I couldn’t remember ever having cooked and blogged about a turkey recipe. I cooked a whole turkey at Christmas, but I didn’t write about it and I don’t remember the last time I did anything else. I even did a search of my own blog just to check there was nothing I had forgotten. I was right. No turkey recipes. So this mango and turkey stir fry is very much a first for me.
But why the sudden interest in turkey? Well, a week and a half ago I attended an event organised by British Turkey at Westminster Kingsway College. We were treated to a cookery demonstration by Phil Vickery, the This Morning chef, as well as learning many interesting facts from the turkey farmer, Paul Kelly. I have to admit that I felt a little embarrassed when questioned about the fact that I rarely cook with turkey and didn’t really have a good response when asked why, was it because it just wasn’t on my radar? Probably. But why not? Apart from buying a whole bird at Christmas, turkey is usually fairly cheap and is also one of the healthiest meats around, low in fat and high in protein and B vitamins. There is no reason not to buy it, especially as it can be used in most of the dishes that are typically cooked with chicken. Like many people, I have a habit of buying chicken without even considering the alternatives.
One criticism often made of turkey is that it can be quite dry. During the cookery demonstration Phil Vickery taught us the technique known as velveting, which is commonly used in Chinese cooking. It involves marinating the strips of turkey in a mixture of starch and egg white for up to a day before cooking with it. This forms a coating around the turkey so that when it is cooked, the juices stay in the meat and it stays lovely and moist. I love Chinese cooking and had heard of the technique before but never used it. After seeing how easy it is and trying it for myself though, it is definitely something I will be doing again in the future. Both at the demonstration and at home, the turkey stayed delicious and moist.
Phil Vickery showed us 4 different flavour combinations to go with the turkey. Each one was very quick to do. The first one was fruit (pineapple and mango), which I have tried at home and included my slightly adapted recipe below. The original can be found here. The next one was spices, the third one was with prawns and the last was a sweet and sour dish.
They were all good but my favourite was the one with fruit, which is why it has been the first one that I have recreated at home. I served it with rice noodles to make a more substantial meal. I was actually surprised that it was my favourite as I don’t normally pair fruit and meat together, but I think the lime juice and the mint balanced it out so it wasn’t too fruity or sweet. I also omitted the teaspoon of sugar that Phil Vickery put in his version.
After the cookery demonstration we had a beautiful 3 course meal in the college’s fine dining Escoffier restaurant, which included more turkey. As well as having delicious food, I felt I learnt something new and also met some lovely people. For me, turkey won’t now just be for Christmas and I’m looking forward to being a bit more experimental with it over the next few weeks. Turkey thigh mince apparently makes delicious burgers and in many dishes is a great and healthier alternative to beef mince, which I use all the time.
Ingredients for Turkey and Mango Stir Fry- Serves 2
For the velveting
250g turkey, cut into thin strips
1 egg white
2 tsp cornflour
1 generous tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
For the rest of the dish
1/2 mango, sliced into strips
2 slices of fresh pineapple, core removed and chopped
2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
Juice of 2 limes
Rice noodles – enough for 2 people
How to Make Turkey and Mango Stir Fry
1. First prepare the marinade for velveting. Add all the ingredients except the turkey to a bowl and beat with a fork until the egg white is broken up and everything is combined. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Cover the rice noodles with boiling water. They will probably take about 3 minutes.
3. Heat a little oil in a wok and add the turkey. Cook, stirring until the turkey is cooked through. Pour a little of the lime juice over as the turkey is cooking.
4. Add the pineapple and mango and stir until it is heated through. Stir in the mint leaves and the extra lime juice at the end.
5. Drain the noodles and serve the stir fry over the noodles. If the noodles are ready first then stir a little sesame oil through them to stop them from sticking.
I am linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum and Made with Love Mondays at Javelin Warrior’s Cookin w/ Luv.