My perfect burger is a classic, no-nonsense cheeseburger with a squeeze of ketchup. While sometimes all you need is the patty and the bun, burgers are easily customizable. So take a step back from your probably-far-too-simple (guilty), go-to recipe and mix in some unexpected flavours this summer.
To make Vietnamese burgers, mix ground beef, garlic, lemongrass, salt, and pepper together before shaping them into patties and tossing them on the grill. The lemongrass adds a subtle citrus flavor to the meat and pairs with garlic to create an aroma that will have your family following their noses right to the table.
Leave the ketchup and mustard in the fridge, you won’t need them. Instead, we topped these Asian-inspired burgers with a pickled radish slaw and sriracha mayonnaise. Not only does the slaw add a satisfying, crunchy texture to the hot, juicy burgers, the bright color pops on the plate. A simple mixture of mayo and Sriracha adds a little heat to the burger. Be forewarned – this stuff is addictive. Make a little extra to dip your homemade fries (or even tater tots!) in, or store it in the fridge to use when making sandwiches next week (#mealprep).
Whether you’re grilling Vietnamese burgers to share with neighbors over Memorial Day weekend or making four to feed the family, no one will miss the standard LTO burger.
Make Pickled Radish Slaw: In a medium bowl, stir vinegar, water, sugar, salt, ginger and dried red pepper until sugar dissolves. Using a spiralizer, make spirals of radishes and carrot. Add vegetable spirals and cilantro to vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors.
Make Sriracha Mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha. Cover and refrigerate.
Heat indoor grill to SEAR or highest setting.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, garlic, lemongrass, salt and black pepper. Shape the mixture into four patties.
Place the patties on the grill. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until meat reaches 160°F when tested with a meat thermometer.
Remove the burgers from the grill and serve on small ciabatta rolls with Sriracha Mayonnaise and Pickled Radish Slaw.
Vietnamese spring rolls are a fresh, healthy alternative to deep fried rolls and are perfect for people who want to use their hands and get involved in the food prep. We were surprised just how much fun it is to make these spring rolls – everyone wanted a turn! The best part is that everyone can make their spring rolls just the way they like them because they’re so easy to customize. The bright flavors will make you feel energized and full, without the uncomfortable heaviness. And the dipping sauce adds a spicy sweetness, the perfect complement to the herbs and rice noodles in the rolls. Go ahead and invite a few friends over, lay out your ingredients and roll up your sleeves. Just try not to eat all the spring rolls before your guests arrive.
How to Roll a Vietnamese Spring Roll
Step 1: Dip a rice paper wrapper in a shallow plate or bowl of water, making sure it’s completely covered, and immediately transfer it to a cutting board or plate.
Step 2: Place shrimp halves near the center of the wrapper, in a straight line.
Step 3: Add a small piece of lettuce to the side of the shrimp.
Step 4: Add your choice of herbs on top of the lettuce. We like to use mint, Thai basil and cilantro.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add onions, garlic and ginger. Stir for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a bowl to cool. Add shrimp to pan and stir until shrimp is pink and cooked through. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.
Slice shrimp in half lengthwise.
Work with spring roll wrappers one at a time. Dip a wrapper in a shallow plate or bowl of water, making sure it is completely covered. Immediately transfer wrapper to a cutting board or plate.
Place 3 shrimp halves, cut-side up, near the center of the wrapper, in a straight line. Place a lettuce leaf to the side of the shrimp.
Top lettuce with basil, mint and cilantro leaves. Sprinkle with shredded carrots. Add cucumber slices. Drizzle with a little of the onion mixture.
Add rice noodles, looping them to fit over the ingredients.
Fold opposite top and bottom sides together in center. Roll up tightly starting with the lettuce side. Pinch and tuck the wrap as you roll, ending with the shrimp showing through the wrap at the top.
Pho is one of my favourite cold-weather foods. In my mind, the broth has unexplainable healing powers. Some people have their go-to chicken noodle soup for chilly days or when they are feeling under the weather – I have pho.
While I usually order in from one of the various pho restaurants in town (there are too many to count), making slow cooker chicken pho means I can stay in my pajamas, save a little cash, and avoid the blustery cold weather. Score.
It’s easy to make the base of this pho in the slow cooker. Just combine chicken broth, brown sugar, and a variety of spices including star anise, cloves, ginger, lemongrass, and cinnamon. Add chicken thighs and breasts to the crock and cook on HIGH for 2 ½ hours or on LOW for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is cooked and tender.
Remove the chicken from the crock and strain the broth using a cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve and a colander. Pour the broth back into the crock, add rice noodles, and continue to cook until the noodles are soft and plump.
Slice or shred the chicken breasts and add to the pho broth and noodles. If you want to enjoy your pho just like you would at your favourite restaurant, serve with plenty of toppings. We topped ours with chili peppers, chili sauce, Thai basil, bean sprouts, and hoisin sauce but you could add extra chilis and sriracha for added spice or even extra steamed vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, or broccoli.
Not only is this soup easy to make in your slow cooker, you can wow your family or friends with the presentation. Whether you are eating a restorative bowl in your coziest pajamas or having this Vietnamese noodle soup for a weeknight dinner, you’ll soon pho-rget you ever had it any other way.
In a slow cooker crock, combine chicken broth and brown sugar. Add garlic, star anise, cloves, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, cilantro and peppercorns. Arrange chicken and onion in an even layer in crock.
Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from crock. Line a colander with cheesecloth and strain broth. Pour broth back into crock. Set on HIGH. Add rice noodles and cook until noodles are soft, about 25 minutes.
Slice chicken breasts for soup, discarding bones. Reserve dark meat for another use.
To serve, pour noodles and broth into bowls. Add sliced chicken and desired accompaniments.