Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Stir Fried Turkey (or chicken) Recipe with Sugar Snap Peas and Peppers (and Tips for Chinese Cooking)

I love this Stir-Fried Turkey (or chicken) with Sugar Snap Peas and Peppers, but
use any veggies you'd like!

Stir Fried Turkey (or chicken) with Sugar Snap Peas and Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

I don't know why it's taken me so long to get to this Stir Fried Turkey (or chicken) with Sugar Snap Peas and Peppers in my quest to update my older recipes with better photos, but I first made this recipe  in September 2005.  Maybe it's because the original version was made with celery instead of peppers, which certainly made the dish a lot less colorful.  When I decided to update this I switched the celery for a mixture of red and yellow peppers, and also changed the cooking sauce a little so this could be a phase one recipe. 

I couldn't resist adding a tiny bit of Sriracha to the sauce as well, but that's totally optional.  Actually you could switch out any of the vegetables here for something else and come up with a dish that's pretty good as long as you cut the pieces the same size and shape and pick veggies that cook quickly.  This recipe is low-carb and gluten-free, and if you use coconut aminos to replace soy sauce and pick an approved hot sauce, it can even be Paleo. Enjoy!

(Stir Fried Turkey (or chicken) with Sugar Snap Peas and Peppers was updated with photos and better instructions June 2012.)  

Many ago I took a class in Chinese Cooking taught by a visiting professor from somewhere in China. This was in the days before computers, and he gave us hand-typed sheets of recipes with lots of typos and fractured English language phrases. The food was fantastic, however, and from this class I learned three principles of Chinese cooking that I've used ever since.  As I cooked this way myself, creating a lot of stir fry recipes along the way, I added principles number four and five.

Principles of Chinese Cooking

  1. Preheat the wok (before you put the oil in).
  2. Season the oil (with whole pieces of garlic and sometimes ginger root, which you remove when you add the food to be cooked).
  3. Symmetry of cut (all pieces must be cut the same size and shape).
  4. Have all ingredients cut and sauces mixed before you cook.
  5. Use very high heat and cook fast.
When I became interested in eating the low glycemic index way I renewed my interest in stir-frying as a cooking method. Most stir fries use cornstarch as a thickener, but I've discovered that in many recipes you can easily skip the cornstarch and just let the sauce be slightly thinner. 

Cut the turkey (or chicken) into slices and then into pieces.  (It's not as important for meat to be all the same size as it is for vegetables, and in this dish I think some irregularity in size of the turkey is fine.)

Beat together 1 egg white and 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and then stir the turkey into this mixture.

Slice some fresh ginger root and garlic cloves, which you'll use for seasoning the oil.

I used a combination of sliced sugar snap peas and bell peppers for a colorful mix, but you can use snow peas, celery, or any other vegetable that cooks fairly quickly.

For the cooking sauce whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, ground ginger, water, and the optional Sriracha if desired.  (I find this type of ground ginger in the produce section in my store, or you can get it at an Asian market.  Don't use dried ground ginger!)

Heat the wok until you can barely hold your hand there, then add the oil and heat a few seconds before adding the ginger and garlic slices to season the oil.  Remove the ginger and garlic as soon as they start to get fragrant (about 1 minute.)

Add the vegetables to the wok and stir-fry about 2-3 minutes, just until they are starting to get cooked.  Remove vegetables to a bowl.

Add a tiny bit more oil if needed, then add the turkey (or chicken) and cook about 3-4 minutes, until the meat is well cooked.  (The turkey in the photo is about halfway done.) 

Add the vegetables back into the wok and cook about 1 minute more.

Then add the cooking sauce and cook 2-3 minutes more, or until the sauce has partly evaporated and the meat and vegetables are coated with sauce.  Serve hot.

Stir Fried Turkey (or chicken) with Sugar Snap Peas and Peppers
(Makes about 2 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)

8 oz. thinly sliced raw turkey breast cutlets (or sliced chicken breast)
1 egg white
1 1/2 T Soy Sauce
1-2 T peanut oil (more or less, depending on your wok or pan)
2 cloves garlic, each cut into 2-3 flat slices
several slices fresh ginger root
1 cup sliced sugar snap peas (or snow peas)
1 cup thinly sliced red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (or use other vegetables of your choice as long as they cook quickly)

Cooking Sauce Ingredients:
1 T Soy Sauce
1 T Rice Wine Vinegar (not seasoned vinegar which contains sugar)
1 T water
1 tsp. ground ginger root (not dried ginger; this is sometimes called ginger puree)
1 tsp. Sriracha Sauce (optional)

Cut the sliced turkey (or chicken) cutlets into small pieces.  Beat together the egg white and 1 1/2 T soy sauce; then mix it with the turkey pieces in a small bowl. Cut the vegetables into small slices and slice the garlic and ginger.   Stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, ground ginger, and Sriracha (if using) to make the cooking sauce.

