Lean meat, as a rule, needs help. Here, inspired by traditional Parsi kebabs, Niloufer Ichaporia King jams it full of moisture (and flavor) with a mess of herbs, alliums, ginger, and chiles. There is a greater proportion of raw vegetable matter here than you might have thought wise to mix into a burger. But every last bit has just enough time to soften and release its bright, herby, spicy vapors and juices into the burgers as they sizzle, fixing both of the problems meat lacking in fat tends to have: severe deficits in flavor and moisture. Adapted slightly from My Bombay Kitchen (University of California Press, 2007). —Genius Recipes
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Niloufer Ichaporia King’s Turkey (or Chicken or Pork) Parsi Burgers
ground turkey, chicken, or lean pork
small red or yellow onion, or 4 green onions, finely chopped
slices peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 to 4
small green chiles like jalapeño, finely chopped (seeds and white ribs removed if you don’t want it too spicy)
(or more) chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems
In a bowl, mix together the ground turkey, onion, ginger, chiles, fresh coriander, mint if you like, and egg. Season with salt and mix thoroughly. (If you want to check the seasoning to taste, fry off a little tester patty.) Shape into 4 to 6 flat patties
Heat a cast-iron skillet with a thin film of oil. Moderately high heat is better than a blazing-hot pan, which can char the meat before the insides are cooked. Fry the burgers on both sides until brown, about 5 to 10 minutes a side, depending on the thickness. To be certain the meat is cooked through, an instant-read thermometer should read 165°F, but this recipe is forgiving even if you overcook it. Serve as you like—King recommends a baked potato and a simple green salad with avocado.
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