I've been hesitating to post this recipe for quite some time. It's not because it's bad. In fact, this is an extremely tasty dish which I make fairly often. It's nutritious, cheap, and low carb. You can also make it with ingredients that are easily purchased in Tokyo supermarkets. The reason I've hesitated is that it photographs terribly. It may look sloppy and strangely orange but it's really delicious.
Generally speaking, I don't care what food looks like but there's something about putting it out for public consumption which makes me wary. It's also possible that living in Japan, where the appearance of food is often more important than the taste, is starting to rub off on me. After years of sampling food which looked great but was a huge disappointment, you'd think I'd start shopping around for uglier-looking dishes.
While I make this recipe with chicken burger, it can be made with hamburger or turkey burger if you prefer. I've never tried it with beef but I imagine that beef would add a fair bit more oil to the sauce so I'd recommend using lean ground beef. Also, if you want to reduce the fat content, you can cut the sour cream quanitity in half and substitute one heaping tablespoon of plain yogurt. Be advised though that the yogurt adds much more of a sour flavor than the sour cream.
Chcken Burgers in Tomato Sour Cream Sauce
- 4 (raw) burgers of any size (I use 3.5-4 oz./100-120 grams) of any ground meat you favor (chicken, turkey, beef)
- 2 large tomatoes or 3 small ones (cut into small chunks)
- 1 small onion (finely-diced)
- 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 100 grams/3.5 ounces sour cream
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil (as needed for frying)
- 4-1 oz./28 gram slices of cheese or 4 oz./115 grams of grated "mixed cheese" (optional)
- salt and coarsely-ground black pepper (to taste)
Push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet and place the burgers in the center. Cook the burgers, covered, until they are done, turning over at the half-way point. Be sure to keep the burgers covered to trap the moisture in the skillet. This is used for the sauce.
Place 1 oz/28 g. of cheese in the bottom of each of 4 dishes (if desired). Place the cooked burgers on top of the cheese. Add the sour cream to the vegetables and juices and stir until smooth and hot. If you substitute yogurt for some of the sour cream, stir it in last with the heat off or on very low so it doesn't curdle. Serve the sauce over the 4 burgers, dividing it evenly.
This works really well as a meal of leftovers as it re-heats wonderfully in the microwave. I store the extra in microwave-safe Rubbermaid sandwich boxes and pop them into the microwave for quick dinners.
By the way, "mixed cheese" is one of the only kinds of natural cheese (as opposed to processed cheese) that can be found in the average Japanese supermarket for less than the price of caviar. Most of the cheese in Japanese shops is processed cheese.