“I would recommend starting a day in advance before you want to actually cook the burgers so that you can marinate the chicken or soak the lentils, as well as make the cucumber pickles and the simple chilli sauce. The pickles need to be prepared at least one day ahead for the onions to turn pink and will last for a week in the fridge once drained. You can choose to make either the chicken or lentil satay patties. ”
Bring the pickling liquid ingredients to the boil, then turn off the heat. Remove the ginger and star anise from the liquid.
Cut the cucumbers in half straight through the middle, and then halve again lengthways. Use a spoon to deseed them and finely slice so that you end up with crescent moon shapes, ideally no thicker than 5mm (¼in).
Cut the red onion into eighths, then slice them so that you also end up with crescent moon shapes, ideally no thicker than 5mm (¼in) in width.
Mix the cucumber and red onion thoroughly in a large bowl before decanting into a storage container.
Pour pickling liquid over the prepared vegetables and leave at least overnight before draining thoroughly.
SIMPLE CHILLI SAUCE
Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Switch off the heat and leave for 1 hour.
Bring to the boil again and simmer over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and use a hand blender to blend into a sauce.
SATAY SPICE PASTE
Blend all the ingredients into a fine purée consistency. If using a smaller food processor or handheld stick blender, you will have to work in batches, combining the batches once they’re ready. Always mix lemongrass with some onion to provide easier fodder for the blender’s blades (blitzing lemongrass by itself can be very hard work and you will be left with undesirable hard, fibrous strands).
Grind the peanuts using the pulse function of a food processor until you get a rough, sandy texture. Add the ground peanuts, along with the rest of the sauce ingredients, to a medium-sized saucepan. Set over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring frequently to prevent the sauce at the bottom of the pan from burning. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
CHICKEN SATAY PATTIES
Using a gloved hand, mix the chicken mince thoroughly with the satay spice paste and egg in a large container. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Place a large frying pan over a medium–high heat, adding just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a large ice-cream scoop, scoop out two balls of the chicken mix into the pan and flatten into patties using a flat spatula. Pan-fry the patties on both sides for around 8 minutes in total, flipping every couple of minutes.
LENTIL SATAY PATTIES
These became my vegan version of my chicken satay patties at the stall. They are best eaten within 10 minutes of being cooked as they harden as they cool.
Blitz the drained lentils, salt, cornflour and satay spice paste in a food processor until it’s a fine paste. (This mixture will store well refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.)
Place a large frying pan over a medium heat, with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a large ice-cream scoop, scoop out two balls of the lentil mix into the pan and flatten into patties using a flat spatula. You may be able to fit more into your pan depending on how large it is. Pan-fry the patties on both sides for around 5 minutes in total, flipping every minute.
ASSEMBLING THE BURGER
Cut the buns in half and toast cut-side down. Then add the toppings to the bun base in this order: Peanut sauce (enough to cover the base of the bun), cooked chicken or lentil satay patty, 2 tablespoons cucumber pickles, 1 tablespoon simple chilli sauce (or more, to taste), top of bun.