Fun fact about myself: I spoke Thai and Tagalog, along with a smattering of Japanese, before I spoke English. I’ve lost the vast majority of it over time but I still have moments of random perfect puncation thrown in there. My parents were stationed in Canada when I was born, and most of my babysitters were multilingual. They spoke various languages in the home and that’s what I picked up.
I also developed a freakish attachment to lobster and lumpia. It apparently drove my mother to the brink, because I would be screaming for lumpia and sticky rice in Tagalog when she would get off of watch.
I may have lost the languages, but I still favor Asian foods over American and European dishes. I would love to learn the Polish foods traditional to my heritage, but I still will go for pho and dumplings if I’m given the option. So when I was faced with 10 cups of leftover turkey, I went the direction that seemed most natural for me-and modified a Cook’s Illustrated pork and green bean stir fry recipe. The original called for sherry, chicken broth, and fresh ginger and didn’t have the black vinegar (which I felt would give a better depth of flavor to the oyster sauce). I didn’t have any of those three things avaible to me, but one of the great things about stir fry is that it’s really hard to mess up.
The only other thing that bugged me about the recipe, which I left alone for this variation, is that it doesn’t involve a sweetner. A lot of stir fry recipes will add a small amount of honey or sugar to balance out the salt and umami.
*I rarely measure anything for my stir fries anymore. Adjust measurements to taste. I would start with a light hand if you’re unfamiliar with any of these sauces.
Turkey and Green Bean Stir Fry
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
1 to 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (found at import stores and larger supermarkets, this does include shellfish. there is a version made with only mushrooms on the market, or swap out for soy sauce)
1 to 2 teaspoons sesame oil (found at import stores or the international isle)
1 to 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons black vinegar (found at import stores and larger supermarkets, it’s pretty much what it sounds like-the vinegar is black. it has a pretty distinct taste but you can swap out a decent dark balsamic if you can’t find it)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Add other sauces and condiments like fish sauce, soy sauce, chinese mustard, hoisen sauce, red chili oil or honey (or white sugar). It will make the dish more like pad kee mao (drunken noodles), and I make a stir fry like that about once a week now.
2 to 3 cups cooked, chopped turkey, mixed white and dark meat
1 to 2 pounds cleaned and chopped fresh green beans
vegetable oil (for frying)
wok or large frying pan
Mix sauce, set aside.
Heat oil over high heat until it starts to bubble. Carefully add turkey, and stir fry until the meat heats up. Add green beans carefully and stir fry until the beans start to get char marks. Add sauce mixture-it will sizzle-and toss until throughly coated.
Serve by itself, or over cooked rice or rice noodles.