asian · dinner · turkey

Korean Turkey Bowls

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m slightly obsessed with “bowl” meals.

They just makes sense to me. If you’re trying to eat better, eat healthier—the easiest thing is to throw a meal together in a bowl and chow down.

I’m constantly experimenting with my bowl-making skills. Banh mi bowls, anyone? Shrimp bowls with ranch elotes?

I’ve even gotten Rob on board with my zany antics. He normally eats turkey, quinoa, and a dash of Green Dragon hot sauce from Trader Joe’s. That’s his go-to meal!

Bowls also transport easily. When you meal-prep as often as I do, you need foods that can go with you to work that don’t take a lot of effort to package up. I’ve got great tupperware (when it’s not missing in the void where tupperware lids and socks go) that’s long so you can just pile up the rice/grain, and top it with your protein and veg.

Bowls are also really adaptable. You can make the same flavored protein and grain, and then top it with different things for each day of the week. Maybe avocado one day, carrots the next, spinach—you name it.

This bowl came about after I found some shishito peppers at the grocery store. My favorite Korean restaurant, Chae, has a shishito pepper appetizer—so the lightbulb went off. I’ve got to make a Korean-style bowl!

This bowl is similar to bibimbap, but it’s not as traditional so I decided to refrain from calling it that. Plus, unlike normal bibimbap, I used turkey instead of beef. I also quick-pickled the cucumbers instead of using them raw and wow—they may have been the best part of the bowl! The sourness of the pickles paired so well with the spicy, savory, and slightly sweet meat. Yum.

Make your bowl with whatever your heart desires. That’s the beauty of them! No cucumbers, no problem. Have some avocados? Slice them up. Sriracha or Yum Yum sauce? Throw it on top. This bowl is your oyster.

Korean Turkey Bowls

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Spicy Korean-style ground turkey bowls with carrots, zucchini, pickled cucumber, peppers and kimchi.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 TBS. sesame oil
  • 2 TBS. sambal oelek
  • 2 TBS. soy sauce
  • 1 TBS. brown sugar
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into half-moons
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 12 oz. shishito peppers
  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • Cooked brown rice, for serving
  • Kimchi, green onions, sesame seeds, for topping

Directions

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add turkey, green onion, and ginger. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until browned and cook through. Stir in sambal, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Add zucchini at the last minute of cooking. Remove from heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss shishito peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes until blistered.
  3. Make the quick-pickled cucumbers: In a bowl or tupperware with a lid, toss cucumbers with vinegar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Make the bowl: Place rice in a bowl and top with meat/zucchini mixture. Add a few peppers, carrots, pickled cucumbers, kimchi, green onions and sesame seeds.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add turkey, green onion, and ginger. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until browned and cook through. Stir in sambal, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Simmer for another 5-6 minutes.

Add zucchini at the last minute of cooking. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss shishito peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes until blistered.

Make the quick-pickled cucumbers: In a bowl or tupperware with a lid, toss cucumbers with vinegar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Make the bowl: Place rice in a bowl and top with meat/zucchini mixture. Add a few peppers, carrots, pickled cucumbers, kimchi, green onions and sesame seeds.

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