Larb Burgers

May 29, 2015
1 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Makes 6 burgers
Author Notes

A fun interpretation of the classic Thai salad: Ground chicken is mixed with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, ginger, and shallot, and is then formed into patties. After being cooked, they are wrapped in lettuce leaves, then smothered in an amazing homemade peanut sauce. Burger toppings in the recipe include ripe mango slices, crispy fried shallots, and a shredded cabbage slaw dressed with cilantro, mint, and fresh lime juice. This is one of my family and my favorite summer recipes and is really awesome for barbecues. —Jon Brian Kinney

What You'll Need
  • For the larb burgers:
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves, sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • one 1-inch piece ginger or galangal
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 bunch green leaf lettuce
  • For the peanut sauce:
  • 7 ounces coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile paste
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar simple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. In a large food processor, pulse the shallot, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, fish sauce, and ginger or galangal until minced, scraping the sides as needed.
  2. Add chicken and process until the chicken is ground and the aromatics are evenly distributed. Set aside to rest.
  3. In a small skillet, heat coconut milk, peanut butter, fish sauce, chile paste, and palm sugar simple syrup over low heat. Stir constantly until warmed through and it starts to thicken and eventually congeal.
  4. Remove from heat. Gently stir in water until it becomes a smooth paste. Set aside.
  5. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and coat with oil (or fire up your grill). Form 6 patties from the chicken mixture and cook until done they measure at an internal temperature of 160° F, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. After cooking, let the burgers rest for at least 5 minutes. (Alternatively, freeze the uncooked patties and then defrost however many you need for an easy weeknight dinner.)
  6. Serve the burgers on top of one piece of green leaf lettuce with some peanut sauce drizzled over top. Other fixins I recommend include ripe mango, crispy fried shallots, or a fresh slaw.
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  • Alan Divack
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    Jon Brian Kinney
  • Linda Dean
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    Anne B

6 Reviews

Linda D. April 3, 2016
I made this last night on day 6 of a radical diet I and some friends are on. It was fantastic. I paired it with Genius Recipe from Martha Stewart called Sweet Potatoe, Celery and Apple Salad which was also divine. Substituted lime rind for kaffir leaf- no problem. Instead of peanut butter (not on our diet) we used raw almond butter and sauce was great. Put lime and fresh chopped mint on the side and it was a glorious, fresh, healthy, filling dinner! Thank you, Food 52 community!
Jon B. June 16, 2016
So glad you liked it! We’ve been trying to eat better recently, which was one of the biggest drives for creating this recipe. We are happy it helped someone else in the same way. :-)
Alan D. August 22, 2015
THese sound great, and with the full range of spice. I have a variant based on Japanese chicken-tofu patties, but which uses kratiem seasoning: roasted white peppercorn, coriander roots, and garlic. The flavor will be different but very Thai:
Jon B. August 25, 2015
Those look great! Thanks for sharing with us.
Anne B. August 20, 2015
Do you have recommended subs for kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass? I apologize for the predictable question, but I'd love for this to make it into my regular dinner rotation. Many thanks!
Jon B. August 21, 2015
For substituting kaffir lime leaves you could just zest a whole lime and put that in there. As for the lemongrass, that's more tricky. You could just leave it out if you can't find any, but lemongrass is commonly found in the herb section at most supermarkets these days.