Tamari-Ginger Chicken Sliders With Quick Pickles and Pea Shoots

This time of year just screams for tossing a piece of meat on the grill and eating on the patio, preferably in a bathing suit with a frosty beverage in hand. Give this recipe a try if you aim to step up your grilling prowess. The slow cooker Braised Pork Buns in my cookbook, Clean Eating for Busy Families, was the inspiration for this new creation, enabling me to satisfy my cravings for similar flavors in mere minutes.

Grinding the chicken in your food processor yields a tender, juicy patty, but if you need to skip that step, go ahead and buy pre-ground chicken. If you do grind the meat yourself, it’s important to keep it ice cold so the patty does not turn to mush and retains little crevices that hold onto flavor. The store where I shopped just happened to be out of the bean sprouts I normally use, but they had pea shoots, which worked out fine.

Tamari-Ginger Chicken Sliders With Quick Pickles and Pea Shoots

These incredible chicken sliders are so tasty!

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 5 servings (2 sliders each, with 1 teaspoon barbecue sauce and 6 cucumber slices)
Nutrition facts (per serving): 310 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 780 mg sodium, 60 mg cholesterol, 32 g total carbohydrate (4 g fiber), 26 g protein, 14% DV iron, 6% DV calcium, 10% DV vitamin A, 4% DV vitamin C.


For the cucumbers:
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 cup sliced English or Persian cucumbers (or peel traditional cucumbers, cut in half
lengthwise, seed with teaspoon, then thinly slice)

For the burgers:
1 clove garlic
1 slice peeled ginger
1/2 cup sweet onion chunks
1 pound trimmed skinless chicken thighs, cut into halves or thirds, placed in freezer for 10 minutes
2 teaspoons tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or Sichuan peppercorns for a more authentic taste)


To assemble:
10 mini whole-wheat hamburger buns
5 teaspoons Korean barbecue sauce*
Fresh pea shoots (or bean sprouts)
Light mayonnaise

Preheat the grill to medium heat.

To make the cucumbers: Dissolve honey and salt in rice vinegar, add cucumbers and chill.

To make the burgers: Mince garlic, ginger and onion in a food processor. Add chicken, tamari and pepper, then pulse until chicken is just ground, with some small pieces remaining. Scoop meat mixture onto cutting board and shape into patties.
Oil grill and cook patties on one side until done almost halfway through, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until done, about 2 more minutes. Place buns on grill, cut sides down, and toast until golden.

Put cooked patties, barbecue sauce, drained cucumbers and pea shoots on bottom halves of buns, then finish with tops of buns, spreading with mayonnaise as desired.
*I used Annie Chun’s Korean Barbecue Sauce, which can be found in the natural foods aisle.

Author: Michelle Dudash, RD