Heat wok or heavy frying pan for 1 minute over high heat, until it looks shimmery. Add 1/2 of oil and heat about 30 seconds, then add the sliced garlic and ginger and cook just until they are fragrant, then remove.  (Don't cook them too long or the garlic will get bitter.)  Add the sliced vegetables. Stir fry over high heat 2-3 minutes, until starting to get cooked but still very crisp. Remove vegetables from the wok and put in a bowl.

Add more oil as needed and heat about 30 seconds.  Add the turkey and stir fry until well cooked, about 4 minutes. It won't get very brown, but the inside should be well cooked. Add the vegetables back into wok, heat one minute, then add cooking sauce and cook 2-3 minutes more, until sauce is partly evaporated and coats the food.

The egg white helps thicken this dish without using cornstarch, but if your experience has been mostly with Americanized Chinese food, you may prefer it without the egg, in which case the sauce will be thinner.

South Beach Suggestions:
Stir fry recipes like this one, which use lean meat and low-glycemic vegetables, are a perfect dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. This recipe is low-carb and gluten-free and it can be Paleo if you use coconut aminos to replace soy sauce and pick an approved hot sauce.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

More Stir-Fry Recipes You Might Enjoy:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Stir-Fried Tofu with Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, and Soy Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems from Kalyn's Kitchen 

Spicy Asian Stir-Fried Swiss Chard from Kalyn's Kitchen

Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Sriracha from Kalyn's Kitchen

Garlic Lover's Vegetable Stir Fry with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash from Kalyn's Kitchen

Green Bean and Shitake Mushroom Stir-Fry from Steamy Kitchen

Bok Choy Stir Fry with Ginger and Garlic from The Perfect Pantry

Stir-Fried Collard Greens from Appetite for China

Stir-Fried Chicken with Black Bean Sauce from Viet World Kitchen

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Shitake Mushrooms and Peppers from Jeanette's Healthy Living

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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More to Chew On:


  1. I have tasted Kalyn's Chinese food and it is fantastic. It is done just right with great seasoning. I for one, am taking the tips and will use them since I also enjoy cooking Chinese. Besides the turkey recipe is a great fit for me since we are surrounded by turkey farms in our valley.

  2. Looks mouth watering. I already bought pork chops for dinner tonight so think I will cut it in thin slices and have a stir fry instead.
    How do I print this recipe alone without cutting and pasting?
    Excellent looking blog, by the way.

  3. Great tips! I would have never thought to season the oil like that!

  4. Thanks Shelley! That trick adds a lot of flavor to the finished dish!

  5. Looks great! I would never have thought to marinate the meat in an egg white too. Does that help thicken the sauce?

  6. I've never seen the egg white mixed with the meat before - what exactly does that do?

  7. Thanks again for sharing your tips for Chinese cooking. I love recipes like this, which of course point out the value of a pantry well stocked with ingredients for Asian cooking. (And thanks for linking to my bok choy recipe, too.)

  8. Great post, Kalyn. I am most impressed that with such a quick recipe you were still able to capture step-by-step photos!! :)

  9. You are on a Sriracha kick... I love it!

    When my bottle of Sriracha gets less than half full, I get a bit nervous ;-)

  10. Glad so many people are liking this. It is a challenge to photograph stir-fry recipes! Luckily my office is right by the kitchen. The egg helps thicken the sauce in this recipe.

    Sally, I always keep at least one spare bottle of Sriracha in the pantry!

  11. Do you have a recommendation for another oil that we could use other then peanut? I am allergic to peanuts. thanks :)

  12. I'd substitute grapeseed oil, or any high smoke-point oil will work.

  13. Is cornstarch bad for you? Why did you say you can leave out the cornstarch, as if that is something we should do?

  14. Cornstarch makes the recipe less suitable for low-glycemic or low-carb diets.


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