Vivian Howard’s Szechuan Ground Turkey and Cabbage Recipe


For her new cookbook, Vivian developed a twist on Szechuan Green Beans and Pork using sliced cabbage and ground turkey instead.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ head green cabbage, medium
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger root
1 pound 
Farm to Family by Butterball ground turkey (the kind with fat)
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes or Szechuan peppercorns (ground)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons hoisin
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup chicken stock or water, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cut the cabbage into 5 wedges taking care to keep the core intact so the leaves stay connected as a wedge.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat. Lay the cabbage in the pan in a single layer pressing down on each wedge so the cabbage browns rather than steams. Char the cabbage on one side. Flip and char on the opposite side. Transfer the cabbage to a plate to cool slightly and season with ¼ teaspoon salt.

While the cabbage chars, whisk together the hoisin, chili flakes, sugar, soy sauce, citrus juices, and ¼ cup stock or water in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining stock. Set both bowls aside.
Lower the heat slightly and add the sesame oil, minced ginger and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Once the ginger starts to sizzle, add the turkey, followed by the garlic and the remaining salt. Brown the turkey well.

As it browns, cut the core piece from each cabbage wedge. This will separate the cabbage into wide, flat “noodles” with charred edges.

Once the turkey is caramelized and cooked through, stir in the hoisin mixture, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the cabbage leaves and let the liquid reduce by two-thirds.

Stir in the cornstarch-stock mixture. This will thicken the juice making it a sauce. Stir the contents of the skillet to coat the cabbage noodles with sauce. Serve soon!

Yield: 4-6 servings