PCA 2020

Extreme Makeover: Turkey Edition

Ah, the morning after the year before. With a stash of Christmas chocolate still taking up most of one kitchen cupboard and having just finished the last of the stuffing (crispy bits are the best part of the entire turkey dinner) for lunch, I find myself suffering from a food hangover.

For me, the season winds up with a New Year’s Eve party, followed by yet another New Year’s Day turkey dinner and my nephew and brother-in-law’s birthdays immediately after, and unfortunately my sister is a fantastic cook. The first week of January I don’t need to make resolutions – I’m so fooded out I crave crunchy veggies and spicy, vinegary stuff that bears no resemblance to fruitcake or gravy or any sort of festive food. One of my favorites is this salad, inspired by my favorite Vietnamese subs (down at Thi Thi by the Harry Hays building) and a recipe I found in Nigella Lawson's Feast. I admit I was drawn to make it purely because of its name, but it turned out to be the ideal remedy for a food overdose. It needs chunky, crunchy, watery lettuce, rather than tossed spring mix.

 

Bang Bang Turkey (or chicken, or even shrimp or tofu)


Measurements are approximate – it is a salad, after all.

Chopped iceberg or Romaine lettuce
Cooked cold Chinese noodles, soba noodles, or spaghetti (optional)
Fresh cilantro and/or mint
Cucumber, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
Grated carrot (if you like, marinate it for an hour or up to a few days in a mixture of 2 parts rice vinegar to 1 part sugar – I use 2 Tbsp. vinegar and 1 Tbsp. sugar for 1 large carrot – drain it before you add it to the salad)
Thinly sliced purple onion or green onion
Chopped leftover roasted turkey or chicken

In a nice big, shallow bowl, make a bed of chopped lettuce (tossed with noodles, if you like) and sprinkle the cilantro and/or mint overtop. Add a layer of cucumber, carrot, onion and chicken or turkey, and drizzle with one of the following sauces:

Satay Sauce:
1/4 cup each: lime juice, fish sauce and water
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2-1 tsp. chili paste (the red stuff in the squeeze bottle, or sambal oelek)

Shake it all up in a jar. Will keep in the fridge for at least a week.

Bang Bang Sauce:
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2-1 tsp. chili paste (the red stuff in the squeeze bottle, or sambal oelek)

Shake it all up in a jar. Will keep in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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