These days I’m a big fan of coriander, but there was a time when I just didn’t get it. Its perfumed aroma seemed over-powering. Now I can’t get enough of it.
Its aromatic taste lifts food and is a quintessential part of many Asian cuisines. It is especially interesting because its seeds, stalk and leaves offer three different flavour profiles and have drastically different culinary uses.
If you aren’t already converted, try it in this recipe to see the wonderful effect it has. Be sparing – it should be a background scent, a whiff and no more.
Thai chicken burgers with an Asian salad and a hot and sour dipping sauce
Ingredients (serves 2)
For the burgers
- 1 stalk lemon grass
- 1 red chilli
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander (to your own personal taste)
- 1 egg
- handful breadcrumbs
- optional 2 lime leaves
- few handfuls mixed leaves
- ¼ cucumber
- 4 spring onions
- small bunch coriander
- handful cashew nuts
- juice 1 lime
- 1 tbsp soy
- 1 tbsp honey
- pinch chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For dipping sauce
- 5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 5 tbsp palm or caster sugar
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 red chilli
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 2 flat bread or wrap to serve
Start by making the dipping sauce. Heat together rice wine vinegar and palm sugar for a few minutes until mixture thickens. Take off heat, add soy sauce and chopped chilli and set aside. Just before serving add coriander.
For the burgers, finely chop chilli and the lemon grass. Place these and all other burger ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times until you have a mush – something like mince. Divide mixture into four and shape into patties. Place these in fridge to firm up slightly.
Make dressing by whisking together the ingredients.
Cut cucumber in half and scrape out the seeds using a teaspoon. Slice it up about the width of a 50p piece. Finely slice spring onion, and mix these with leaves, nuts, and cucumber. Dress salad when you are ready to serve.
Place frying pan over medium heat, pour a couple of tablespoons of groundnut or similar flavourless oil into pan and fry chicken burgers for about 6-8 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Warm flatbreads by wrapping in tinfoil, and place in a low oven for about five minutes.
Once warmed through, wrap burgers with a little salad and enjoy.