As a kid, I was always paranoid of smelling like ginger and garlic. My mother would always begin a curry with some hot oil and spices, but inevitably...the ginger and garlic would have to make its appearance and leave the home infused with a smoky, nutty fragrance. I used to close my bedroom door to save myself from embarassment later on, but these days I'm running to ginger and garlic. 

Here, ginger and garlic are used to enhance the flavor of sirloin. I've used 95/5, which translates to 95% lean/5% fat--you gotta respect your heart my friend. Any ground meat, for that matter, which is 90% lean is a splendid choice for your health. Since ginger and garlic is too powerful when it's raw, you'll start by mellowing the burn over low heat. Once it's cooled down, it's safe to follow through with the remainders of the recipe.  

The ingredients here are easy to find: soy sauce, for a complex flavor you won't get from the sole addition of salt, and wasabi cream made with low fat Greek yogurt and wasabi powder. A cute package of roasted red peppers tucked into the center serves as a nice escape from all the ginger and garlicky goodness that meanders throughout this juicy burger.  


For the burgers:
1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil + 1 extra TB for grilling
½ cup onion, grated
2 teaspoons ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 ¼ pound lean 95/5 ground sirloin
salt, 1 teaspoon
pepper, ½ teaspoon
½ cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
Romaine lettuce, optional

For the wasabi cream:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature or warmed 10-15 sec. in microwave
wasabi paste, 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons low-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1.)    Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onion, garlic, and ginger for 3-4 minutes, just until the onion is translucent and the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool.

2.)    Using a large mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, cilantro, cooled ginger-garlic-onion mixture, salt, and pepper to the sirloin.  Mix lightly with a fork . Optional: Cook  a small spoonful of meat in 1 teaspoon of oil to check the seasons and adjust to your taste, or skip if you don't care to. Separate meat into four sections directly in the mixing bowl.
3.)   Scoop one section out and divide it in half. Flatten each half to form two slender patties. Place 2 tablespoons of the roasted red peppers on one patty and top it with the other patty. Seal the edges with your fingers to ensure the red peppers stay in the center. If necessary, gently cup your palms around the burger to restore a uniform round shape. Form the remaining burgers using this same method.
4.)    Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Brush remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the surface. Place burgers on the grill and cook 3-4 minutes per side for well-done. 3 minutes for medium-well.  Toast the hamburger buns on the grill while the hamburgers are cooking.
5.)    Meanwhile, mix all of the ingredients for wasabi cream in a small bowl.
6.)    To assemble: spread 2 tablespoons of the wasabi cream over each hamburger bun, sandwich a sirloin burger  in between and top with romaine lettuce, if using.