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Bun-less Burgers


From Bangkok to Vancouver – Pailin “Pai” Chongchitnant brings her home-country cuisine to your dinner table. As a Cordon Bleu-educated Chef, host of Hot Thai Kitchen, Pai combines her love for cooking and her devotion to Thai food to teach AUTHENTIC Thai cooking using REAL ingredients like BEEF! Adapted from her Bun-less Massaman Curry Burger, this is a unique twist on the family classic that involves family participation if you like – get others involved to dip their burgers in a yummy peanut sauce! Pai’s potato topper is brilliant!


  • 1 lb (500 g) Lean Ground Beef
  • ¼ of a large onion, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Massaman Curry Sauce (for dipping)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (divided)
  • 3 tbsp (50g) store-bought massaman curry paste, or use the Semi-homemade version (recipe follows)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp palm sugar or light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste (or sub a squeeze of lime juice)
  • Fish sauce, as needed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • Burger Toppings
  • 1 to 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 of a large onion, julienned
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 medium russet or Yukon Gold potato, thinly sliced


  1. For the beef patties, in medium mixing bowl, combine ground beef, minced onion, fish sauce and black pepper; mix together until well combined. Form into 4 patties; cover and let rest in the fridge while you make the rest of the recipe.
  2. Massaman Curry Sauce: In a small pot, add ⅓ cup of coconut milk and the curry paste, cook together over medium heat until it’s very thick. Add remaining coconut milk, sugar, tamarind and cook for another minute until consistency is gravy-like; add peanuts. Taste and add more fish sauce if it needs to be more salty. Set aside.
  3. Toppings: Heat a large non-stick skillet pan on medium heat and add a little oil. Add the julienned onion and a little sprinkle of salt; sauté until soft, sweet, and caramelized. Remove and set aside. In the same skillet, add a splash of vegetable oil and turn heat to medium high. Lay the potato slices down in one layer (you may need to do 2 batches) and sprinkle with pinch of salt. Cover with a lid for about 2 minutes, until undersides are golden brown, turn them over and cook the other side for another 2 minutes, covered, until fully cooked. Remove and repeat with the remaining batch.
  4. Cook the burger patties in a skillet or on the grill over medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes per side, until digital instant read thermometer reads 160˚F (71˚C) when probe is inserted sideways into each patty. To assemble, use tongs to dunk each patty into a pot of warm Massaman Sauce to coat. Top with 4-5 potato slices and the sautéed onion. Serve immediately.


Semi-Homemade Massaman Curry Paste: Combine 3 tbsp (50g) Thai red curry paste, 1 tsp EACH ground coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and cinnamon, ¼ tsp EACH ground cloves, and cardamom, and ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg.


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