Thai-Style Ground Turkey with Chiles and Basil

Say what you’d like about this dish.  It’s definitely not authentic, a fact Melissa Clark admits to in her book, Cook This Now.  What it is is good.  And good for you–a decidedly lighter version inspired by the Thai takeout we all know and love.  As an added bonus, it makes for fantastic leftovers–something I’m especially glad for now that they school year is about to start back up.

Thai-Style Ground Turkey with Chiles and Basil

adapted from Melissa Clark, Cook This Now


2 TBSP reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 TBSP Asian fish sauce

1 TBSP Sriracha

zest and juice of one lime

1/2 tsp. light brown sugar

1 TBSP peanut oil

1 TBSP finely chopped or grated ginger root

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

2 large scallions, chopped, dark green parts reserved for garnish

1 lb. ground turkey

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 c. fresh sugar snap peas

1/2 c. chopped fresh Thai or regular basil

white or brown rice, for serving

lime wedges and chopped peanuts, for serving


1.  In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, fish sauce, Sriracha, lime zest,
lime juice and sugar.

2.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger,
garlic, jalapeño and chopped scallion. Cook, stirring, until slightly
softened, about a minute.

3.  Stir in turkey. Cook meat, breaking it up with
a fork, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Stir in carrots and peas and cook 2 minutes more.

4.  Add soy sauce mixture and cook 1 additional minute, until
flavors come together. Remove from heat and stir in basil.  To serve, divide rice among four bowls.  Serve turkey on top of or alongside rice.  Garnish with scallion greens, lime wedges, and peanuts.  Make sure soy sauce and Sriracha are available for each person to adjust dish to their tastes.

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  1. That Girl
    July 28, 2012 / 2:15 am

    I love Thai and Thai-style dishes

  2. Yumgoggle
    July 28, 2012 / 8:53 am

    Thai dishes are known for being passionately flavored. I'd love to try this ground turkey and chilis recipe. Looks good for a relaxing weekend…Anyways, your phenomenal photos have caught our attention, we have been in the lookout for unique and interesting bloggers since we have launched our food photo gallery This will allow you to showcase all your great work and share it with our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

  3. elly
    August 6, 2012 / 1:41 am

    This sounds awesome! I've been on a mission to both like more Thai and more turkey, so this kills two birds with one stone. 🙂 I've had that cookbook on my wishlist for AGES. Really need to get it.

  4. Kebee
    October 8, 2014 / 4:04 am

    This is such a great dish! I have made it time and time again as so delicious and healthy. A great use for ground turkey too. I make it for my husband and I at least once or twice a month if not more often 🙂

  5. L.
    November 8, 2015 / 12:01 am

    I know this recipe is an older one, but I just made it tonight, and this is DELICIOUS. Will definitely become a regular for me. Yum!

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