Peru in Portugal-Lets do Lunch

Sandwiches, bread and Cheese, soup or salad; thats what most of my lunches are made of. Running a busy guest house, during the week, I don´t so much sit down to eat in the middle of the day as make a rapid pit stop at the fridge.
There are occasions however -usually on a Saturday,with more time to spare when I find myself with a rabid hunger. I don´t mean a three-courser ( although that has its place) but food that, although quick to prepare, seems like a little bit of indulgence.The starting point for a bloody good lunch for me is the food I start  thinking about while I´m out walking the dog or shopping in the market place first thing in the morning. Well its the weekend, my eyes caught sight of turkey mince.Turkey(Peru) is commonplace on butchers counters in Portugal, but not minced.My ears were in tune to an Ottolenghi recipe that I had kept in my back head for a while now. I had seen ready prepared turkey burgers in the butchers but had never plucked up the courage to ask him to mince a breast, so that I can make my own.Turkey trotting home I am thinking what a lovely lunch I am going to drum up for myself and the thespian. Not too much of an extravagance, but nevertheless that indulgence I was looking for.
Turkey Burgers with wasabi guacamole 
Serves 4 
Although not essential I was looking for that little bit of indulgence so I decided to opt for the suggested condiment of Wasabi Guacamole too and I am so glad I did.

2 courgettes, coarsely grated (net weight 250g)
Salt and black pepper
600g minced turkey, or chicken
2 medium free-range eggs
1½ tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp chopped coriander
3 tbsp chopped mint
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
60g chopped spring onion
Sunflower oil, for frying
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp mirin
½ tsp toasted sesame seeds

For the wasabi guacamole
2 ripe avocados, peeled (net weight 300g)
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp wasabi paste
20g chopped spring onion
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put the grated courgette in a sieve, mixed with a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and leave to drain for about 15 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible with your hands, then put the courgette in a large mixing bowl along with the turkey, eggs, cumin, coriander, mint, garlic, three-quarters of the spring onion, a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Mix together well, then shape into 12 patties weighing about 80g each.( I had to add some dried breadcrumbs to the mix at this point to make it workable).
Heat two tablespoons of sunflower oil in a large frying pan and fry the patties for four minutes, turning once, until nice and brown on both sides. Transfer to a baking tray and finish off in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
While the turkey cakes are in the oven, make the guacamole: mash the avocado with a fork and mix together with the lime juice, wasabi, chopped spring onion and half a teaspoon of salt.
Mix the sweet chilli and mirin in a separate bowl, and brush this over the turkey cakes as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and serve with the guacamole on the side.

Turkey burgers, who ever would have thought.Yotam Ottolenghi you are a star.These are phenomenal. Once you've made these, they're bound to feature regularly in your repertoire. – they are quick and easy to make, great for kids and so easy to make that you might as well make a double batch. Freeze half for that frequent occasion when you need fashionable food fast. Stick them in buns and you have the perfect TV dinner.


  1. Hi,
    like the sound of this recipe and would like to try it out, but where did you buy wasabi paste and mirin?

  2. Hi,
    Thank you for the comment.I checked your blog and presume from your content that you are on the west coast.I sourced wasabi paste and mirin at Appolonia,Almancil.I am sure you can find it in Lisbon.Health food shops might be a starter.I think I have seen it in the Continente in Tavira.Things are changing and Portuguese proprietors are fast responding to expat requests.Good luck,and let us know how you get on.


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