Grilled Thai Turkey Burgers

Grilling season is in full force at our house, the air conditioner has been running for over a month straight and it’s too hot to use the wok every night.  That only leaves one option for our once or twice a week meat fix…..the grill! The supposedly organic, free range, vegetarian feed, no hormones & antibiotic free turkey breast that have absolutely NO flavor (to me) because there is no fat….duh! I’m so glad these little buggers did have a good up bringing though.   The only way I can make this high protein meat taste good is to add a lot of flavor & spice. Turkey burgers are a distant reminder of moms meatloaf when making them, although they are much healthier & have a lot more zip! (I think….sorry mom).

I really don’t have a recipe for these burgers, as they change each & every time I make them depending on what I have on hand.  They kinda go like this….

Organic lemongrass grows like wildfire here in the tropical south, you can use it in so many ways, especially Vietnamese & Thai.  I can chop it or sometimes I grade it & keep it in the freezer for quick sprinkles in lots of different dishes & stir fry’s.

I have 2 types of lemongrass, (you can see the different colors) I don’t know the difference although one type has a lot more dense leaves on the plant and the other looks like it’s laking fullness.

I picked up these pepper plants for a couple dollars at the farmers market, I keep them in pots so I can bring them in when the sun gets to intense.

Organic peppers and lots of them, I love to grow several types of pepper plants so I can pick what ever is ripe & vivid just to add a splash of color & zest to any dish.  They don’t need to be so hot you can’t enjoy the flavor, just delightful & savory.

I can’t imagine any recipe without some type of onion & garlic, people who don’t eat garlic or onions because of whatever reason…… are just plain weird! ;D

Don’t forget the scallion & grated ginger!

Organic cilantro is a little more difficult to grow here,  I tend to used too much & it doesn’t have the regrowth when used like basil.  I use chopped cilantro in the burgers for some leafy green goodness & helps hold the burgers together.

These are the three flavour loves of my life! Salty, spicy & sweet…..just missing sour!


  • Turkey Breast Ground
  • Oatmeal Sprinkles (I have used cooked red quinoa)
  • Apple Sauce (replaces egg)
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Scallion (or sweet onion or both)
  • Cilantro
  • Splash Fish Sauce (replaces salt)
  • Splash Soy Sauce
  • Hoisin Sauce (replaces ketchup)
  • Sriracha Sauce (for some kick)
  • Sprinkles of 5 Spice Powder
  • Drizzle Olive Oil
  • Splash Sesame Oil

You can use what ever you have on hand, just make it up as you go along.

Method to the Madness:

Mix everything together just like moms meatloaf, they need to be moist to stick together, I drizzle some olive oil & a splash of seseme oil for the lacking fat content.  Squish the mixture into small patties & throw them on the grill, don’t overcook, keep checking until they are not dripping any juices.  They also need to char a bit, that gives them added flavor (the charing comes from the hoisin sauce)!  These are simply amazing and full of FLAVOR!  Paired with a light Asian slaw & glass of lychee sake, this could be another one of my favorite summer meals.

I use this CF recipe when making meatballs for sweet & sour, baked in the oven instead of the grill.

Note to self:

Make sure you have enough propane when grilling 16 turkey burgers…..also if you finish them in the oven make sure you use a baking pan, not a cookie sheet that the juices can run off & fill the oven & house with smoke.  Also pay attention while grating the lemongrass, those graders can rip your finger off! ;D

Bon Appetit!

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4 Responses to Grilled Thai Turkey Burgers

  1. Eleanor Hoh says:

    Hello fellow intuitive cook! Love your Thai burgers. Good job using Asian flavors to change it up. Your lemon grass looks fantastic, I need to nurture mine more. I think you must have been Asian in your previous life, ha, ha.

    • Julia says:

      Thank you Eleanor! I’m pretty sure my taste buds are Asian! I can’t imagine life with out it! Your site truly was a inspiration for getting me started using a cast iron wok! I especially remember the videos! Thank you for your talents!

  2. Eleanor Hoh says:

    Oh, forgot to comment about using a wok when it’s hot. Many wok friends agree stir frying is so quick, it doesn’t heat up the kitchen like baking or broiling. Sorry to hear your wok broke, hope you’ll get a replacement cause if anyone appreciates one, you do, Julia!

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