Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cakes not balls: Turkey cakes with Wasabi Guacamole

The first dish I cooked from the Ottolenghi cookbook was turkey meatballs which was, frankly, a revelation. I know it's hardly some sort of haute cuisine and I daresay it isn't gracing the menus of many Michelin starred restaurants just now but the fact is that it (or they I suppose) taste totally fabulous. I also think that any recipe that manages to impart some semblance of flavour into turkey mince is one worth keeping and cooking regularly.

So when I was perusing the Guardian website for something else it was with such happiness that I saw this. Firstly, an Ottolenghi recipe. Fabulous. Secondly. Turkey mince. Well, it has to be okay doesn't it? And it was...

Wasabi and kids don't do really go together and I'll be honest I didn't even try. I gave Lola and Finn a little guacamole before I put wasabi into it which they tried but weren't massively excited by. That's okay, Phill isn't greatly excited by it either. However, the addition of a little wasabi just transformed the guacamole into something with pizazz, which married well with the turkey cakes. Phill was pleasantly surprised.

Lola and Finn really enjoyed the turkey cakes. I suppose what makes these cakes rather than balls is that they're flat rather than round and are baked. I also think you could make these into burgers and they would be lovely topped with feta and a tomatoey, chilli relish.

Turkey Cakes with Wasabi Guacamole from The Guardian website

Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad generously.


For the cakes:

2 courgettes, coarsely grated (net weight 250g) (Two medium ones for me)Salt and black pepper
600g minced turkey, or chicken (I used 500g)2 medium free-range eggs
1½ tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp chopped coriander
3 tbsp chopped mint
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
60g chopped spring onion
Sunflower oil, for frying
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp mirin
½ tsp toasted sesame seeds (which I forgot to use!!)

For the wasabi guacamole:

2 ripe avocados, peeled (net weight 300g)
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp wasabi paste
20g chopped spring onion


Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

 Put the grated courgette in a sieve, mixed with a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and leave to drain for about 15 minutes.

Squeeze out as much liquid as possible with your hands, then put the courgette in a large mixing bowl along with the turkey, eggs, cumin, coriander, mint, garlic, three-quarters of the spring onion, a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Mix together well. then shape into 12 patties weighing about 80g each (or just eyeball it, like I did)

Because turkey mince is so bland, I always worry about whether I have seasoned the meat enough. Fr that reason I take a little of the mixture and fry it off to taste for seasoning. If I need to add more, then I do so. You'd be surprised how much salt you might need to make turkey mince taste of something  When you're happy with the seasoning then shape into 12 patties weighing about 80g each (or just eyeball it, like I did).

Heat two tablespoons of sunflower oil in a large frying pan and fry the patties for four minutes, turning once, until nice and brown on both sides.

Transfer to a baking tray and finish off in the oven for a further 10 minutes.

I confess, I like it chunky!

While the turkey cakes are in the oven, make the guacamole: mash the avocado with a fork and mix together with the lime juice, wasabi, chopped spring onion and half a teaspoon of salt.

Mix the sweet chilli and mirin in a separate bowl, and brush this over the turkey cakes as soon as they come out of the oven.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top (if you don't forget!) and serve with the guacamole on the side.


  1. Good thinking! I like my guacamole chunky too. My son hates wasabi like enemy. Like you, I would make the non-wasabi version of guacamole for him.

  2. Ahhh... sounds lovely! I think I'll make this at the weekend!


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