Banh mi burgers with spicy lime mayo and pickled carrots

This pork burger is a play on Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, with a mayo spiked with chili paste and cooling pickled carrots.


Gwendolyn Richards has an unabashed, well-publicized, never-ending love for burgers. So, there definitely had to be one in her book Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers. This pork burger is a play on Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, with a mayo she spiked with chili paste and cooling pickled carrots. Friends of hers have debated what the best bun is for the “Big Mi” burger, as it has since been nicknamed. Whether they side with sesame buns or hearty kaisers, all agree the buns should be lightly toasted.

Banh mi burgers with spicy lime mayo and pickled carrots

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 egg
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) fish sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) chili paste
1 tsp (5 mL) minced
Fresh ginger
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1 lb (500 g) ground pork
1 1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL) cornstarch
1/4 cup (60 mL) panko (approximately)
1 tbsp (15 mL)
Vegetable oil
4 burger buns
Spicy lime mayo (recipe follows)
Pickled carrots (recipe follows)
Fresh basil or cilantro (or both)

Method:

Start by putting together the spicy lime mayo and pickled carrots (recipes below), which can be made ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the burgers.

To make the burgers, in a large bowl whisk together the egg, green onions, garlic, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, chili paste, ginger and salt until well combined. Add the ground pork and mix gently with your hands. (Overworking will lead to tough burgers.) Sprinkle the cornstarch and about half the panko over it, then gently mix again. If the pork mixture is too wet, add the rest of the panko. Divide the mixture evenly into quarters.

Add the oil to a large pan set over medium-high heat. When it starts to shimmer, form the pork mixture into balls, then squish slightly until they’re about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Press a dimple into the centre of each—this keeps the patty flat once cooked. Add the patties to the pan and fry until cooked through, flipping once, about 12 minutes total. (An internal temperature probe should read 160°F [71°C].)

Remove to a plate and assemble the burgers. Dollop some of the spicy lime mayo onto the bottom of each bun (or both sides, because a good burger is a messy burger), and then top each one with a patty and some of the drained pickled carrots. Add fresh basil or cilantro leaves, if desired, and then the top half of the bun.

Spicy lime mayo

 
Ingredients:

1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise (approximately)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) chili paste (such as sambal oelek)

Method:

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients. If the mixture seems too thin, add another tablespoon (15 mL) or so of mayonnaise to thicken. Taste for seasonings—adding more chili paste, if desired—and then refrigerate while making the burgers.

Pickled carrots

 
Ingredients:

3 tbsp (45 mL) rice vinegar
3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
2 cups (500 mL) julienned
Carrots (about 1/2 lb [250 g])

Method:

In a bowl large enough to fit the carrots, mix together the vinegar, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) hot water (from the tap is fine), sugar and salt. Stir together until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the carrots, mixing them in the pickling liquid. Set aside, stirring occasionally.

These can be made a few hours in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to make the burgers.

Courtesy Gwendolyn Richards
Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers

pucker

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