Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 - 11 minutes


Ground turkey is like a blank canvas. On its own, the flavor is very bland and plain but when you start adding all sorts of savory ingredients and spices, it takes on a life of its own. This recipe is southeast Asian-themed, using ingredients such as Soy Sauce, sambal oelek, fresh ginger, cilantro and with a surprising twist, water chestnuts. These are explosively flavored burgers and you will not need any kind of condiment such as ketchup or mustard. Serve with sides of your choice and make sure to have a refreshing beverage on hand!


  • 1 onion, cut into 1/4" dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/8 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free reduced sodium tamari)
  • 1 tbsp. sambal oelek (or Sriracha)
  • 1" piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 a bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Optional GarnishesEdit

  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 4 seeded burger buns
  • Sambal oelek mayo (1/4 cup mayo mixed with 2 tsp. sambal oelek)
  • 4 slices beefsteak tomatoes
  • 4 slices raw red onion
  • Butter lettuce


Heat 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, season with a little salt and cook until the onions are soft and aromatic, around 7 - 8 minutes. Add the garlic and briefly cook for another 1 - 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, soy sauce, sambal oelek, ginger, water chestnuts, cilantro and the cooked onion mixture. Using your hands, blend everything together until well-combined. Form the mixture into 4 equal sized patties.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat (you can use the same skillet in which you cooked the onions, but wipe it clean first). Place the burgers in the pan and do not crowd them (they will end up steaming instead of cooking). Cook the burgers for 5 - 6 minutes per side. If using the cheese, place a slice on the burger and cook for 1 more minute.

Toast the buns in a broiler or toaster (optional). Spread each side of the bun lightly with the sambal mayo (optional). Put a burger on each of the bottom buns and top each burger with tomato, onion and lettuce (optional). Close up each burger, press slightly to close and eat immediately.

If serving beer with this meal, a recommended pairing would be a light lager.

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