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Home-cooked meals don’t always have to be 100% scratch. Take advantage of store-bought shortcuts, like Asian sauces or pre-cut vegetables. For this recipe, Thai Chicken Burgers with Quick Pickled Carrots, Asian sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, pre-shredded carrots make this a 30 minute meal.
This recipe is from Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch–with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them by my friend, Stacie Billis. Stacie is the managing editor of Cool Mom Eats and publisher of One Hungry Mama. Her specialty is helping families with easy, healthy recipes that can flex with schedules and budgets.
By combining rock-solid recipes with a mix-and-match approach, you can customize a meal to feed even the pickiest eater at the table. We’re loving the recipes from the book, from Asian Steak Salad to Mango Slaw.
Mix ground chicken (though you could use beef, turkey, or pork) with Asian flavors of your choosing:
We served the sriracha mayo (mix mayo + squirt of sriracha sauce) and the quick carrot pickle at at the table, so the kids could choose what they wanted on their burger.
1. To prepare the carrots: In a medium-size bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, except the carrots, until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the carrots, mixing to coat well, and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes or as long as overnight. Drain the liquid before serving.
2. To make the burgers: preheat a grill, grill pan, or broiler. Place all the ingredients in a medium- size bowl and, using your hands, a silicone spatula, or a wooden spoon, mix to combine well.
3. Portion the burgers—you can divide the meat into four quarter-pound burgers or make the grown-up burgers slightly larger and the kid burgers slightly smaller—and cook over medium-high heat until cooked all the way through, 5 to 7 minutes per side, though the exact cooking time will vary depending on thickness. Serve on a roll with the quick-pickled carrots on top and mayonnaise mixed with sriracha to taste.