Thai-with-a-Twist Burger

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

Without a doubt, one of my favorite cuisines is Thai food.It’s harmonious balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy makes for one of the great cuisines. In this burger, I’ve put some twists on some of my own favorite ingredients (e.g., butter, bacon, and cheese) that aren’t traditional Thai ingredients by combining them with more quintessential Southeast Asian flavors (e.g., Sriracha, peanuts, and ginger). These unique combos definitely make for a burger with a totally Thai twist!


Tuk-Tuk Butter:

2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

1 1/4 sticks good-quality unsalted butter, room temperature

1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce

1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems

Bacon Peanut Slaw:

6 thin slices bacon

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

1 cup julienned carrots

3/4 cup julienned English cucumber

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped

1/4 cup finely minced shallot

1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh mint leaves


2 pounds ground chuck

1/4 cup finely minced shallots

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup minced cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

6 slices jalapeno jack cheese

6 good-quality hamburger buns, split


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

To make Tuk-Tuk Butter, in a small bowl combine peanut butter, butter, garlic, Sriracha, and cilantro stems; mix until well combined. Stir in cilantro stems.

To make Bacon Peanut Slaw, heat a large fireproof skillet over medium-high heat on grill. Add bacon and cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until crispy. Place on paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon into small pieces. In a medium mixing bowl, combine lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce; mix well. Add carrots, cucumber, peanuts, shallot, mint, and crumbled bacon. Toss well to coat.

To make the patties, in a large mixing bowl, combine beef, shallots, garlic, cilantro leaves, soy sauce, Sriracha, ginger, salt, and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, top the burgers with a slice of cheese and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. Meanwhile, sprinkle avocado slices with lime juice.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Tuk-Tuk Butter on the cut side of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a patty, and a generous amount of Bacon Peanut Slaw (drained). Add bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.