This recipe stemmed from COVID-19 quarantine and thinking through what was in the house! I even shared out all of my freezer items with my Facebook friends and a lot of them thought of Asian food. Having gone to Vietnam, I have a soft spot in my heart for the flavors of this region.

The nice thing about the recipe is that although the ingredients seem lengthy, it’s super simple and quick to cook. In less than 30 minutes (including chopping) I had meat and rice ready to go. (The Bun Cha I had to make a little earlier in the day to try to get the pickle going, but one hour is plenty to get the flavor.) I also took a shortcut and used the ginger from the tube since I didn’t have fresh ginger (and that tube lasts forever!)


  • 1 tsp sesame oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or other meat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp chili paste (ex: sriracha or gochujang.)
  • Optional: fresh cilantro, lime juice, scallions, etc.
  • Rice
  • Bun Cha Sauce – Recipe:bun-cha-dipping-sauce-vietnamese-sauce/ and vegetables.


Prepare pickled vegetables in Bun Cha sauce at least 1 hour in advance. (You can do it earlier though.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook sesame oil and onions. When translucent, add garlic cloves for 30 seconds.

Add ground turkey and season with salt. Break up and cook through. When almost done, add the fresh ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili paste and continue cooking, stirring and breaking up the turkey as it cooks, for another 4-5 minutes. Adjust seasoning.

Cook rice according to package instructions and set aside.

To Plate: Top rice with cooked ground Turkey, pickled vegetables in bun cha sauce and optional toppings!

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