Thai Burgers with Mushroom-Broccoli Fried Rice makes for a fast, easy, and delicious dinner the entire family will love. A copy of Nong’s Thai Kitchen was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing.
I was so excited when I saw this recipe for Thai burgers in Nongkrat Daks’ Nong’s Thai Kitchen: 84 Classic Recipes that are Quick, Healthy and Delicious–I knew instantly I was making it. Thinking back on the success of Loco Moco in my family, I knew we would love this. Interestingly–because my family is pretty much the opposite of typical in culinary terms–I had to be careful not to call the Thai burgers, “burgers.” Because, well, my kids are not fans. I know, shocking. But what they really do not care for (I think) is a barely seasoned hamburger on a bun. They just do not get the appeal. So for their entire lives I have been calling kofta and other grilled forms of ground meat “sausage.” Hey it is ground and it is flavored, so it works for me.
Now Nongkran, in her book, does emphasize this can be served on a bun. But she also said that growing up it was a special treat they ate with rice, and as I said that makes it an easy sell in my family. And so fast and simple to make! I used my own fried rice recipe, but any fried rice should work, as well as plain steamed Jasmine rice.
This dish went over like gangbusters in my family. Sammy was quite put out that we did not have it a second night (we often have leftovers)! We did have one amusing exchange where I forgot not to call the, ahem, seasoned ground meat patties “hamburgers” and Sammy got momentarily quite suspicious about what she was enjoying, but she accepted my explanation that I had accidentally called them hamburgers and do not worry they are not at all hamburgers!
Only my kids.
The minute I saw that Nongkran Daks had a book coming out I wanted it. Now do not laugh, but I have been obsessed with trying her food (her restaurant is located near(ish) my in-laws’ home in Northern Virginia) ever since I saw her beat Bobby Flay on a Throwdown for Pad Thai. So of course I wanted her book to review.
The cookbook is small, almost more like a trade paperback than a traditional large cookbook. It does have color photography, although the pictures are smaller. The dishes are quite accessible to your average American cook who has eaten in Thai restaurants here in the States, i.e., most of the dishes will be familiar. I am excited to make just about everything in the book!
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small-medium onion, chopped
- 3-4 cups cooked leftover rice, preferably Jasmine (do not use fresh rice–if you must, cook it an hour in advance and spread it onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 20 minutes)
- 2 good handfuls sliced mushrooms (I used Beech mushrooms which are chopped more than sliced)
- 10 oz frozen broccoli, thawed
- 10 oz bag frozen peas or fresh equivalent
- 1 T Chinese dark soy sauce
- 1 T fish sauce
- 2 t dark sesame oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus some sprigs for garnish
- Thai sweet hot garlic dipping sauce for serving
Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped before starting. This dish cooks quite quickly.
Heat the oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat with the garlic in it. Keep close watch, as garlic can burn quickly. You want the garlic sizzling, fragrant, and a few shades darker but not burnt. Then add the chopped onions.
Stir fry, tossing the onions, for about 4-5 minutes, until they are translucent.
Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
Add the broccoli and toss for another 2 minutes.
Add the rice. Depending on how your veggies have cooked (i.e., if your pan is too dry), you may need to add a drizzle of oil. Also, depending on your rice, you may need to vigorously break up the clumps while tossing it. Toss and break the rice up for 1-2 minutes.
Add the soy sauce and fish sauce and toss for another minute. Add the frozen peas with the sesame oil and toss to distribute until everything is heated through.
Toss in cilantro.
Serve with the Thai burgers, as well as additional fish sauce and Thai sweet hot garlic dipping sauce (we love this on fried rice).
- 1/4 t black peppercorns
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 T fish sauce
- 1 T soy sauce (I used Chinese superior dark soy sauce)
- 1/4 t salt
You can either use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder for this recipe. If using a spice grinder, first grind the black peppercorns finely. Then add the garlic and cilantro and puree until a paste forms (you can add a little water if necessary). If using a mortar and pestle, pound all 3 ingredients until a paste forms.
Mix this paste with the fish sauce, soy sauce and salt until evenly blended.
Mix this seasoning into the ground meat--do not over mix. I used my (clean!) hands, but a wooden spoon will work.
Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Form the ground meat into patties and either grill or pan fry to desired doneness (I cooked them in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop, about 5 minutes per side on medium heat). Do not press on the patties while they are cooking.