| Bonnie S Benwick |
THESE are lip-smacking good. The burgers taste just as great cold as they do straight from the stove.
The recipe gave us a chance to try the tubes of fresh pureed herbs we often see in supermarkets like Safeway and Giant, in the refrigerated produce section. If you can’t find lemon grass paste, smash one five-inch length of lemon grass and remove the outer layer, then coarsely chop and add to the food processor when you add the cilantro.
Serve with sliced cucumber, fresh basil, mint and cilantro leaves and lime wedges.
Lemon grass paste is becoming widely available in the refrigerated produce section of large grocery stores, as well as at Asian markets. You’ll find ginger-garlic paste in the Indian section of the international aisle and in Indian and Asian markets.
Ingredients for Sticky Lemon Grass Burgers (Four servings)
Adapted from “Burgers: The Exciting Varieties Are Endless” (Spruce, 2014)
Seven ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (one good-size breast half)
Thirteen ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about three-and-a-half thighs)
One bunch scallions
Four stems cilantro
One tablespoon Gourmet Garden brand lemon grass paste (see headnote)
Two teaspoons ginger-garlic paste (see headnote)
Two tablespoons olive oil
One tablespoon soy sauce, preferably dark
One tablespoon fish sauce
One tablespoon plain rice vinegar
One tablespoon water
One tablespoon sugar, preferably superfine
Whole-wheat rolls or onion rolls, toasted, for serving
Cut the breast and thigh meat into chunks, transferring them to a food processor as you work. Discard any visible fat. Pulse until just coarsely chopped.
Coarsely chop all but two of the scallions, reserving them for garnish. Transfer the chopped scallions to the food processor, along with the cilantro. Pulse for five seconds or just until incorporated. Transfer to a mixing bowl, stir in the lemon grass and ginger-garlic pastes; cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes, then shape the mixture into four somewhat flat patties of equal size.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the patties and cook for four minutes, until crisped on the bottom, then turn them over and cook for four minutes on the second side.
Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, water and sugar to the skillet, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cover with a lid and cook for two minutes, turning the burgers so they are coated, until the sauce in the pan has become sticky. The burgers should be cooked through. Turn them over to coat them evenly in the pan sauce just before you remove them from the pan.
Place the burgers between sets of toasted buns. Cut the remaining scallions into thin shreds; garnish the burgers with them. Serve right away. (WP-BLOOM)