These turkey meatballs with rice noodle salad are an easy weeknight meal made with Asian-inspired meatballs, vermicelli noodles, ribbons of shaved vegetables, and a sticky-sweet hoisin glaze.
These Asian-inspired turkey meatballs with rice noodle salad and elegant ribbons of vegetables make a southeast Vietnamese-inspired dinner. Something a little different yet still easy and, more importantly, certain to draw raves.–Angie Zoobkoff
Turkey Meatballs with Rice Noodle Salad FAQs
Due to the natural rice starches released from the noodles as they cook, the noodles develop a tacky surface.
Happily, it’s an easy fix. Rinse the noodles under cool water and gently separate with a fork or fingers and carefully toss with the rest of the salad ingredients when ready to devour.
You can easily substitute ground chicken, beef, or lamb for ground turkey. You might need to drain the pan of excess fat, depending on what you use.
A thick, fragrant sauce commonly used in Cantonese cuisine, hoisin adds a strong, salty, slightly sweet umami taste. The key ingredient is fermented soybean paste, bolstered by sugar, salt, vinegar, garlic, and sesame. It works like barbecue sauce on grilled or glazed meat. It also makes a great addition to stir-fries, or as dipping sauce for dumplings or meat.
Turkey Meatballs with Rice Noodle Salad
- 14 ounces ground turkey
- 3 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 3 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- One (3/4-inch) piece of ginger peeled and grated
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Mild vegetable oil for frying
- 3 1/2 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 large carrots peeled and shaved into ribbons
- 1 large zucchini shaved into ribbons
- 1 to 2 scallions finely shredded
- In a medium bowl, mix the turkey with 1 teaspoon each soy and hoisin sauce. Add the ginger and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Shape the turkey mixture into 12 meatballs, each about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm a splash of oil and fry the meatballs all over until golden and almost cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes.
- Stir in the rest of the soy and hoisin and a little splash of water. Cover and steam until the meatballs are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until you have a sticky glaze, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles, remove the pot from the heat, and let the noodles soak until they are softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water.
- In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the sesame oil.
- In a separate bowl, mix the rice vinegar with the carrots and zucchini and then taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Toss the vegetables with the noodles.
- Divvy the noodles among plates, top with the meatballs, and scatter the scallions on top.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This is a good, quick, healthy weekday meal that had a good amount of flavor, especially considering the short list of ingredients. I was also able to obtain all the ingredients at my store despite the recent shortages. My husband enjoyed the variety of textures and the fresh vegetables. We also took note of how moist the meatballs were and how the ginger really came through.
I would recommend adjusting the quantities for a full 4 servings. I thought 8 ounces of noodles gave us an amount of noodles appropriate for the amount of thinly shaved vegetables I had.
Otherwise, you really only have enough for 2 servings. Because the sauce is fantastic, I would also double the glaze. I would also add a second teaspoon of rice vinegar to the shaved vegetables as one teaspoon did not seem to be enough for the amount I had. Making these tweaks would definitely make this dish a winner.
This was a really delicious recipe. The meatballs were flavorful and moist and the dish was really filling while staying light. I loved the shaved vegetables as they added a great crunch and freshness.
My only critique was the dish could use some more seasoning along the way. I would season the water for the noodles heavily with salt, up the vinegar to a tablespoon, and season the veggies with salt and pepper. The amount of scallion was also too much for the dish, one shaved scallion would be perfect.
Originally published April 29, 2020