Korean Ground Turkey

5 from 8 votes
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Delicious, easy Korean ground turkey with a quick tangy cucumber and carrot salad. This dish will put some pep in your step for a tasty weeknight meal.

Two bowls with ground turkey and cucumber and carrot salad in them.
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Why Make This Korean Ground Turkey

This recipe is refreshing, it has a nice mellow spice, but of course you can kick it up a notch. It’s made with asian inspired condiments and the turkey is browned and crisped to perfection. It’s a bit healthier than beef since it’s made with ground turkey, just like my Turkey Smash Burgers. I like to top it with a quick, zesty, cucumber and carrot salad. The salad reminds me of a kimchi but it’s not quite that, just a quick pickled salad that pairs wonderfully.

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients needed to make recipe on a counter

Ground Turkey. Lean ground turkey. Use your favorite brand of turkey.

Sesame Oil. This is a cooking oil made from sesame seeds. It had a nutty fresh flavor.

Celery. Fresh chopped celery adds a nice crunch to the korean style ground turkey.

Garlic. Fresh minced garlic gives the meat and sauce a great aromatic pop of flavor.

Ginger. Fresh ginger brings out the flavors and add a little warmth to the flavor.

Green Onions. These will be sautéed briefly in the turkey meat and used as a garnish.

Rice. Long grain rice works best, This is optional but it’s great served with the turkey.

Sesame Seeds. This add a little garnish and crunch. Found in the international aisle at most grocery stores.

Sauce

Soy Sauce. This is part of the sauce/flavor of the ground turkey. A little goes a long way and it helps crisp up the beef.

Honey. Honey adds a sweetness that pairs SO well with the soy sauce. It helps crisp the meat up.

Rice Vinegar. This is a sweeter vinegar used in several asian dishes. You can find it with all the other vinegars.

Chili Garlic Sauce. This is an asian condiment that’s tangy and spicy. You can find it in the international aisle at your local grocery store (near the soy sauce typically). Sub Sriracha or make my Chili onion Crunch for topping.

Cucumber And Carrot Salad

Cucumber. I typically use english cucumbers because the skin is thinner and more enjoyable.

Carrots. Match stick carrots are best for this, you can find this in the produce.

Rice Vinegar.

Sugar. Just a little white sugar to help “pickle” the veggies and give them a zesty taste.

Recipe Variations

Ground Turkey. Ground chicken or ground beef will also work well. Just be sure the beef is lean.

Rice. Serve this over chopped romaine or quinoa instead if needed.

Soy Sauce. Tamari sauce will work or coconut aminos.

Sesame Oil. Avocado, olive or grape seed oil will work in place

Cucumber Carrot Salad. If you want to purchase authentic kimchi you can replace this salad with kimchi.

Steps To Make This Recipe

Cucumber and carrot salad in a glass bowl.

Step One. Start the cucumber carrot salad first so the veggies can marinate. Mix the Ingredients together in a large bowl and toss well. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Start cooking the rice, this will take about 20 minutes typically to cook.

Step Two. Mix the turkey sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet, add the ground turkey, brown for about 8 minutes, soak up any excess liquid in the skillet with a paper towel. Add in the garlic, ginger, and celery. Flatten the ground turkey in the skillet.

Ground turkey in a skillet.

Step Three. Pour the sauce over the meat. Leave the meat alone to cook (do not mix it for about 4-7 minutes) this will help to caramelize the meat and add a crispy browning effect.

Step Four. Once you have left the meat for a bit to caramelize add half of green onions, mix for about another 2 minutes to release the aroma and flavor of the onions then turn off the stove.

Step Five. Time to serve! Add rice to a plate or bowl and top with the Korean ground turkey mix and the cucumber carrot salad. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chili garlic sauce enjoy.

Grey bowl with ground turkey in it up close with veggies.

FAQs & Recipe Tips

Is ground turkey healthy?

Ground turkey is a lean, healthier alternative to beef. I find it to be a little lighter.

Is the sauce spicy?

No, the sauce isn’t very spicy at all. The chili garlic sauce adds the spice at the end.

