Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Easy Weeknight Dinner: Turkey and Avocado Donburi

While basking in the brief respite of the weekend, I got into a discussion with a couple of friends about finding time to cook. Most of them, being students like me, usually resort to either eating cafeteria food (which is ultra expensive) or standing in line at 'Pickles and Fries'(we sell burgers too!). I don't particularly like Pickles and/or Fries. I'm also extremely nitpicky when it comes to paying $6.75 for an organic BLT at the cafeteria. One way I've found to get around this is to make sure your freezer and pantry is always well stocked with a good selection of grains and meat, and you can whip anything up - for example a donburi.

Donburi is basically a Japanese fast food made up of a rice bowl topped with a mixture of ingredients (usually meat and vege mixed together). This donburi recipe is super easy, involves a relatively quick stir-fry and is finished off with fresh cubed avocado and tobiko (flying fish roe). Of course, you can omit the tobiko if you're not incline to eat fish eggs. Otherwise, the tobiko lends a subtle salty flavor that complements the rice and avocado really well!

Turkey and Avocado Donburi
Serves 4

2 cups genmai (Japanese brown rice)

1 lb lean ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced into 1/4" cubes to yield about 1 cup
1 stalk green onion/scallions
1 cup frozen peas
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed into 1/4" cubes
1 small jar tobiko (from any Japanese grocery store)

For the sauce
2 tbsp sweet bean sauce *
2 tbsp mirin *
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
Ground black pepper

Cook the rice according to directions for your rice cooker or the directions on the packet. 2 cups of dry genmai should yield about 4 cups cooked.

In a wok or saute pan, heat up a generous amount of vegetable or extra light olive oil. Fry the ground turkey for about 4 minutes until the pink parts start to turn white. Make sure you break up the ground meat properly with a heavy wooden spatula. Add in the garlic fry until the turkey is almost cooked through. Add in all the ingredients for the sauce and mix to combine. Toss in the diced red pepper, peas and scallions. Fry for another 2 minutes and turn the heat off.

To serve, arrange on cup of rice in a bowl, top with turkey mixture, avocado cubes and a teaspoon of tobiko.

* You can use the sweet bean sauce found at the Chinese section of the grocery aisle or for a more authentic flavor, use shiro miso (sweet miso).
* If you don't have mirin, just substitute with equal part rice wine and sugar.


The Duo Dishes said...

This sounds so interesting, especially since we'd never heard of donburi before. Looks really healthy and quick.

Bleuespoo said...

Can anyone tell me what the sweet soy sauce is here? Is this Amakuchi or Indonesian sweet soy sauce?

Amanda said...

Hi Kelly: I used Yamasa soy sauce which is basically Japanese soy sauce. Amakuchi shoyu should work as well.