Friday, May 25, 2012

Turkey Shish Kaburgers! A Seriously Not Horrible Turkey Burger

Usually when I post a recipe, I want it to be fantastic, awesome, incredible, inspiring, and/or mind-blowing. With this turkey shish kaburger, I was only shooting for not horrible. Happily, we achieved that and much more.

I’ve received countless food wishes for turkey burgers over the years, but just the mere thought of that dull, pale, insipid lump of meat (aka “the Mitt Romney of meat”), had me reaching for the delete button. Even when I’m out for a cheeseburger, and I see someone in front of me begrudgingly order the turkey burger (hold the mayo), I think to myself, “that poor bastard.”

So, how do you turn the dreaded t-burg into something that would cause envy instead of pity? When in doubt, go ethnic! I figured if we borrowed from the famously flavorful shish kabob, but used turkey instead of lamb or beef, we just may be able to pull this off. I know I lot of you think chunks of meat when you hear “shish kabob,” but ground meat is also used, and I’ve always preferred that version anyway.

As I mention in the clip, I used the “rising juice method” to test for doneness, but since ground poultry isn’t something you want to take a chance with, I suggest you use a thermometer to ensure an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Just keep in mind, since turkey is so low in fat, no matter how incredibly well you season the meat, if you overcook these, even a little, they will be dry.

But, the good news is if you don’t, and remove them with most of their precious moisture intact, you’ll be enjoying a turkey burger that’s not only not horrible, but is actually delicious. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 turkey burgers:
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1 1/2  tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
1 1/2  tablespoons ground almonds
1 or 2 tsp hot chili paste, or minced fresh hot peppers
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
*I garnished mine with mayo, topped with red onions and tomatoes I tossed in lemon juice, and more cilantro leaves.

View the complete recipe

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

What brand of hamburger buns are these? They look pillowy and delicious.

Chef John said...

Don't remember! They were super cheap generic brand from the corner liquor store. I got them cause they fit the best! :-)

Anonymous said...

These should actually be called "Shish Burgers". Shish refers to the type of kabob. Kabob being a dish in and of itself. There's no such thing as a kaburger.

Austin said...

It seems like this would be great but it would be even better with other meats. Lamb, for example, comes to mind (for obvious reasons).

Anonymous said...

"Don't feel bad if you're envious, that's completely normal"... LOL!!!!

Thanks Chef John!

Anonymous said...

I make turkey burgers and people like 'em. I just add flavor with some poultry seasoning or fresh sage or whatever. But the real trick is to add grated mozzarella cheese into the burger mix, about one cup per pound of meat. it lends a bit of fat to the meat as it cooks, to retain moisture.
You're welcome. :P

Chef John said...

LOL @ "no such thing as a kaburger"

Gloria said...

" dull, pale insipid lump of meat" Chef, please keep politics out of your otherwise excellent blog. In my opinion, you are misinformed.

Anonymous said...

Love you Chef John...but politics do not belong the kitchen.

Keep up the good work.

Chef John said...

I reserve the right to write/say anything that amuses me on my own blog! Just don't read those parts if it bothers you. Thanks!

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef said...

I'm pissing myself laughing over the not politically correctness. I hadn't heard that and cracked up.

Nobody in Australia says shish and it's a kebab not a bob but it tastes the same. I bet the turkey was great.

Cooking it perfectly is the bit I worry about. Overdone it's like an old shoe, underdone and it's a potential health risk.

Bob Walters said...

John:

Yes, you have the right to say anything you like on your own blog, but people also have the right to be irritated by snide comments about politicians you don't happen to like. You advised one one reader to simply not read the offensive parts, but that's not very very realistic, is it? If you just MUST take cheap political shots in a food oriented blog, please consider a special political section rather than just slip in a left-wing sucker punch into an otherwise nice recipe. We read your blog because because we want to learn about food. Plenty of nasty political rhetoric already exists on the internet and many of us really don't want to listen to your personal views. You're not likely to convert anyone, but you are likely to turn some of your fans away from your blog. Would you call a faux-filet "The Obama of steaks"?

Chef John said...

LOL, you people crack me up!

It's not even a political joke, it's a famous bland white person joke. I was not doing anything other than getting a cheap laugh at a current celebrity's expense, something I've done a hundred times on the blog...using all types of people.

A separate section? Are you kidding? I've probably mentioned politics less than 6 times in over 1600 posts!

And yes, I was of course kidding about "don't read that part" ...the real solution is to not read the blog at all, if a joke like that every 200 posts offends you!

Of course people have the right to be irritated, but no one has the right to tell someone how to run their personal blog.

And finally, I would definitely use the joke faux-filet is "The Obama of steaks" if it were funny, but it's not.

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times...I'll do the jokes.

Chef John said...

btw, that will be the last comment I publish on the subject (from me or a reader).

suvro said...

I made this two days back, and it has quickly become our favorite burger. We have been trying to cut down on meat, and specially red meat. So once in a while we used to do a lamb burger from Suvir Saran's recipe. But I think the turkey burger is even better, both for health purposes, and also flavor wise.
Thanks Chef John. I am a long time fan and have used many recipes, but this is the first time I am commenting.

SEX69 said...

Topped my sandwich with Miracle Whip ,and with red onions

Claudine said...

Great blog. Good recipe as a save for ground turkey. I like the Kaburger and your funny joke.
I adore you and your blog.
Good for you, and write and say whatever the hell you want to.

Anonymous said...

I don't expect you to approve this, but just as a personal note...

When Roger Ebert posts something remotely political they tell him "Roger, you really should stick to movie reviews."

When Paul Krugman posts something political they tell him "Paul, you really should stick to economics."

Like clockwork. You're in good company.

Justin said...

Heya, Chef John! I know this is a turkey burger recipe, but do you think the flavors would work just as well for regular ol' beef burgers or would you go with ground lamb? Thanks!

Naomi said...

Can't wait to try these for July 4th! Btw, is there a way to print only the ingredients from this post? Thanks!

PradaPunk said...

What grill you are using in your videos?

Chef John said...

Weber Q

Redrockzy said...

Garam masala. Those were the most amazing burgers. We watched the video and my husband grilled just like you did. Pure perfection. I had never heard of Garam masala but found it at Cost Plus. So glad I did. It made the turkey burgers. Next time I have company, I'm serving these!!

Redrockzy said...

Amazing. The best turkey burger I have ever had. Good enough for company. Make sure you find the seasoning. It's so worth it and you can definitely taste it!!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Chef John. I will still read your blog and watch your videos because I can take a joke and because EVERYONE has opinions and ARE free to say/write them on their own blogs aka you on your blog. Skip those who have a problem with it; you still have plenty of fans and then some if they choose to stop reading/watching. You aren't sweating it, I know. I haven't had a t-burg but I actually really like turkey! That is all I actually really wanted to say. =)

David W said...

Hey, Chef John! Love your blog, videos, and recipes. I've been following you since Christmas 2011, when I made the gingerbread cake. I've been hooked ever since and I make quite a few of the dishes you demonstrate. Tonight for the 4th of July, I made these Shishkaburgers and they were amazing. Thanks so much for keeping such a fantastic blog and helping me with my cooking! : )

Heide said...

LOL "Bland white person joke"...

How bout a Chef John Burger. Not funny, right?

Nuff said.