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Thai Carrot Burgers

(recipe, Truman Phelps)

Introduction

Natural peanut butter, which is a little denser than regular varieties, works best for this spicy veggie burger. I made bread crumbs from stale English muffins but any day-old bread would do. The original recipe calls for frying and then baking the burgers. But you get almost as decent results on the grill as long as you cook them over indirect heat on a piece of foil that's been lightly brushed with oil. (I forgot the oil, so mine didn't survive the first flipping totally intact, but you never noticed once they hit the bun.) To round out the veggie theme, I topped them with a tangy red cabbage slaw.

Ingredients

  1. * 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. * 1 bunch scallions, including 1-inch into dark green parts, thinly sliced
  3. * 3 garlic cloves, minced
  4. * 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  5. * 1 serrano chile pepper, finely chopped (seeded or not, depending on your personal heat threshold)
  6. * 4 cups grated carrots (about 8 medium)
  7. * 1 teaspoon salt
  8. * 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  9. * ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  10. * ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. * 2 egg whites
  12. * 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  13. * Juice of ½ lime
  14. * ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  15. * ½ cup toasted bread crumbs

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat a large lidded saute pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When hot, add the scallions and cook just until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chile pepper and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the carrots, salt, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are soft but not mushy.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, peanut butter and lime juice. Stir in the carrot mixture and the cilantro. Fold in the bread crumbs. Let sit for about 10 minutes, allowing the crumbs to absorb some of the liquid. Adjust seasonings. Shape into 4 patties.
  4. In an oven-safe skillet or nonstick saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook until browned on each side, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the pan to oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.