Thai Pork Sliders with Pickled Cucumbers
Recipe adapted slightly from The Chef’s Collaborative Cookbook. Contributed by Chef Helene Kennan. Makes 8-10 sliders.
Note: the only changes I made to this recipe where to include a little bit more of various seasonings – more garlic, more ginger, more herbs in the pickles. This was simply a matter of taste, but I liked the little bit of extra flavor boost. Also, you will have leftover pickles, but they’re delicious straight out of the jar, so don’t worry about using them up!
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 TBS finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 TBS sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 c. rice vinegar
- 1/4 c. honey
- 2 TBS freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 medium or 1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 8 large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 16 fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 TBS vegetable oil
- 1/2 c. roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 8-10 slider buns (see below for recipe)
- Sriracha aioli (see below for recipe)
- Combine the pork, minced garlic, minced gigner, sesame oil, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and soy sauce in a medium bowl and stir together until meat is seasoned evenly. Set aside while you prepare the pickles to let the flavors meld.
- Whisk together the rice vinegar, honey, and orange juice in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Stir in the cucumbers, chopped cilantro, basil, and mint, and thoroughly coat all the cucumbers with the dressing. Set aside.
- Lightly coat a griddle or cast-iron pan with oil and warm over medium heat (if you don’t have a cast-iron pan, use a regular pan but use more oil). Form the pork mixture into 8-10 small burger patties. When the pan is hot, add the patties and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until firm to the touch and cooked through.
- Serve the burgers with the pickled cucumbers and Sriracha aioli on top of the slider buns. Serve the extra pickled cucumbers on the side with chopped peanuts, if desired.
Makes about 1 cup of aioli.
Note: I used an immersion blender to make this aioli. There are lots of other ways to do it – including by hand, or in a food processor, if you don’t have an immersion blender. Just be sure to slowly drizzle in your oil so the emulsion doesn’t break!
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 TBS of lemon juice
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 c. olive oil
- Sriracha, to taste (we used about 3 TBS)
- sea salt, to taste
- Place egg yolk, lemon juice, water, and mustard in the bottom of a vessel in which your immersion blender fits snugly. Pulse the blender a few times to blend the ingredients so that they are smooth. Very slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you pulse the blender, pausing the drizzle occasionally to make sure that the aioli is coming together and turning creamy white. Continue drizzling in the olive oil while blending until you’ve used all the olive oil.
- Remove the immersion blender and stir Sriracha and sea salt into the aioli a little at a time, tasting as you go, until your aioli has the desired flavor and heat. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for a few days.