Stir-fry with turkey and vegetables Stir-fry with turkey and vegetables Israeli Kitchen Stir-fry with turkey and vegetables (Photo: Lesya Dolyuk/Shutterstock)

Leftover turkey stir-fry

This savory recipe may look like a lot of work, but it's relatively easy to make.

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

There must be 1,000 ways to cook turkey. I’m sure of it because in Israel, it’s a meat that is available all the time, and everybody likes it.

I like to buy breast meat because it’s economical. No bones, hardly any skin, no waste. Since it’s a dry meat with almost no fat, you have to find ways to protect it so that it doesn’t dry out in cooking. One way is to slice it thinly so it’ll cook fast. Another is to pop it into a cooking bag, or an improvised wrap made from tin foil. You could also dip it in eggs and crumbs, which is just another way of wrapping it. (A tasty way.)

I thawed out half a turkey breast yesterday and realized it was too much meat for just my husband, the Little One, and me. It weighed about 2 pounds. Half of it I sliced thinly for schnitzels, putting it away for today. The other half I cut up for stir-fry. It served the three of us generously, and there were still leftovers.


  • 1 pound turkey breast
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root or 1 teaspoon powdered dried ginger
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 2 slender carrots, peeled
  • 1 large celery stalk, washed
  • 1 green bell pepper (any color bell pepper will work)
  • 4 large mushrooms, any kind (I was out of fresh, so I hydrated 5 dried Shiitakes)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce and more if wanted
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar, any kind
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil to thinly cover the bottom of your frying pan or wok


Slicing the turkeySlicing the turkey (Photo: Miriam Kresh) 

Thinly slice the turkey meat in long, horizontal slices. Cut the slices vertically to make thin strips of meat.

Put the meat into a bowl. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce and scallions.

Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for 1 hour.

Take the meat out. Give it 15 minutes to lose some of its chill before starting to chop the vegetables.

Slice the carrots thinly. Do the same with the celery stalks. Slice the bell pepper into strips. Slice the mushrooms. Slice the onions into halves, then quarters. Slice the quarters thinly.

Heat the oil in the frying pan (or wok). Add the celery and turn the heat to high. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Push the celery to the sides of the pan and add the onions. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Push the vegetables aside again, and add the carrots and bell pepper; cook 3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms. Stir and cook 2 minutes.

Add the soy sauce; stir.

Sprinkle in the sugar; stir. Well, it’s not called a stir-fry for nothing...

Add the turkey. Stir and fry until you’re sure the meat is cooked through: about 6 minutes, depending on how thinly it was sliced.

Add salt and pepper. Stir and taste for seasoning.

Add more soy sauce if desired, or adjust the sweet-sour ratio, which should be mild, not at all strong. The flavor of the meat and vegetables should dominate, not that of sugar and vinegar.

Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water. Stir it into the pan, allowing the juices to thicken. Let everything cook 1 or 2 minutes more, then the stir-fry is ready.


In spite of all the steps, this recipe really is easy and fast to make. Suggestion: Start a pot of rice before you start your chopping and stirring: it will be ready just before the stir-fry is ready to serve.

Related Topics: Meat and Poultry

Recipes from the Israeli KitchenRecipes from the Israeli Kitchen