Turkey Bun Cha
Tasty Vietnamese-inspired turkey meatballs in a fragrant broth with noodles. Totally delicious and suitable for slimming and Weight Watchers diets!
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For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!
Bun cha is a very popular Vietnamese dish, served up on the bustling streets of Hanoi. Typically made with fatty cuts of pork, veggies and noodles, we’ve used turkey for a slimming friendly twist!
Don’t let the list of ingredients put you off: a little bit of prep work means you have a wonderfully rich, flavourful sauce that complements spiced turkey meatballs. An ideal alternative to a Chinese or Thai takeaway, you can even make a batch of meatballs up in advance for a speedy dinner next time!
What diets is this Turkey Bun Cha recipe suitable for?
This Turkey Bun Cha recipe is suitable for gluten or dairy free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free or dairy free versions;
- Soy sauce
- Stock pot & cube
Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.
Do you need any special ingredients to make Turkey Bun Cha?
All of the ingredients are simple and easy to find in most supermarkets! We’ve also used a wok which is great for crunchy stir-fried veggies, and you’ll need a good quality baking tray for the meatballs (non stick is a bonus!).
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A wok is a great investment for so many Eastern dishes. You can get them at the supermarket or on Amazon!
A good quality non stick baking tray, like this one, will last for years.
How many calories are in this Turkey Bun Cha recipe?
There are 361 calories per portion of Turkey Bun Cha, which means it falls into our Everyday Light category.
These Turkey Bun Cha is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.
As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a large mixing bowl add the turkey, soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp fish sauce, black pepper, sage and thyme and mix well.
Roll the turkey mix into 12 equally sized balls. Spray the frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and fry the balls for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown, place on the cooking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes turning halfway.
While the meatballs are cooking, spray the wok with low calorie cooking spray and fry garlic, ginger and 1/2 of the chilli for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, stock pot, carrots, beansprouts, lime juice, fish sauce and 1/2 of the coriander. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
Cook the egg noodles in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 5 minutes and drain.
Divide the noodles between 4 bowls then top with a large spoonful of the broth, the chopped lettuce and spring onions and 3 of the cooked meatballs.
To serve, add the radish, the remainder of the coriander and chilli.
What could I serve with Turkey Bun Cha?
Turkey Bun Cha makes a delicious lunch or light dinner instead of high-calorie takeaway options. You could serve with some of our fakeaway favourite sides:
How do you know when Turkey Bun Cha is cooked?
The meatballs should be cooked through and golden brown on the outside. This takes a few minutes in the frying pan and 20 minutes or so in the oven. You can cook the veggies and noodles in the meantime!
Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.
How long can you keep Turkey Bun Cha in the fridge?
Ideally you should eat it within 4 hours. If you have any leftover meatballs, they can be kept.
If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill. You can keep leftover Turkey Bun Cha in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.
Can I freeze Turkey Bun Cha?
Yes you can! The meatballs from this recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;
- Allow to cool thoroughly before freezing and freeze as soon as it’s cold enough.
- Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.
Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!
How do I reheat Turkey Bun Cha?
To reheat, cover the meatballs in tin foil and pop in the oven at 180C for around 15 minutes until piping hot.
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Turkey Bun Cha
Tasty Vietnamese-inspired turkey meatballs in a fragrant broth with noodle. Totally delicious and suitable for slimming and Weight Watchers diets!
- KCals 361
- Carbs 39G
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- In a large mixing bowl add the turkey, soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp fish sauce, black pepper, sage and thyme and mix well.
- Roll the turkey mix into 12 equally sized balls. Spray the frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and fry the balls for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown, place on baking tray and cook in oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
- While the meatballs are cooking, spray the wok with low calorie cooking spray and fry the garlic, ginger and 1/2 of the chilli for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, stock pot, carrots, beansprouts, lime juice, fish sauce and 1/2 of the coriander. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Cook the egg noodles in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 5 minutes and drain.
- Divide the noodles between 4 bowls then top with a large spoonful of the broth, the chopped lettuce and spring onions and 3 of the cooked meatballs.
- To serve add the radish, the remainder of the coriander and chilli.
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See what others have to say
SarahThursday 11th May 2023
Do you have to use fresh ginger or can you just season with ground ginger?
SharonFriday 12th May 2023
Hi Sarah, we would recommend using fresh ginger in this recipe as it has quite a different flavour to ground ginger. Fresh ginger has a citrus aroma and a warming, spicy flavour which will complement the other ingredients in this dish. Hope this helps.
Lisa WilliamsWednesday 3rd March 2021
Can I just ask do you have to use fish sauce or could you substitute for oyster sauce?
HollyWednesday 3rd March 2021
Hey Lisa, some good substitutions for fish sauce are oyster sauce, soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce, hope that helps!
LisaWednesday 3rd March 2021
MiriamSunday 21st February 2021
What could I use instead of the stock pot? Extra stock cubes?
HollyFriday 12th March 2021
Hi Miriam, the stock pots bring a much richer and intense flavour to the finished recipe, but you could use an extra stock cube instead, Hope that helps
Jody ParryWednesday 3rd February 2021
Just had this for dinner. It was absolutely delicious and full of flavor. Will definitely be making this again!
LisaThursday 4th February 2021
Glad you enjoyed it, Jody!
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