Recipes: Take your cooking experience to the next level with spicy burgers from around the world

Recipes: Take your cooking experience to the next level with spicy burgers from around the world

Milk Street Facebook Community member Jennifer Wozniak of Flint, Michigan, sprinkles tahini on lamb burgers, seasoning them with sumac, cumin, and red pepper flakes. She then serves the burgers topped with feta cheese and sandwiched in brioche buns. We play up the Middle Eastern flavor profile by sprinkling the tahini with Greek yogurt, lemon juice and more sumac, then spreading the mixture on each scoop like mayonnaise. Sprinkle the burgers with lettuce, tomato and thinly sliced ​​onion, if desired.

Crumbled feta is not ideal for this recipe; instead, look for it sold in a block so it can be sliced ​​to put on the burgers. Also refrigerate the patties before cooking. This strengthens them so that they are easier to handle.

2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon ground sumac, divided

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 large egg yolks

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 pound ground lamb

3 tablespoons tahini

3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral oil

4 brioche or hamburger buns, split and toasted

1 4-ounce block of feta cheese, cut into 4 equal slices

In a large bowl, combine the panko, 1 tablespoon sumac, cumin, pepper flakes, yolks, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ cup water. Mash the mixture with a fork until evenly moistened and well blended. Add the lamb and mix with your hands until well blended. Form 4 equal sized patties, each about 10 cm in diameter, place on a large plate and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, remaining ¼ teaspoon sumac, and ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper; put aside.

In a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add the patties and cook until well browned on the bottoms, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn each patty over, reduce to medium-low and cook until second sides are well browned and centers reach 160 degrees, another 5 to 7 minutes. Place on a clean plate, tent with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, divide the tahini sauce over the sandwich halves. Place the burgers in the buns and place a slice of feta on each patty.

chapli kebabConnie Miller/from CB Creatives

chapli kebab

Makes 4 servings

This popular South Asian street food is not grilled meat skewers, but rather ground meat patties seasoned with powerful flavors and fragrant spices and stuffed in flatbread like falafel. We add egg to ours to keep the texture rich and soft, plus a little starch to help bind and brown.

Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour, is often used in chapli kebabs, but all-purpose flour works just as well.

The patties are thin and delicate; keeping them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes after molding makes them easier to handle. Also, medium – not high – heat works well for browning and crunching. If the ground beef is very fine, the patties may swell during cooking, but if pressed with a metal spatula while frying, they will remain thin and flat.

The kebabs are tucked into heated flatbread, along with fresh coriander and sliced ​​onion and tomato, then finished with cool, creamy yogurt.

1 pound 80 percent lean ground beef

1 medium red onion, half finely chopped, half thinly sliced, reserved separately

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus ¼ cup lightly packed leaves

3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Fresno or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ to 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder or cayenne pepper

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or chickpea flour (see headnote)

1 large egg, beaten

3 tablespoons neutral oil, divided

Flatbread, to serve

Yogurt, to serve

Sliced ​​tomato, to serve

Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen paper. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, chopped onion, chopped coriander, garlic, chillies, coriander, garam masala, chili powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix until well combined. Add the flour and egg and mix with your hands until the ingredients are well mixed; the mixture will be a little sticky.

With lightly greased hands, form 8 equal sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Press each to form patties no thicker than ¼ inch. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

In a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add half of the patties and cook until well browned on the bottoms, pressing occasionally with a spatula to keep thin and flat, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook, pressing patties, until deeply browned on second sides and centers are no longer pink when slit, 3 to 5 minutes more; adjust the heat as needed if the patties are browning too quickly or too slowly. Place the patties on a plate and tent with foil. Fry the remaining patties in the same way with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Serve with the sliced ​​onion, coriander sprigs, flatbread, sliced ​​tomato and yogurt.

Smoky Chili Garlic Pork BurgersConnie Miller/from CB Creatives

Smoky Chili Garlic Pork Burgers

Makes 4 servings

To give these burgers a spicy-sweet taste with a hint of garlic, we mix Asian chili-garlic sauce and a little brown sugar into the ground pork. We also spread the buns with a chili-garlic mayonnaise. Cushion-soft, subtly sweet buns go particularly well with the tender, juicy burgers – we especially like potato buns or buns. Serve with lettuce, sliced ​​tomato, pickles, or any of your favorite toppings.

1/3 cup mayonnaise

5 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce, divided

3 teaspoons packed brown sugar, divided

1 pound ground pork

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 tablespoon neutral oil

4 hamburger buns, preferably potato buns

Mix the mayonnaise, 5 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar together in a small bowl; put aside. In a medium bowl, combine the pork, paprika, remaining 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Shape into 4 patties. Heat the oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet until shimmering. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until well browned on both sides and centers reach 160 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes in total. Serve in bread rolls spread with the mayonnaise mixture.

Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of full digital access, plus two issues of Milk Street print magazine, for just $1. Visit Send comments to [email protected]