~ Thai Turkey Patties & w/Creamy Coconut Sauce ~
Americans do not require an excuse to indulge in a thick, juicy 'burger, complete with a slathering of sauce, and/or few savory toppings served on the perfect bun. We will hike, bike or drive to our favorite joint to eat one. We've declared May, National Burger Month, and, May 28th, National Burger Day. We adore them. That said, have you ever wondered: when does a burger turn into a patty? What's the difference between a patty and a cake? Aren't they all one-and-the same? In my opinion (and probably yours too), it depends where you grew up. In my neck of the woods, when it comes to this type of technical culinary trivia, folks don't play burger patty-cake, they choose their words carefully. Here's my understanding (as per my dad):
The word 'burger is a carnivorous American slang term that refers to the hamburger, which was originally made of ground beef. Herbivores (vegetarians and vegans) have their own non-meat concoctions which they refer to as 'burgers, and, while I have no ax to grind with them, past that mention, I have no more to say about that. To the average American, the word 'burger, implies ground meat.
The way my people differentiate a burger, from a patty, from a cake, verbalizes like this: A "burger" is ground meat or poultry, shaped into a disc, cooked, and placed on a round bun to eat (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey). A "patty" is a burger that is eaten with a knife and fork, or, placed between two square slices of bread to eat (patty-melt-style). A "cake" refers to burgers and patties made with delicate fish, seafood or vegetables and can be eaten like a burger or a patty (fish, crab, potato, rice cakes). In the case of vegetables, cakes can be served as a side-dish too.
I love it when one basic recipe can be prepared two or three ways, and, it has nothing to do with leftovers. Today, I am using the meat mixture for ~ My Moist, Juicy, Grilled Thai-Style Turkey Burgers ~ to make pan-fried patties. When the patties come out of the skillet I'll be using their flavorful drippings to make a creamy cilantro-laced coconut sauce full of bold Thai flavors.
For the patty mixture:
2 pounds ground turkey (90/10)
1 1/2 cups thinly-sliced green onions (white and light green part)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 extra-large egg
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon Thai seasoning soy
1 teaspoon ground ginger
~ Step 1. Prep and place all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, 2-3 hours, or, as long as 5-6 hours. Note: I experimented with adding minced, Thai chile peppers and fresh ginger in place of the Sriracha sauce and ground ginger. The result was less than desirable. After frying, the heat and spice were not evenly distributed throughout.
1 13 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons palm sugar, or light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
For the accompaniments:
3 cups of ~ My Sweet 'n Spicy Summer Tropical Fruit Salsa ~, which you can find in Categories 1, 4, 8 or 10 or, your favorite store-bought brand
4 cups uncooked Jasmine rice
1 cup lightly-toasted, chopped cashews, for garnish
~ Step 3. Place ingredients for sauce in food processor fitted with a steel blade & process until smooth, 20 seconds. Don't be inclined to adjust the seasoning of this subtle-flavored sauce. When it mixes with the pan drippings, the flavor is going to dance in your mouth!
~ Step 5. On the stovetop or in an electric rice steamer (my favorite way), cook or steam the rice.
~ Step 6. In a 14" nonstick skillet, heat about 1/8" of peanut oil over medium-high. Using a 2 1/2" ice cream scoop as a measure, arrange 14 scoops of turkey mixture in the hot pan. Note: If you are using a smaller skillet, you will have to fry the patties in two batches.
Fry patties until golden brown on both sides, turning only once, about 7-8 minutes per side.
Something tells me you can take it and plate it from here...
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; food processor; small baking pan; electric rice steamer; 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop; 14" skillet, preferably nonstick; spatula; aluminum foil
Cook's Note: Occasionally, instead of serving these patties on a bed of steamed rice, I serve them with my really easy-to-make ~ Thai-Style Broccoli & Jasmine Rice Patty-Cakes ~. You can find this fun-to-eat side-dish recipe in Categories 4, 13, 14 or 20. They can be prepared ahead-of-time and are a perfect complement to all sorts of Thai-Asian meals!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)