Make Ahead & Storage Tips

This recipe makes a wonderful meal prep recipe. The flavors tend to get better as they sit in the fridge you can store it in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To heat up, pop in the microwave. The cucumber salad should be left on the side before serving.

Other Asian Inspired Meals To Enjoy

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Ground turkey with sauce and veggies in a grey bowl.
5 from 8 votes

Korean Ground Turkey

Delicious, easy Korean ground turkey with a quick tangy cucumber and carrot salad. A tasty, satisfying meal to enjoy.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • large pan
  • bowls for mixing

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey , *see notes
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, separate half for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced, about one inch of fresh ginger
  • 3 stalks celery , about 1/2 cup chopped

Sauce Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce, *more for serving if needed
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce, *see notes
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes

Cucumber and Carrot Salad

  • Tbsp white granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • cup matchstick carrots
  • cup english cucumbers, thinly sliced

Instructions 

  • Start with making the cucumber carrot salad, the veggies can marinate and pickle a bit. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and toss well. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Start the rice, this will take about 20 minutes typically to cook. 
  • Mix the turkey sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet, add the ground turkey, brown for about 8 minutes, soak up any excess liquid with a paper towel. Chop the celery and green onions into small pieces. Add in the minced garlic, ginger, and chopped celery. Flatten the ground turkey in the skillet a bit.
  • Pour the sauce over the meat. Leave the meat alone to cook (do not mix it for about 4-7 minutes) this will help to caramelize the meat and add a crispy browning effect.
  • Once you have left the meat for a bit to caramelize add half of the green onions, mix for about another 2 minutes to release the aroma and flavor of the onions then turn off the stove.
  • Time to serve! Add rice to a plate or bowl and top with the Korean ground turkey mix and the cucumber carrot salad. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chili garlic sauce enjoy.

Notes

*ground beef or ground chicken will also work well.
*any soy sauce or coconut aminos will work. 
*sriracha  will also work well. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 1313mg | Potassium: 688mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 8229IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4
Calories: 433
Keyword: 30 minute, Asian Inspired, easy dinner
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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. what temp do you cook the turkey at? do you adjust the temp? i feel like i can kind of get a feel but i’m not very confident with the temp when the sauce is poured over the meat 😅

    1. Hi Cassidy,
      Totally understandable! So you cook the raw turkey meat on a medium/high heat. When you pour the honey sauce mix over the turkey, keep that medium high heat on it while you let the ground turkey sit and “crisp” up a bit (untouched). Then you can turn the heat down to low heat until you are ready to serve! I hope that helps 😉 happy cooking.

  2. 5 stars
    This was easy to make and full of flavor. My husband loved it.

  3. Hi! So I made this last night (Sunday) as part of my meal prep for the week. I sauteed the veggies first, then added the ground turkey meat and mixed together. When the turkey meat started to brown a little I added the sauce. I kept an eye on it and waited until the liquid evaporated. Then I let it crisp up a little and then it was done! I did add more of the sauce ingredients too it because I like a little more kick. I topped it over unflavored cauliflower rice. I couldn’t find matchstick carrots so I used shredded carrots. I also used a mandolin to slice the cucumbers. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    1. Hi Vee,
      I’m sooo excited you enjoyed this meal, we love it. And I am a saucy gal myself so I’m glad you made a little extra. Happy cooking!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner and my whole family enjoyed it even my kiddos and they are so darn picky😅 THANK YOU

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! I just started following you on Instagram and love all your recipes. Thank you so much. I will share this one with family and friends.

    1. Hi Carolyn!
      Thank you so much for following along and trusting my recipes to enjoy! So glad you are here. Happy eating friend!

      1. 5 stars
        Hi there!!

        I’m just a little confused. The garlic chilli sauce is in the recipe for the meat sauce but then at the end you say to top it with the garlic chilli sauce….please help! TYIA

        1. Hi Lisa, it is meant to go into the meat sauce, but I like to use extra for topping the choice is yours!

  6. This looks amazing! The 1 tablespoon of ginger, is that fresh or ground?

    1. Hi Vivian!
      this is fresh, minced garlic. You can use less or more to taste if you need 🙂 enjoy!