Years ago when I was first introduced to Thai food, I remember seeing a menu item listed as “three-flavour sauce”. At the time I was vegetarian and the dish with that name involved fish, so I didn’t see the need to investigate further to what those 3 flavours might be. A few years later when my vegetarian days were done with, I went ahead and tried the fish dish with the mysterious sauce. It was sweet and sour and salty and I loved it.
I’m sure the traditional recipe calls for tamarind for the sour, palm sugar for the sweet and fish sauce for the salty. However, when I found myself with a bevy of vegetables from our CSA and some leftover turkey from our Thanksgiving meal on Sunday, I decided to play around with those 3 traditional flavours for the dressing. Rice vinegar, soy sauce and honey are the stand-ins and make this meal no less enjoyable. However, the thing that really made this dish stand out is the ginger. I used a very healthy amount of freshly minced ginger and that provided a very delicious pow-to-the-tastebuds effect. Hello, ginger! We eagerly went back for seconds wanting more of those flavours in our mouths. There’s also a good deal of heat from the sriracha sauce (aka ‘cock sauce’) and the diced birds eye chilis, but you can play with those flavours how you like.
This made great use of our leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. After a day or two of heavy meals this light dish was sweet relief! It was so crunchy from all the vegetables and the colourful sweet peppers and crispy cucumbers added a welcome refreshing element. Diced cherry tomatoes and cilantro would be good here as would some cold vermicelli rice noodles for additional heft. And of course, I used turkey here since I had it on hand, but cooked chicken breast is a worthy sub.
elsewhere: Head to Poppytalk for a simple weeknight meal, perfect for these cool evenings – spicy southwest chili with arugula. You will also find a wonderfully filling breakfast that screams comfort and fall with a bowl of creamy apple cinnamon oats.
ginger 3-flavour turkey salad
1/2 head of oak lettuce (or whatever lettuce you have laying around), rinsed, dried & torn into bite-sized bits
1/4 head of napa cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 red pepper, fine dice
1/2 purple or green pepper, fine dice
1 large stalk celery, fine dice
1 small cucumber, diced
1 carrot, grated or julienned
1/4 small red onion, finely diced
1 c diced cooked turkey or chicken breast
2 T olive oil
2 T rice vinegar
1 T sodium reduced soy sauce
2 t toasted sesame seed oil
1-2 t finely minced fresh ginger
2 t honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t sriracha
1 tiny bird’s eye chili, seeds removed & minced
Toss the vegetables together in a large serving bowl and set aside. In a small jar with a lid, combine the dressing ingredients and give it a good shake. Taste & adjust seasonings if needed.
Divide salad into 4 bowls, top each bowl with a 1/4 cup of turkey and then drizzle on some dressing. Serves 4.