Thai pork and beef burgers have Asian flavors, chiles and spicy peanut sauce. Make this spicy burger recipe on your grill for an easy meal!
Americans eat a lot of burgers every year, but surprisingly, the “All American hamburger” isn’t tied to the United States at all.
The first known burger in the world dates back to somewhere around 221 B.C., during the Qin dynasty. The Chinese created the first one, known as rou jia mo.
Very different from American hamburgers, it’s similar to char siu bao (Chinese steamed buns). However, rou jia mo is usually baked or fried, and typically made with pieces of pork or beef rather than ground meat.
Today’s Thai burger recipe is a flavorful fusion twist between an American and Asian burger.
Thai Pork and Beef Burgers with Peanut Sauce
Cuisine: Asian / Thai
Thai cuisine incorporates bright, bold flavors into their dishes, especially lemongrass, fresh garlic, and spicy chiles. To experience the flavors together, try dishes like Thai lemongrass chicken and gai yang chicken. Then fire up your grill (outdoors or indoor grill pan) to make this spicy burger recipe!
Difficulty: Easy 🥄
Flavorful ground pork and beef burgers with flavors of lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and spicy chiles, topped with delicious peanut butter sauce.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
These ingredients make a fantastic burger with a fusion of American and Thai flavor. Swaps can be made wherever you like but I’d love for you to try my version too.
The chunky peanut butter sauce is fantastic on the pork and beef burgers, and I use cheddar cheese to give it an “All American burger” flavor.
Thai burger Ingredients:
- Ground/minced pork and beef- If you’d rather not use pork, ground chicken burgers would be fantastic.
- Chiles- My choice here is jalapenos. Thai birdseye chilis are a lot spicier than jalapenos, but they’d be a good substitute! Otherwise, any fresh chilis would be fine, or none at all.
- Hoisin sauce- If you’re out of hoisin, oyster sauce works, or add a bit of honey or sugar to fish sauce for a hoisin substitute.
- Lemongrass paste- This ingredient is essentially fresh lemongrass blended with oil. It’s usually located in the produce section of the grocery store. If you can’t find it, use half the amount of dried lemongrass.
Peanut butter sauce:
- Peanut butter- For a nice contrast of texture, I use chunky peanut butter. Creamy works just as well.
- Sambal Oelek- This hot chili paste is made with fresh Thai chiles. If you can’t find it, any chile pepper paste will work well. You could even add another fusion layer and use Tunisian harissa paste.
- Soy sauce- If you need a low-salt option, feel free to use low sodium soy sauce, or tamari, which is also lower in salt, and a good gluten free substitute for soy sauce.
Video: Grilling the Perfect Burger
Want to see how to grill perfect Thai burgers? Watch the video located in the recipe card, below!
Tips for grilling pork and beef burgers
- You may not need to oil the grill grates or grill pan to prevent sticking. Sometimes when you use really lean meats you need to use some oil to prevent burgers from sticking. In this case, we’re using 80 percent lean beef and ground pork, both of which have plenty of fat in them. After the meat sears and cooks for a minute or two, it should be easy to flip.
- Only flip the meat once during cooking. When burger patties are moved around too much, or pressed down with a spatula, they tend to try out. For the best results, sear one side, flip them over, and leave them alone until they finish cooking.
- Use a cooking thermometer to determine doneness.
How long it takes to cook the pork and beef burgers will depend a lot on how thick the patties are. You can use an estimated time of 3 minutes per side for burgers cooked to medium-rare doneness. However, the best way to know for sure that they’re cooked completely is to use a cooking thermometer.
Thai Pork and Beef Burgers + Video
- 1 lb lean ground beef (80/20)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 jalapeños diced
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp lemongrass paste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded (optional)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 4 hamburger buns (I use brioche)
- ⅓ cup peanut butter chunky or smooth
- 2 tbsp Sambal Oelek or other hot chile paste
- 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari sauce
- cilantro leaves
- fresh jalapeños sliced into rings
- Slice 1 jalapeno into rings and set aside for garnish. Cut and remove the seeds from remaining 2 jalapeños and chop ¼-inch dice.
- In a bowl mix together the ground beef, pork, jalapeños, hoisin sauce, lemongrass, garlic (cheddar cheese) and salt and white pepper. Form into patties.
- Grill to your liking, I cook first side for 3 minutes on high, then lower heat to medium and flip to cook for 4 more minutes. Flip again and finish with 2-3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, chili paste and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Toast the bread or bun of choice and spread equal amounts of peanut sauce on both top and bottom cut side of bun. Top with grilled burger and cilantro leaves and jalapeno rings (optional).
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.