Sometimes you just want to graze rather than have a huge meal. I love a meal that has lots of fun things to nibble on, and these Spiced Beef Patties are perfect for that. They are also great for a party. Loosely based on a Nepalese dish called chunla, my Spiced Beef Patties are delicately spiced with cumin and coriander. I serve them with a super easy and deliciously smoky dipping sauce.
Chunla are traditionally made with water buffalo minced by hand, but I make mine with ground beef since that’s a little easier to find stateside. Use a ground beef blend that has enough fat for moisture: a 85/15 (meaning 15% fat) blend is perfect. A little yogurt helps to tenderize the meat, adds moisture to the patties, and binds them together. Let me show you how easy it is to make this fun dish!
Start With The Sauce
You want to serve the spiced beef patties immediately after cooking, so you should make the sauce first. The recipe is very simple, but packs a lot of punch. I know it says the anchovies are optional, but come on. Why would adding an amazing blast of salty, funky flavor be optional? You’re a grown adult, it’s time to get over your fear of anchovies. I promise they don’t add an identifiably fishy flavor.
You can process this into a smooth sauce, or if you prefer you can use the pulse button for a chunkier sauce.
Use A Sharp Knife
While Spiced Beef Patties come together quickly, there is quite a bit of chopping. You want the shallots, ginger, and herbs uniformly and finely minced. A properly sharpened knife makes that a breeze. (Are you a Funky Asian Kitchen subscriber? Not only will you never miss a recipe, but you also receive my tutorial on how to professionally sharpen your knives, an absolute kitchen must!)
Once the ginger and shallots are finely diced, mince the herbs. Though mint and cilantro are the traditional flavors, feel free to sub your favorite herbs if you don’t care for them. Thai basil and flat leaf parsley would work here as well. Don’t skip the herbs; they add a nice freshness to the beef patties.
Make The Patties
Once the herbs and aromatics are prepped, it’s time to mix and shape the meat. Make sure to thoroughly mix all the seasonings into the meat-each bite should have all the goodies mixed in. Using a little water helps to shape the patties without the meat sticking to my hands, but feel free to wear gloves if you prefer.
Once your patties are shaped, it’s time to fry them up! I like to use a nonstick pan for this. It only takes about 3 minutes per side to cook these. They should be served hot with the smoky tomato sauce.
If you want to have an Asian inspired tapas feast, serve these beef patties with Thai Fish Cakes, Sriracha Wings, Tropical Ceviche, and end with Chinese Almond Cookies. Probably a good idea to wash it all down with Lychee Mai Tais; hydration is very important. When you try these Spiced Beef Patties, let us know! Rate the recipe and leave a comment below, and tag us in your insta pics @funkyasiankitchen. Show us the goods!
For the Beef Patties:
- 1 pound good quality ground beef (85/15 blend)
- 3 shallots finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt (either reduced fat or full fat is fine)
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil (for cooking patties)
For The Tomato Sauce:
- 1 pound of ripe plum tomatoes (but any kind will work)
- 2 fresh green chiles, like serrano or jalapeno
- 2 pieces anchovy (optional but amazing)
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- ½ cup chopped cilantro, mint, or combination
Make The Tomato Sauce:
- Turn your broiler to high and move your oven rack as close to the heating element as possible. Broil the tomatoes and chiles on a tray, turning them every 2-3 mins to get a charred, scorched crust. It will take about 10-12 minutes in total. Set them aside to cool.
- Peel off some of the really blackened skin from the tomato and chiles.
- Place the veggies in a food processor with the anchovies, ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric, oil, mint, and cilantro. Pulse a couple of times for a chunky salsa.
- Adjust seasoning and serve with the patties.
Make the Beef Patties:
- Place the beef in a bowl and add shallot, ginger, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, salt, yogurt, and rice vinegar. Mix the meat well with clean hands, kneading it for a minute or two which will allow it to hold, since there is no binder in this recipe.
- Add the cilantro and the mint and mix to combine.
- Scoop the meat into 2 Tablespoon portions onto a tray or plate. You should have about 12 portions. Wet your hands with water and shape the meat into oval patties, about ¾ thick.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the oil and put the patties into the pan making sure that they have enough room to brown and the pan is not overcrowded. (You can also cook them in batches if your pan is smaller).
- Pan fry the patties for about 3 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes, covering the pan. Serve hot with the tomato sauce.
* If you don’t want to open a full tin of anchovies for this recipes, you can substitute fish sauce instead for similar results. Use 1 teaspoon of fish sauce but do not add any salt yet. Pulse the sauce and then taste it first, before adding any salt.