Sunday, 13 January 2013

Ottolenghi's turkey and courgette burgers - fusion-style

One of my friends bought me Jerusalem (the new cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi) for my birthday, and I've been very excited to try out some of the incredible recipes. Post-Christmas, I finally have a bit more time for experimental cookery, and this weekend I decided to make a start with the turkey and courgette burgers.

The recipe calls for fresh coriander, mint, spring onions, cumin and cayenne pepper, but as I already had a big bunch of wilting parsley in my vegetable drawer (left-over from my chicken soup), I didn't really want to buy any more fresh herbs. Instead I decided to expand on the spring onion flavour and attempt an Asian twist on the original recipe, skipping the mint, coriander, cumin and cayenne, and substituting grated ginger, lime juice, a dash of soy sauce and a hint of chilli in their place.

Fried in sesame oil and served with pak choi and noodles this was a light, subtly oriental supper, and - if there had been any leftovers - I think the turkey burgers would have also been lovely cold (perhaps in a sandwich for lunch...). Here is my take on the recipe:


500g minced turkey, extra lean
2 small courgettes, coarsely grated (around 200g)
3 spring onions, finely sliced
Grated root ginger (one or two inches, depending on how much you like ginger!)
1 medium free-range egg
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Dash of soy sauce (in the place of salt)
Juice of half a lime
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
Sesame oil, for frying

Preheat the oven to 220C (or 200C for a fan oven). In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients bar the sesame oil, then shape into small burgers (the recipe should yield around 18 patties).

Heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan, and sear your burgers in batches until golden brown on all sides (about 2 minutes on each side, on a medium heat). Transfer the seared meatballs to a foil-lined oven-dish and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until just cooked through.

While your meatballs are cooking, prepare your egg noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Separate the individual leaves of your pak choi and steam (or stir fry, if you prefer) for around two minutes.

Serve with sweet Thai chilli sauce for dipping.