Turkey burger doesn’t always mean lean

  • Mon Sep 20th, 2010 4:01pm
  • Life

By Jim Romanoff Associated Press

If you think just because you use ground turkey to make a burger it’s automatically healthier, you could be in for a big surprise.

Ground turkey has a reputation for being lean, but there are many varieties available, some with as much as 17 grams of fat in a 4-ounce portion. At that point, you might as well use ground chuck, which is more flavorful and has only 14 grams of fat.

At the other extreme, you’ll want to avoid 99 percent lean ground turkey. It produces dry, flavorless patties.

A good compromise is 93 percent lean ground turkey, which has about 8 grams of fat per serving. But even with that amount of fat, a turkey burger can be somewhat lacking in flavor and moisture, so you’ll want to make some additions to the meat.

This recipe adds flavor with sweet white miso, a nutty, savory Asian paste that’s made from fermented rice or barley. Look for it near the tofu in natural food stores and most larger markets.

Fresh ginger and scallions add even more flavor and moisture, and crispy panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs help to lock it all in.

To complete the meal, serve these Asian-style turkey burgers with a side of coleslaw made with rice vinegar and sesame oil dressing.

Miso-ginger turkey burger

2tablespoons sweet white miso

1tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

2teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1pound 93 percent lean ground turkey

1/2cup chopped scallions

1/3cup panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs

1/2teaspoon ground black pepper

Vegetable oil

4whole-wheat hamburger buns

Salt, to taste

Heat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal fire.

In a large bowl, whisk together the miso, soy sauce and ginger. Add the ground turkey, scallions, breadcrumbs and black pepper. Gently but thoroughly mix together. Shape into 4 patties, each about 3/4-inch thick.

To oil the grill grates, dampen a folded paper towel with vegetable oil, hold it with tongs and rub it over the grates.

Grill the burgers until well browned on the underside, about 4 to 5 minutes. With a metal spatula, turn the burgers over carefully. Grill for another 4 to 6 minutes, or until the burgers reach 165 F in the thickest part.

Meanwhile, toast the buns at the edge of the grill. Season the burgers with salt. Dress the burgers with condiments and vegetables as desired.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 323 calories; 90 calories from fat; 10 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 4 g fiber; 1,017 mg sodium.