interesting reading and a recipe too boot that i think is worth trying (like that miso is an ingredient, one of my new favorite condiments). i think i might try it with some ground chicken i have in the frig rather than turkey. i also might give "steaming" the burgers a try, rather than grill them on in a skillet or on the bbq.
THE HEALTHY PLATE: Not all turkey burgers are lean
Ground turkey has a reputation for being lean, but there are many varieties available, some with as much as 17 grams of fat in a 4-ounce portion. At that point, you might as well use ground chuck, which is more flavorful and has only 14 grams of fat.
At the other extreme, you'll want to avoid 99 percent lean ground turkey. It produces dry, flavorless patties.
A good compromise is 93 percent lean ground turkey, which has about 8 grams of fat per serving. But even with that amount of fat, a turkey burger can be somewhat lacking in flavor and moisture, so you'll want to make some additions to the meat.
Treating this kind of turkey burger as a tiny meatloaf is a good strategy. Mixing in ingredients such as ketchup, Dijon mustard, chopped onions and fresh herbs will all add moisture and flavor.
Mixing in fresh breadcrumbs helps to cut the fat by padding the meat. They also soak up and retain moisture so it won't cook out of the burger while on the grill.
Some recipes even call for adding 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese per pound of lean ground turkey to moisten things up.
This recipe adds flavor with sweet white miso, a nutty, savory Asian paste that's made from fermented rice or barley. Look for it near the tofu in natural food stores and most larger markets.
Fresh ginger and scallions add even more flavor and moisture, and crispy panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs help to lock it all in.
To complete the meal, serve these Asian-style turkey burgers with a side of coleslaw made with rice vinegar and sesame oil dressing.
MISO-GINGER TURKEY BURGER
Start to finish: 20 minutes
2 tablespoons sweet white miso
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 pound 93 percent lean ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/3 cup panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
Salt, to taste
Heat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal fire.
In a large bowl, whisk together the miso, soy sauce and ginger. Add the ground turkey, scallions, breadcrumbs and black pepper. Gently but thoroughly mix together. Shape into 4 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick.
To oil the grill grates, dampen a folded paper towel with vegetable oil, hold it with tongs and rub it over the grates.
Grill the burgers until well browned on the underside, about 4 to 5 minutes. With a metal spatula, turn the burgers over carefully. Grill for another 4 to 6 minutes, or until the burgers reach 165 F at the thickest part.
Meanwhile, toast the buns at the edge of the grill. Season the burgers with salt. Dress the burgers with condiments and vegetables as desired.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 323 calories; 90 calories from fat; 10 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 4 g fiber; 1,017 mg sodium.