Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chinese Five Spice Turkey Burger with Cucumber Relish

Recently I added a bunch of seemingly random shows to my DVR from Cooking Channel.  One of which was Everyday Exotic hosted by Roger Mooking, whom I think is a riot on Heat Seekers.  So fun! The premise of the show is to take one spice or ingredient then create a meal where is makes several appearances.  The first show I watched featured Chinese Five Spice, a blend of star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper.  Roger used it to make Lamb Burgers with Cucumber Relish and a Five Spice Aioli.  I created my own version and loved every bite!!

Ground turkey is such a healthy option for burgers but can be bland in my opinion. It definitely needs some excitement to transform into a satisfying burger.  This recipe did that for me!  The shallots and garlic provides tons of flavor while helping to keep the burger moist.  The Chinese Five Spice gives a great shot of intense flavor that is warm and somewhat unexpected in a burger.  I do think that that Cucumber Relish and Five Spice Aioli are a must.  In the future I might make the Aioli with Greek Yogurt but the creamy texture was perfect with the relish on this burger.  

I know it is cold outside but fire up your grill, I think you'll be glad you did.

Chinese Five Spice Turkey Burgers Cucumber Relish
adapted from Everyday Exotic

2 lbs of lean ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1 shallot, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 TBS of Chinese Five Spice
1/4 tsp of black pepper

Combine all the ingredients well but be sure not to compress the meat too much.  Form into 8 loose patties and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Cook on the grill over medium low heat, turning as little as possible until cooked throughout or an internal temperature of 165degrees is reached.  Let rest for 5 minutes under a foil tent before serving.

Cucumber Relish
adapted from Everyday Exotic

2 TBS of canola oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp of salt
1/8 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 TBS of sugar
1 English cucumber, seeded and finely chopped

Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.  Add the onions, garlic and salt then cook for 4-5 minutes until soft.  Add the jalapeno and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Add the sugar and rice wine vinegar, stir well and let simmer for 3-5 minutes until the vinegar reduces by a 1/3.  Stir in the cucumber and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the cucumber is soft and the relish has come together.  Turn off the heat and set aside for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Five Spice Aioli

1/4 cup of light mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 1/2 tsp of Chinese Five Spice powder

Combine all the ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve the Turkey Burgers.

Assembly:  Use neutral rolls that have been toasted.  Top each burger with 1-2 TBS of aioli and 2-3 TBS of Cucumber Relish.  Enjoy!


  1. I just barely got the Cooking Channel back, and I'm so happy! These look so delicious, and so unique!

  2. oh wow, i'll be making these soon!

  3. Liz, these turkey burgers look delicious and I love the flavors you used! Yum! I'm so glad to have found your blog. Thanks for sharing.


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