Grilled Tamarind Turkey Burgers Recipe

Aug 7, 2013 4:00 pm

Southeast Asian flavors come together on the grill

Photo: Jason Snyder
Photo: Jason Snyder
There's no shortage of flavors in these ground turkey burgers, perfect for backyard grilling.

Liz Neumark of The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm in upstate New York teaches children how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy, natural, local food. Sylvia's Table, their cookbook released today, is full of the Center's greatest hits. These easy, flavorful turkey burgers are a light alternative to heavier grilled meats and will be devoured by kids and adults alike. 

Most children today have been exposed to a greater range of flavors than we were when we were very young, and their tastes are more developed, even for spicy foods. I cannot count the number of times I meet children who can rattle off their favorite sushi! So there’s no worry that the warm but not too spicy Southeast Asian seasonings in these turkey burgers won’t appeal to young palates.

Ground turkey, like boneless chicken breasts, is receptive to a wide range of flavorings, making it another option for good, tasty, quick and affordable meals. This recipe can be halved, but the mixture freezes well, so, unless the turkey has already been frozen, you may want to make it all and freeze some of the burgers.

Reprinted with permission from Sylvia's Table

Servings: 8 patties


2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 jalapeño with seeds, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and about 1 inch of green parts
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey, 1/2 white, 1/2 dark meat
hamburger or other rolls
garnishes of your choice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon peeled and minced garlic
1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
cooking spray or vegetable oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

For the glaze:

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tamarind concentrate, honey, Sriracha, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and reduced to about 1 cup, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
  2. Let the glaze cool completely, then mix in the lime juice.
  3. Prepare a charcoal fire or gas grill to medium heat or place a grill pan over medium-high heat and coat it with cooking spray or oil. A nonstick or cast-iron pan is also fine for cooking these.

For the burgers:

  1. Mix together the mayonnaise, ginger, salt, pepper, cumin, jalapeño, cilantro and 4 teaspoons of the glaze in a large bowl, then mix in the scallions.
  2. Add the ground turkey and mix it well but loosely with the mayonnaise mixture; do not overwork. Shape the turkey into eight 1/2-inch-thick patties (or smaller ones for little people).
  3. Grill the rolls, cut side down, until golden, about 2 minutes; transfer them to a serving platter.
  4. Grill the burgers until cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees, about 8 minutes on each side.
  5. Brush each burger with the remaining glaze and serve with garnishes, and a spread of your choice for the buns— I like mayonnaise spiked with a drop or two of Sriracha.

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Level of Difficulty: 
Prep Time: 
35 minutes
Cooking Time: 
45 minutes
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