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Banh Mi Pheasant Burger Recipe

Break away from boring burgers with the bright and bold flavors of banh mi pheasant burgers.

Banh Mi Pheasant Burger Recipe

Top this banh mi pheasant burger with shredded carrots, sliced jalapeños, and a homemade spicy mayo sauce. (Jack Hennessy photo)

Banh mi, from my understanding, literally translates to “bread” in Vietnamese. In the case of the sandwich by the same name, the bread component is just as crucial as every other ingredient. In this recipe, that means substituting a French baguette roll—something that is crispy on the outside, and soft and pillowy on the inside—for a boring hamburger bun.

The topping drizzle is basically dressed up simple syrup. For those who don’t like a lot of sugar, you may wish to lightly drizzle over the toppings when putting the burger together, or, if sugar isn’t an issue, mix in a bowl with toppings as if it were a tossed salad.

Banh Mi Pheasant Burger
Grill pheasant patties until golden brown. (Jack Hennessy photo)

Serves: 2
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes


  • 2 baguette/French bread rolls
  • 12 ounces skinless pheasant breasts
  • 4 ounces pork butt
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 2 medium jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt

Special Mayo:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal chili paste
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Topping Drizzle:

  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ cup lemon grass, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh garlic, chopped
  • ¼ lime, squeezed


  1. To prep, slice jalapeños and cucumbers to 1/8- or 1/4-inch thickness, shred carrots (if necessary), rough chop both cilantro and garlic (though do so separately), mince the lemon grass stalks.
  2. To make burgers, filet out the pheasant breasts and cut out 4 ounces of pork butt. Grind both pork butt meat and pheasant breasts together then mix. Form the meat into two 8-ounce patties.
  3. To make topping drizzle, in a small pot heated on medium-low, add 3/4 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar, along with 1/4 cup minced lemon grass and 1/4 cup freshly chopped garlic. Stir often. Simmer for half hour then strain liquids, removing lemon grass and garlic, then add remaining ingredients. Heat on low for another 10 minutes, stirring often, then set aside in fridge.
  4. To cook burgers, lightly salt and pepper both sides of the burger patties. On a grill grate or flat top heated to 400 degrees, sear both sides until golden brown and remove once fully cooked (160 degrees Fahrenheit internal temp).
  5. To assemble the burgers, mix all the special mayo ingredients, cut rolls, and toast. Lacquer the special mayo onto both sides. Mix toppings and drizzle in a mixing bowl then add cilantro to the bottom bun, followed by burger, then remaining toppings.

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