Spicy Lamb Burgers with Vietnamese Herb Salad

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind nectar (may substitute lime juice)
11/2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
21/2 seeded serrano chili peppers, divided
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/3 cup whole mint leaves, plus 3 tablespoons chopped mint
1/4 bunch cilantro, whole leaves only, plus 2 tablespoons minced leaves
3/4 of a medium sweet onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
11/2 pounds ground lamb
1/2 bunch basil, small leaves only (about 1/2 cup)
1 bunch watercress, leaves only
2 scallions, white and light green parts, cut into 11/2-inch-long strips
2 tablespoons chives, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In a small pan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and 41/2 teaspoons water and heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add the nectar and soy sauce, then whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.

Mince the half chili pepper and, in a large bowl, combine with the garlic, oyster sauce, chopped mint, minced cilantro, onion and lime juice. Add the lamb and mix. Using your hands, form 8 burgers no thicker than 3/4 inch.

Preheat the broiler or prepare the grill. If using a gas grill, preheat; if using a charcoal grill, start the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. Oil the grate. Grill or broil the burgers about 11/2 minutes per side for rare, 2 minutes for medium.

Cut the remaining chili peppers into thin strips and combine in a medium bowl with the whole mint, cilantro, basil and watercress leaves, the scallions and chives; toss with just enough vinaigrette to coat. To serve, place two burgers on each plate with the salad piled alongside and an extra drizzle of vinaigrette over all. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from "Big Small Plates," by Cindy Pawlcyn, reprinted in the May 30, 2007, Mail Tribune.


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK