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Turkey, Kale and Lemongrass Fried Dumplings

This is an inadvertently healthy (adjacent) dish. Sure it’s fried, but it’s shallow fried for about a minute. And it has as many vegetables as it does meat.

Also, it takes just a few minutes to cook because it’s a little blasphemous – it starts with cooked meat. I know, I know. The meat should be steamed in the dumplings and then fried. But I already had leftover meat in the fridge and my thought was, “Why not have dinner on the coffee table in less than 15 minutes?”

Hunger won over tradition.

And it didn’t suffer for it. These guys are savory and crunchy, and the kale and lemongrass gives them a freshness that you don’t always get with dumplings.

Turkey, Kale and Lemongrass Fried Dumplings

Turkey and kale dumplings vertical

Yield: Approximately 30 dumplings

Dumpling Ingredients:

1 large carrot, diced

½ yellow bell pepper, diced

2 ½  tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon grated lemongrass

1 cup curly kale, stripped from the stalk and julienned

1 tablespoon tamari

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 ½ teaspoons Mongolian Fire oil, or chili sauce/oil of your choice

½ lb. cooked ground turkey

2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro

30 dumpling wrappers or eggroll wrappers cut into 3-inch rounds

Tamari Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

¼ cup tamari

1 tablespoon Chinese wine

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons hot chili oil

Scallion greens, roughly chopped


Sauté the diced carrot and pepper in 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, over medium heat. Season with grated lemongrass and stir well. When the vegetables are softened, remove from heat.

Reserve the carrots and pepper in a bowl.

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, and sauté the kale until wilted.

Return the carrots and pepper to the pan along with the tamari, sesame oil, chili oil, cooked turkey, scallions and cilantro. Cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes.

Place the turkey mixture in a bowl.

Place a scant tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper.

Turkey dumpling final

Gently wet the wrapper around the outside edge with water. (That will make it adhere to itself.)

Fold the wrapper over in a half moon.

Wet the top of the round with a little water, and pleat the edge. Reserve.


Assemble the rest of the dumplings.

Heat remaining olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.

If the oil bubbles when a tiny amount of flour is dropped into it, it’s ready for the dumplings.

Brown the dumplings on one side, about 30 seconds. Repeat with the other side.

Drain on paper towels.

Whisk together dipping sauce ingredients.

Serve the dumplings with the sauce.

Turkey and kale1

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