Asian Spring Rolls

I intended to use ground chicken for the spring rolls but all I could find at the store was ground turkey so, here we go.  I suppose this could be an opening act for a Thanksgiving dinner or maybe an appetizer served during a football game.  It’s also a good way to use leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. 

Make sure to use spring roll wrappers, not egg roll wrappers. Spring roll wrappers are more dense and they are thinner than egg roll wrappers.

Ingredients:

1 Tbs soy sauce

1 green onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, smashed

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp cornstarch

1 lb ground turkey

2 Tbs cooking oil divided

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1-2 stalks green onion, chopped

1/2 head of cabbage, about 8 ounces, shredded

2 carrots julienne cut

2 Tbs oyster sauce

50 frozen spring roll wrappers, defrosted

2 cups cooking oil

Cornstarch Slurry:

    1 Tbs cornstarch

    1/4 cup water

Dipping sauce:

1/2 tsp sesame oil

3 Tbs soy sauce

1 tsp Hoisin sauce

1 tsp Garlic Chili Paste

Instructions:

Prepare the Filling:

In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, green onion, garlic, vinegar, pepper and cornstarch.  Add the ground turkey and mix well.  Marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Chop, mince and grate the various stir-fry vegetables. 

Heat a wok over high heat.  When hot, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Add the turkey and stir-fry until browned.  Remove the browned turkey and set aside in a bowl.

Turn the heat down to medium.  Add a tablespoon of cooking oil.   Add the green onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Add the carrots and cabbage.  Stir well and turn the heat up to medium-high.   Stir fry the vegetables for 2 minutes, or until the carrots have softened.  

Return the cooked turkey back to the wok and stir.  Add the oyster sauce and toss to coat. Turn the mixture out to a strainer and let liquids drain.   Wet ingredients don’t make good spring rolls!

Wrapping Spring Rolls:

Make a cornstarch slurry with cornstarch and water.  Open the spring roll wrapper package, peel the wrappers apart from each other and cover them with a moistened paper towel. 

Lay a wrapper on a clean surface.  Position the wrapper with a corner facing toward you .  Add about 1 tablespoon of filling to the bottom point of the wrapper.  Fold the left and right sides in toward the middle (the wrapper should look like an envelope). Starting from the bottom of the wrapper, roll upward and apply pressure with your fingers to prevent air pockets.  Dip a finger in the cornstarch slurry and paint the top corner of the wrapper.  Finish wrapping and secure the wrap by gently pressing along the seam.  Stage finished spring rolls on parchment paper, or wax paper and keep them covered with a damp paper towel.

Frying Spring Rolls

Add about 2 cups of oil to a wok and turn the heat to high.  The depth of the oil should be about 2 inches.  Once the oil is hot, carefully slide spring rolls into the oil, one at a time.  I fried about 8 spring rolls at a time, to avoid overcrowding. 

Turn the egg rolls over while the fry.  When they are golden brown and crispy, remove to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm.

Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

Arrange the spring rolls on a serving platter and place the dipping sauce in the middle of the platter.

Turkey Burgers

It seems to me that ground turkey gained popularity sometime during the 1980’s.  People were turning away from red meat and they were looking for something that was healthier.  I didn’t jump on the turkey wagon right away. 

But, as time passed, I kept trying new things and ground turkey was something I finally got around to.  If you want reduce the amount of fat in your diet, get ground turkey breast.  Most ground turkey in supermarkets combine the light and dark parts of the turkey, which might have as much or more fat content than very lean beef. 

Aw, who cares…

Control your portions, get some exercise and get a good night’s sleep and stop worrying so much.

One of the things I dislike about some recipes that call for ground turkey is that they attempt to mimic the texture and flavor of beef.  That seems dishonest to me.  I don’t want to be fooled by food.  I want something straightforward and honest. 

I remember when my kids were little and they were going through their chicken nugget phase.  Once, when I was picking up a bag of chicken nuggets at the store, I saw some chicken nuggets that were dinosaur shaped.  Really…?  Who were they trying to fool?  Oh…kids, that’s right.  Well kids, guess what?  You’re not really eating miniature dinosaurs.  You’re eating a glob of crunchy processed chicken.

Alright, enough of that!  Let’s make some honest turkey burgers. 

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey

1 egg

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 Tbs mayonnaise

1 Tbs garlic powder

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbs chopped basil

1 Tbs kosher salt

1 Tbs ground black pepper

1 Tbs cooking oil

4 Hamburger buns (I used brioche buns)

(Burger toppings…lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc.)

Ingredients for sauce:

2 Tbs mayonnaise

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

½ tsp hot sauce

Directions:

Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.  Set aside.

This is a double batch…I used 3 eggs.

In a large bowl, mix together turkey, egg, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and basil, and season with salt and pepper.  Form the mixture into four balls.  Don’t be alarmed to find that the mixture is a bit “wet”.  This isn’t beef.  Don’t worry.  Slightly moisten your hands under tap water as you form the patties.  This will keep the patties from sticking to your hands. 

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the cooking oil.  Add the patties to the pan.  I actually added the round balls of meat to the pan and pressed them flat with my hand.  That made it easier to form the patties.  Cook for about 2 minutes and then flip the burgers.  Sprinkle a little salt on the burgers and cook for another two minutes and turn one last time.  

Let the burgers cook for another minute, or so, until they are golden and cooked through.  Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Smear a thin amount of sauce on the top bun.  Place a burger on the bottom bun and apply a generous portion of the sauce to the burger.  Add your favorite burger fixings to the burger.

Serve with chips or fries.