Pork Satay Burgers Put A Thai Twist On Backyard BBQ

Step up your burger game with this recipe for Thai-style pork satay sliders with Asian slaw and spicy peanut sauce.

In what is arguably one of the most iconic 1980s television commercials (besides that “Where’s the beef?” lady), two oblivious teenagers walk down the street wearing headphones, bump into each other, then discover that he got his chocolate in her peanut butter and she got her peanut butter on his chocolate. Cue the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup logo.

Just like that classic duo of “two great tastes that taste great together,” the combination of grilled meat and peanut butter has been wowing Thai food fans for decades. It may seem strange at first, but satay, or seasoned chicken, beef, pork, or tofu skewers served with a spicy peanut dipping sauce, tastes fantastic.

As a tribute to the pork version and the latest entry in our ongoing burger of the month series, I introduce my pork satay burger sliders. In this recipe, small ground pork burger patties are reverse seared to perfection before being paired with a salty, sweet, and spicy homemade Thai peanut sauce. Add to that a crisp and tangy Asian inspired coleslaw and you’ll be as happy as those peanut butter and chocolate kids swooning on the street!

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Thai Pork Satay Burger Sliders with Asian Slaw and Spicy Peanut Sauce

Ground pork patties and spicy peanut sauce come together in this mouthwatering recipe for pork satay burger sliders.

Course. Lunch. Dinner. Entree. Sandwich.

Cuisine. Thai. Asian. American.

Makes. 8 sliders

Takes. 15 minutes prep. 20 minutes total cook time.

Serve with. A Thai beer such as Singha

Ingredients

Asian Slaw

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt 

1 red bell pepper

1 10-14 ounce package shredded cabbage

Thai Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (more if you prefer a spicier sauce)

The Burgers

1-1/2 pounds ground pork

1-1/2 teaspoons Morton’s kosher salt (read more about the science of salt here)

8 slider buns

About the rice vinegar. At 4% acetic acid, rice vinegar is less strong and acidic than most commercial white vinegars and cider vinegars, which often contain 6% acid or more. Most good groceries sell rice vinegar either plain or seasoned. Get the plain for this recipe. If you must use white vinegar or cider vinegar, add a couple of tablespoons more water to cut the acidity.

About the toasted sesame oil. There is no substitute for this amazing aromatic extract from toasted sesame seed. If you see clear or yellow sesame oil, keep looking. The toasted stuff is dark amber to brown in color. Most groceries stock it.

Method

1) Prep. For the Asian slaw, combine the rice vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, cilantro, sesame oil, and salt in a small bowl and whisk until fully combined. Remove the stem and core from the red bell pepper then thinly slice. Add the bell pepper and shredded cabbage to a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the bowl and toss until the cabbage and bell pepper are completely coated with liquid. Refrigerate the Asian slaw until ready to use, or up to 8 hours.

2) For the Thai peanut sauce, combine the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, water, and Sriracha in a small bowl and blend well until all of the ingredients are combined. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

3) For the burgers, divide the meat into eight 3-ounce portions. Gently form the meat into patties that are slightly wider than the buns to allow for shrinkage during the cooking process. Season both sides of the patties with kosher salt.

4) Fire up. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F on the indirect side. Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F on the indirect side.

5) Cook. Place the slider patties on the indirect side of the grill, positioning the vent directly above the burgers in order to force the smoke over and around the meat. Cook the patties for about 10 minutes.

6) Push the tip of a rapid-read thermometer such as the Thermapen into the side of the patties. When the temperature reaches 110°F, flip the burgers and cook for approximately 5 more minutes. Because they are not over direct heat, you do not need to flip them often.

7) When the slider patties reach 125°F, get ready to move them to the direct-heat zone. If you are on a gas grill, crank it up to high. On a charcoal grill, remove the lid and fully open the bottom vents. If necessary, take the meat off of the grill and close the lid while the hot side heats up.

8) Put the slider patties on the direct heat side to brown them. Leave the lid up so the heat is concentrated on one side of each burger. If the fire flares up, move the burger to another spot. Flip the meat every minute to form a nice crust on both sides and continue to cook until they reach 145°F. If necessary to prevent burning, move the burgers to the indirect side to finish cooking.

9) Serve. To assemble the sliders, place each patty on a bottom bun and top with the Asian slaw. Spread some Thai peanut sauce on the top buns before placing on the burgers. Serve immediately.

Pork Satay Sliders with Asian Slaw and Spicy Peanut Sauce

"Food rules. Little rivals the pleasure of tearing into a glistening burger."Author Mary H.K. Choi

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