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Lemongrass Pork Burgers

The flavors of Southeast Asia were the inspiration for this lean, delicious burger, which has an alluring floral note of lemongrass and a good dose of ginger, too.

  • Yield: Makes 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2005

Ingredients

  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 stalks fresh lemongrass, bottom 6 inches only, finely chopped (6 tablespoons)
  • 1 piece (2 inches) peeled fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 3 to 6 fresh Thai chiles (depending on desired heat), thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 heads Boston lettuce (6 medium cup-shaped leaves reserved, remaining leaves shredded crosswise)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Cucumber wedges, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Process 2 shallots, the lemongrass, and ginger in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer shallot mixture to a medium bowl. Using your hands, gently combine shallot mixture, the pork, salt, and pepper (do not overwork meat). Shape into 6 patties (3 to 4 inches in diameter). Refrigerate, covered, until cold, about 1 hour (or overnight).

  2. Preheat grill to medium-high (if using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 3 to 4 seconds). Brush grill and burgers with oil. Grill burgers, flipping once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

  3. Make salad: Stir together remaining shallot, the lime juice, fish sauce, and chiles in a small bowl. Toss together shredded lettuce, the cilantro, and mint in a medium bowl. Add dressing; toss.

  4. Place each burger on a lettuce cup. Top with salad, dividing evenly. Serve with cucumber wedges, if desired.

Cook's Notes

Thai chiles are small, fresh, red or green chiles, and are very hot. For a milder flavor, remove the seeds. You can substitute one fresh serrano chile.

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