Vietnamese inspired chicken burgers

Photographer: Emma
Makes 6 burgers

This recipe began life as a chicken ball.  Bursting with flavour, its outward appearance (pale and insipid) did little to promote its culinary virtues.  I saw in it the potential for greater things however and thus set about turning it into a chicken burger.  Full of flavour, the patty itself required very little attention, other than a commitment on my part to actually put pen to paper to record exactly what had been going into this recipe (it changes every time!).  The accompanying slaw, dressing and peanut sauce are very new additions to this burger as I normally serve it with whatever might happen to be in the fridge at the time; cheese, lettuce, gherkins, grated carrot, cucumber, beetroot etc.

So don’t feel intimidated by the fact that this recipe is actually four in one.  Forget the add-ons and just make the burger patties.  Slap them between a good bun and then pile on whatever you have on hand.  I happen to think that these are the best chicken burgers in the world.  Ever.


Burger Patties
500g chicken mince
3 tbsp coconut powder
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 spring onions, finely chopped
6 kaffir lime leaves, deveined and finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
1 large red chilli, deseeded, halved lengthways and finely chopped
6 burger buns (I used ciabatta rolls)

1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/8 red cabbage, very finely sliced
½ small red onion, very finely sliced
8 snow peas, julienned
Good handful Thai Basil or Vietnamese Mint

1 large red chilli, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 lemon, peeled and deseeded so that only the flesh remains
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp water
4 tbsp fish sauce

Peanut Sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
100g crunchy peanut butter
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup water


Burger Patties
1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and give it a good mix to ensure all the ingredients are well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator.

1. Combine all ingredients, cover and place in the refrigerator.

1. Place the chilli, garlic and sugar into a mortar and pestle and pound until a smooth paste forms.
2. Add the lemon flesh and continue to pound until once again smooth.
3. Finally add the lemon juice, vinegar, water and fish sauce and mix to a smooth sauce.

Peanut Sauce
1. Fry the garlic and chilli in a little oil, being careful not to burn the garlic, remove from the pan and place into a mixing bowl. Add the shrimp paste and continue to cook for a further minute or two then add this to the garlic/chilli mix.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the garlic/chilli/shrimp and stir until well combined and smooth.

To Assemble
1. Divide the chicken mixture into 6 portions, form into patties (the mixture can simply be spooned onto the BBQ and shaped with the back of the spoon) and fry in a little olive oil on the skillet of a BBQ.
2. Spread peanut sauce (as much as desired) onto each burger bun, add a pattie onto each one, top with the slaw then dress with the dressing. Serve immediately.