- Shannon Crocker, MSc RD PHEC
Turkey Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce
What's your go-to stir-fry combo?
I created this recipe for my friends over at Canadian Turkey but turkey has always been one of my top nutritious protein choices for my everyday recipes, regardless, so I'm happy to Think Turkey and send some love to all the Turkey Farmers in Canada who work hard to feed us all.
Stir-fries are one of those meals that I always have on my meal rotation. They are a simple way to get a whole lot of goodness onto your plate: thin pieces of protein (turkey in this case!) cook quickly and you can pile in all sorts of veggies. If you prep all the veggies and slice the turkey the night before, you can have dinner on the table in under 20 minutes. Easily. That's my kind of meal.
You'll definitely want to put this Turkey Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce on your menu rotation.
Not only is it easy to make, but it's super tasty -- the turkey is tender, juicy, a wee bit spicy and it pairs perfectly with the coconut-y peanut sauce. My recipe testing colleague told me it is the very best peanut sauce she's ever had. And she's been to Thailand. I have to admit, I did a little (BIG) happy dance in my kitchen when she emailed that to me.
Why turkey in this stir fry?
Well, as a busy mom, I like that turkey is versatile, simple to cook and has the most delicious flavour. As a dietitian, I love that turkey is lean and packed with hunger-crushing protein and nutrients like zinc (for healthy immune systems) and vitamin B12 (for a healthy nervous system, including your brain). For my family and me, it's a winner! (why do I feel the need to say "winner winner TURKEY dinner"? Tee hee!).
I use turkey scallopini here because it's easy but I usually purchase a turkey breast and just slice it up myself -- that way there's enough turkey for two nights or more. You can serve the extra turkey over salad or in quesadillas or on a pizza another night. (cook once, eat twice is a strategy I use all the time to manage mealtime mayhem).
One thing you might notice about this stir fry...I kept the turkey and the veggies separate. Why? Because I like lots of veggies in my stir-fry and I don't want to dig around to get at the turkey. Plus, it just looks better on my plate when they are separated, and we eat first with our eyes, right?
I'm sure you'll fall in love with the deliciousness and ease of cooking this recipe. Make sure to serve it with lots of fresh lime, green onion, cilantro and chopped peanuts. And I won't hold it against you if you eat the peanut sauce by the spoonful.
Turkey Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
Coconut Peanut Sauce:
½ cup (125 mL) natural smooth peanut butter
¼ cup (60 mL) canned coconut milk
¼ cup (60 mL) warm water
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lime juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) Asian chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
2 tsp (10 mL) fish sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) freshly grated gingerroot
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil, divided
1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly grated gingerroot, divided
2 small cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 tsp (5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
500 gram turkey scallopini cut into ½-inch (1 cm) strips
¼ tsp (2 mL) salt
1-½ cups (375 mL) thinly sliced red cabbage
1-½ cups (375 mL) sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups (500 mL) cooked brown rice
1 cup (250 mL) blanched bean sprouts (optional)
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped, salted roasted peanuts
¼ cup (60 mL) torn fresh cilantro leaves
1 green onion, thinly sliced
How to Make:
1. Coconut Peanut Sauce: In a blender, combine peanut butter, coconut milk, warm water, lime juice, chili paste, fish sauce, ginger and garlic; purée until smooth.
2. Stir-Fry: In large non-stick skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium- high heat. Add half each of the ginger and garlic and all of the red pepper flakes; stir-fry for 1 minute.
3. Season turkey with salt, add to skillet and stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes, until turkey is cooked through. Remove turkey and place in a medium bowl. Add half of the Coconut Peanut Sauce to the turkey and toss until coated. Cover the bowl with a large plate to keep turkey warm.
4. Add remaining oil to the same skillet. Add cabbage, sugar snap peas, red pepper, remaining ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until just tender crisp.
5. Divide rice among 4 plates, top each with vegetables and then turkey. Garnish with bean sprouts, if using, peanuts, cilantro and green onion. Drizzle with some of the Coconut Peanut Sauce. Serve with lime wedges.
Note: Refrigerate remaining Coconut Peanut Sauce and use as a salad dressing or a dip for vegetables, turkey satay or fresh spring rolls. Stir in a little hot water if you need to thin it out.
If you can’t find turkey scallopini, ask your butcher or grocer for it. Alternatively, purchase boneless, skinless turkey breast and slice it thinly. Pro tip: freeze turkey breast slightly – it will be easier to slice.