. And by the way, even though it is a popular substitute for pork in Chinese recipes, turkey isn't Asian.


Amanda said...

I also love ground turkey. I substitute it for ground beef all the time. It's great in chili.

That burger must have had great flavour! Looks great.

Sounds like a very interesting book!

Cathy said...

Those burgers look delicious! Ground turkey is somewhat hard to find here and I tend to just pulse some turkey breasts through the food processor when I am in dire need of a turkey burger.

taste traveller said...

Amanda: it was my commuter reading & it was great. I think I've had turkey chili but normally we eat realtively well so we indulge in "real" meat every once in a while.

Cathy: That's ingenious! If only I had a food processor. Tiny European kitchen.... I went to a restaurant recently that has turkey burgers - a couple of turkey breasts, grilled, on a bun.

Karine said...

I also love ground turkey. In fact, in Canada, groud beef is very popular... but I prefer the leaner like ground turkey or ground chicken.

Great burgers by the way!

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