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After another successful (but this time child-free) trip to local South East Asian restaurant Tuk Cho, I had a delicious bowl of noodle salad with divine little scraps of grilled pork, also some pork patties, along with a fresh array of herbs and vegetables.
It was SO fresh and the flavours so divine that I felt compelled to recreate it at home in a family friendly fashion.
It’s known in Vietnam as Bun Cha and is traditionally served up by pavement vendors on the bustling city streets. Find out more about its origins and a more traditional recipe on Grow. Cook. Eat.
I’d also been asked to come up with another recipe for the folks at Lean on Turkey, so I thought I’d swap the pork in this street food dish.
My brief: For a budget of no more than £10, feed a family of four using any stir fry or salad recipe using turkey. This is both really!
I was a bit anxious that the turkey mince might turn out a little dry, but then found turkey leg mince, which has far more juice factor which is essential to stop the patties falling apart when they cook. It’s only £2 for 500g – so a real bargain.
The flavours in this salad are really fresh and exciting – the ginger, garlic and lemon in the meat patties, and then the fresh mint and coriander in the salad with the punchy sweetness of the dipping sauce. Sunshine on a dish.
You can scale the chilli factor up or down depending on how your children cope with spice. Mine don’t tolerate it at all, so see the note below for an alternative dipping sauce.
Vietnamese turkey noodle salad
for the turkey patties
1 lemon, zest only
500g turkey thigh mince
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp crushed ginger
good pinch sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
for the noodle salad
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 spring onions, chopped
300g thai style ribbon noodles or rice noodles, ready cooked
tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 large carrot – grated
1/2 iceberg or romaine lettuce, shredded
bunch mint, leaves picked and chopped
bunch coriander, leaves picked and chopped
1/2 bottle Blue Dragon sweet chilli dipping sauce with kaffir lime
Don’t like spice? If the dipping sauce is too spicy for your kids then simply mix 3tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp orange juice and a good squirt of honey into a jam jar and shake to mix as an alternative
LOVE spice?! If you want even more spice then add 1 tsp of chopped red chillies into your turkey patties.
1. For the turkey patties, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
2. Using your hands shape into walnut sized balls and then put on a plate pressing them down slightly to flatten a little. You should aim for 16 patties – 4 per person. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes or until needed.
3. To make the noodle salad, heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and then gently stir fry the spring onions, add the noodles and sesame seeds and toss thoroughly to combine. Remove from heat and place noodles in a bowl and allow to cool a little.
4. Grill or griddle the patties for 15 minutes, turning frequently until golden brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Set aside.
5. Assemble the salads on individual large plates placing a pile of noodles in the middle and dotting the salad ingredients around the edges leaving a space for a cluster of turkey patties.
6. Pour a little sweet chilli dipping sauce into a small dish or ramekin for each person and serve alongside the salad.
Cost: £7.40 or £1.85 per person
1 lemon, zest only 30p
500g turkey thigh mince £2.00
1 clove crushed garlic 5p
1 tsp crushed ginger 10p
2 tsp sugar 10p
1 tsp fish sauce 10p
1 tbsp sesame oil 10p
4 spring onions 35p
300g thai style ribbon noodles or rice noodles £1.30
tbsp toasted sesame seeds 5p
1 large carrot 10p
1/2 iceberg or romaine lettuce 40p
bunch mint 85p
bunch coriander 85p
1/2 bottle Blue Dragon sweet chilli dipping sauce with kaffir lime 75p
You pop out one portion which equals either one clove of garlic or one teaspoon of crushed ginger. Easy and cuts down on waste.