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Korean Keema

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

Keema is a fantastically hangover-salving dish of spicy (usually lamb) mince; this version uses minced turkey and, more significantly, its heat is provided by the gochujang, the Korean chilli paste that I keep on hand to pep up a jaded palate or a pallid-flavoured ingredient. Being minced does not generally do turkey many favours, but the aromatic richness of the paste makes it sing. Supper's on the table in a matter of minutes; if you wanted to make it speedier, you would have to buy rice that's already been steamed and needs no more than a few turns in the microwave to heat it.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Keema is a fantastically hangover-salving dish of spicy (usually lamb) mince; this version uses minced turkey and, more significantly, its heat is provided by the gochujang, the Korean chilli paste that I keep on hand to pep up a jaded palate or a pallid-flavoured ingredient. Being minced does not generally do turkey many favours, but the aromatic richness of the paste makes it sing. Supper's on the table in a matter of minutes; if you wanted to make it speedier, you would have to buy rice that's already been steamed and needs no more than a few turns in the microwave to heat it.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Korean Keema
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 2, generously

Metric Cups
  • 150 grams basmati rice or sushi rice
  • 250 grams minced turkey
  • 6 thin or 3 fat spring onions (chopped)
  • 125 grams frozen petits pois
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or groundnut oil
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons chinese rice wine
  • 1 - 2 x 15ml tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

For the sauce:

  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon honey
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon chinese rice wine
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¾ cup basmati rice or sushi rice
  • 8 ounces ground turkey
  • 6 thin or 3 fat scallions (chopped)
  • 1 cup frozen petits pois
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or groundnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons chinese rice wine
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chinese rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Method

  1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions, or in a rice cooker according to manufacturer's instructions. And put a kettle on to boil for the peas later.
  2. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, and stir in the minced turkey. Leave to steep for about 5 minutes, or while you are getting on with your next tasks, such as chopping the spring onions and blanching the peas.
  3. Heat a wok or heavy-based frying pan on the hob. While this is heating up, pour boiling water from the kettle over the frozen peas in a sieve or colander, letting the hot water drain away, thereby defrosting the peas. When the wok is hot, add the oil, then the defrosted peas and chopped spring onions. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the turkey and its sauce, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until cooked.
  5. Add the 2 tablespoons rice wine with 4 tablespoons water to swill out the residue of the sauce from the meat-steeping bowl (so that nothing is wasted) and scrape and pour this into the pan, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until it's all piping hot.
  6. Serve over rice, and with a good scattering of chopped fresh coriander.
  1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions, or in a rice cooker according to manufacturer's instructions. And put a kettle on to boil for the peas later.
  2. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, and stir in the ground turkey. Leave to steep for about 5 minutes, or while you are getting on with your next tasks, such as chopping the scallions and blanching the peas.
  3. Heat a wok or heavy-based frying pan on the hob. While this is heating up, pour boiling water from the kettle over the frozen peas in a sieve or colander, letting the hot water drain away, thereby defrosting the peas. When the wok is hot, add the oil, then the defrosted peas and chopped scallions. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the turkey and its sauce, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until cooked.
  5. Add the 2 tablespoons rice wine with 4 tablespoons water to swill out the residue of the sauce from the meat-steeping bowl (so that nothing is wasted) and scrape and pour this into the pan, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until it's all piping hot.
  6. Serve over rice, and with a good scattering of chopped cilantro.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
The peas can be defrosted in advance and the onions chopped. The turkey can be tossed in the sauce about 1 hour ahead (no more because of salt in the soy and slight acidity of the wine). Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated as quickly as possible, then reheated in a saucepan or microwave until piping hot - but peas and spring onions will be more olive in colour than vibrant green.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
The peas can be defrosted in advance and the onions chopped. The turkey can be tossed in the sauce about 1 hour ahead (no more because of salt in the soy and slight acidity of the wine). Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated as quickly as possible, then reheated in a saucepan or microwave until piping hot - but peas and spring onions will be more olive in colour than vibrant green.

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What 1 Other has said

  • We love this recipe! Spicy, healthy, comforting and easy. A complete winner!!

    Posted by joshv41680 on 18th April 2020
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