Siam I am Burger

Pairs well with:


Hard to pronounce yet easy to drink, this wine combines lychee fruit and white peach flavors with a hint of spice.

I love the combination of flavors in Thai food; the heat, the sweet, the sour, and salty, and I tried to combine them all in a burger with some interesting textures.As for the name, I have 5 year old twin boys and Dr. Seuss is a bedtime favorite. It seemed like a good fit!


For Coconut Curry Sauce:
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon Thai green curry paste
2/3 cup coconut milk
¾ teaspoon fish sauce
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For Burgers:
4 tablespoons natural, or old fashioned style, peanut butter (i.e. ground peanuts only)
2 teaspoons lemongrass paste
3 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce, plus ½ cup for basting
2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 green onions, sliced (green and pale green parts only)
2 pounds ground chuck (80/20)

For Green Papaya Salad:
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey
3 small red Thai chilies, stemmed and sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
½ medium green papaya
2 tablespoons mint leaves, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons Thai basil, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 plum tomato

Canola oil for greasing grill grates

6 French-style hamburger buns


Heat a gas grill to medium. To a flameproof saucepan, add the egg yolks, water, rice vinegar, and curry paste. Stir over indirect heat and cook until the yolks are thickened to a paste-like consistency. Be careful not to scramble eggs. Gradually mix in the coconut milk, whisking regularly. Continue to cook until mixture is as thick as a thin batter. Cool and refrigerate. Once mixture has cooled, mix in fish sauce and cilantro. Keep cool until ready to assemble burgers.

In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, lemongrass paste, 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, cilantro, and green onions. In a large bowl, break apart the ground chuck. Add the peanut butter mixture to the beef and gently mix with a spoon. Divide the beef into 6 equal portions and shape into patties. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

In a small bowl make the dressing for the papaya salad by mixing the lime juice, fish sauce, honey, sliced chilies, and garlic. Set aside at room temperature.

Peel the papaya. Remove the seeds and discard. Shred the papaya, avoiding the most inner membrane. Add the shreds to a large bowl. Add the mint, basil, and cilantro. Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the middle seeded section, leaving the fruit. Slice tomato into slivers and add to the bowl with the other vegetables. Set aside.

Heat the gas grill to medium high. Wipe the grates with canola oil. Grill burgers over direct heat for 3 to 4 minutes and flip. Brush cooked side with reserved sweet chili sauce. Grill burgers for another 3-4 minutes, flip and brush with chili sauce. Cook another 30 seconds on each side, or until rare to medium rare. Remove burgers from the grill and allow to rest, lightly covered with foil.

Toast the buns on the grill. Pour the dressing over the papaya, herb, and tomato mixture and toss to combine. Assemble the burgers by spreading coconut curry sauce over each half of the bun. Top each bottom bun with a burger and about 1/3 cup of the papaya salad, followed by the top bun. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 burgers.