Recipe # 14: A way with Turkey Mince. a.k.a. I made something delicious today!

It has been a very very very long time- more than a month, in fact- since I posted on here. Life, literally got in the way! There have been many celebrations one for the completion of my sexy new kitchen in particular – yes, it is sexy- and several gatherings with family and friends. There is something really magical about sitting down with close friends- over tea or food- and catching up on what’s been going on. No matter how long you may not have spoken for, when you sit back down together after all that time has passed, it’s just the same. Even if misunderstandings take place or you aren’t living in the same city anymore, true friendship withstands all of that. Your friends almost morph into your family in a way… in that your interaction is not based on conditions! Good food always helps get things going.

{ dissolve from philosophical to gastronomical musings…}

So the reason for my making a dish with mince, was because I was feeling pretty nostalgic about my travels to Thailand where I observed the popularity of minced meat in their cooking. They made meatballs for soups, made exceptionally delicious sausages (a must try if you’re in Chiangmai), used it in stir fried noodles, and served it with rice… each iteration was so wonderfully flavoursome and possessed an identity and character of its own.  I guess one reason for its popularity could be that it cooks fast and is an easy way to introduce protein and balance out any dish- That’s smart cooking… and tasty too!

Here is a picture of what I made using turkey mince instead of the more conventional chicken or pork… turns out it’s pretty damn versatile along with being lower in cholesterol. It works well with noodles, rice, as a filling in spring rolls (amazing for when entertaining friends), and also in an omelette!  Bottom line: it’s got potential… and a lot of flavour. 🙂


POT-ential ( at this point I hadn’t fully separated the mince, but I ended up eating before photographing the final product… again… )

Ingredients (serves 3-4) :

300g Lean Turkey Mince (you can use chicken or ground pork)
2-3 medium/mild red chillies- emphasis on flavour not burning your tongue…
3-4 large garlic cloves – finely sliced
A good bunch of Thai basil leaves
2-3 tsp brown sugar
3-4 tbsp fish sauce
3-4 tbsp thai dark soy sauce ( this is kind of thick and slightly sweet… you can also use Indonesian Kecap Manis which is more widely available in Asian supermarkets)
1 tsp tamarind paste ( you can use 1/2 a tamarind stock cube if you can’t get hold of this)
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
A little water to splash in at the end.


Heat up the oil and fry the chillies and garlic until they are fragrant.

Chuck in the mince and and black pepper and begin separating. As it cooks, add the fish sauce, brown sugar, tamarind and dark soy sauce and continue frying and separating the mass of mince on a medium flame for about ten minutes. The moisture from the meat will slowly be released and the flavours will be locked in.

Add the basil and a little water (less than 1/4 cup) and continue to cook, covered with a lid on a low flame for another 5-10 minutes.

The mince should look be tender, flavoursome and sit in a shallow puddle of its stir fried juices… ready for you to combine in whatever way you choose.

NB. To add the mince to spring rolls — leave out the water/ evaporate it off… no one wants soggy spring rolls or ones that explode in hot oil!!


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