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Spicy Turkey with Asparagus and Chile

1 Jun

Two things I’ve never had in any type of Asian food before: ground meat and asparagus. In that respect, this recipe was pretty far outside my culinary comfort zone, but I am pretty comfortable with Asian flavors and ingredients as I cook with them frequently. And when I saw this dish posted on The Bitten Word, it looked amazing so I had to try it.

While it was cooking, I was apprehensive because you have to marinate the ground meat which, to be honest, makes it look truly icky before it’s done. So my nervousness about these two unusual (to me) ingredients was worsening, especially when my dad came into the kitchen and asked, disgusted, “What is that?”

Since I’m now cooking for my parents on a regular basis, I am having to readjust my menus and cooking style to their tastes and preferences. Luckily they are both very supportive of my passion for cooking and have been pretty open to their new role as my guine pigs.

Luckily, once everything was combined and completely cooked, the dish looked much better, though still nothing close to as good as what Bon Appetit posted! The taste, however, made up for any lackluster appearance. I think we were all three hesitant on our first bite, but the dish quickly won us over with it’s complex flavors and punch of heat. I’m pretty sure this was called “a homerun,” and I was told to put this on the list of things to make again. Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, I rarely make the same recipe twice, and my dad was quite disappointed when I told him that. Perhaps in this case, I will have to make an exception because it was quick, easy, and delicious – the trifecta for weeknight dinners.

Spicy Turkey with Asparagus and Chile
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons Sherry cooking wine
4 teaspoons cornstarch
20 ounces lean ground turkey
6 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 – 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (I used 2 for hot, but use 1 if you prefer mild)
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 teaspoons honey
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Whisk 2 tablespoon soy sauce, Sherry, and cornstarch in medium bowl. Add turkey; toss to blend.

Heat 4 teaspoons oil in heavy large wok or deep skillet over high heat. Add asparagus, chile, and ginger. Toss until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer asparagus mixture to plate.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to wok. Add pork mixture and stir-fry until browned, using spoon to break up pork into small pieces, 2 to 3 minutes.

Return asparagus mixture to wok. Add remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, and honey; stir-fry until pork is cooked through, adding water by tablespoonfuls if dry, about 2 minutes.

Add green onions; toss to incorporate. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Serves 8.
Source: Bon Appetit, April 2011

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