It was a weekend of heavy dinners for me. I seem to have made up for the (self-imposed) absence of beef in my diet at home by having steak with my girlfriends Friday night and a burger with other friends Saturday night. By the time Sunday rolled around I was ready for something a little lighter. I baked oatmeal cookies during the day and also made these turkey patties and slaw–intended for dinner. But as I prepared the meal my husband arrived home from a bike ride with an old friend and said we had other plans. We met some old cycling friends and ended up going out for a curry dinner. I will admit that though my husband and I enjoyed the company we were just a bit disappointed in the quality of the meal Sunday night, especially knowing this was available at home. We shared this bowl of slaw and baked turkey patties I used for these shots and had to resist eating more and ruining our appetite. We weren’t able to fully enjoy this meal until Monday night but it was certainly worth waiting for. My husband and I couldn’t get enough.
The recipe that inspired this dish used ground chicken fried in very little oil. While healthy to begin with, I went a step further by baking the patties (I used turkey for more flavor), and you now what, the quality of my version didn’t suffer at all. The turkey patties were crisp on the outside from being finished under the broiler but where they might look dry, they were actually quite moist inside.
Green curry paste is the base flavor here; subtle but enough to give good old turkey a new twist. Sambal Oelek (chili paste) provides a little kick and with the lime/sesame oil-dressed cabbage slaw, the effect is a perfect balance of fresh and exotic. The slaw and patties are garnished with avocado and sliced jalapeño peppers–don’t even think about skipping them! I added the kale simply because I had some in the refrigerator–this is optional.
After serving the patties and slaw this way, it occurred to me that this combination could be made more festive by serving them as sliders. I’ve made Sushi-style salmon sliders before…why not Thai-style? Setting the patty on a slider bun topped with the slaw, avocado and peppers would make for the perfect party or game day food. I can’t wait to try this variation!
- ***For the Turkey Patties***
- ⅔ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- ¼ cup green onions, sliced
- 1 pound ground turkey (or chicken)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise)
- 1 1 /2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chili paste)
- pinch kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1 large egg
- Cooking spray
- ***For the Cabbage Slaw***
- ¾ green cabbage, sliced
- 3-4 stems Tuscan kale, sliced (optional)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- To prepare the slaw (you will want to prepare the slaw first to allow the dressing time to meld with the cabbage, at least 30 minutes): Combine the ingredients from the lime juice to the sugar. Adjust taste to your liking then combine with the cabbage and kale in a large bowl (see my note below regarding proportions). Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the patties. You will add the cilantro, avocado and jalapeño slices before serving.
- To prepare the patties: Preheat your oven to 350℉. Place the panko, green onions and ground turkey in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the ingredients from the mayo to the egg then add to the larger bowl with turkey. Mix together; I find it’s best to use your hands for this so that the other ingredients get incorporated evenly into the ground meat. Divide into 12 portions and form small patties. Lay them on a baking sheet. I lined mine with nonstick foil. Spray the tops of the patties with cooking spray to aid in browning.
- Bake them for about 17 minutes, rotating the pan(s) halfway through. No need to flip the patties at all. Turn on the broiler and broil the patties for just a minute or two for a crisp, golden exterior. They will look dry on the outside but they will be moist inside. Serve as a topping for the cabbage slaw…
- OR: turn these into sliders using the patties as mini burgers and topping with the cabbage slaw and avocado for a more fun presentation.