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.
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.
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.
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.
Sugar. Just a little white sugar to help "pickle" the veggies and give them a zesty taste.
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
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.
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.
FAQs & Recipe Tips
Ground turkey is a lean, healthier alternative to beef. I find it to be a little lighter.
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
Korean Ground Turkey
- large pan
- bowls for mixing
- 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 ginger, minced about one inch of fresh ginger
- 3 stalks celery about 1/2 cup chopped
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce *more for serving if needed
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2½ Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce *see notes
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
Cucumber and Carrot Salad
- 1½ Tbsp white granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1½ cup matchstick carrots
- 1¾ cup english cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 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.