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Asian Sloppy Joes

March 24, 2019 by Nicole Collins

I have a question!

What cuisine do you always crave? You know, what’s the one food or type of food that is and always will be your go to? The food that you will never turn down…

What is it?

I feel like there are sooooo many people that would answer this question with “pizza”. But, that’s just not the case for me. I like pizza and all, but I don’t need it 24/7.

The bestie and I have this conversation every so often, and my answer is the same almost every time. It’s a toss up between Mexican and Asian food for me. I’m almost always in the mood for something from these categories. It’s not like there’s one specific food item that does it for me. My taste buds are non-discriminatory. Tacos, sushi, guac, lo mein…Just start shoveling all of these things in my mouth and never stop!

I think Mexican and Asian style foods are my go to choices for recipes I’m making at home too. I’m sure you guys can attest to that. These cuisines are traditionally routed in down home, family style cooking; so it only makes sense that homemade tastes better!

Except lo mein. I have not been able to recreate restaurant lo mein. So, if you have a recipe that tastes just like your favorite Chinese take out spot, please share it with me!

I also really love taking these two cuisines and making fusion dishes, especially when I’m fusing Asian and Mexican cuisine. Taco Fried Rice. Honey Garlic Chicken Tacos with Sesame Slaw. It’s the best of both worlds!

Today, classic American comfort food gets an Asian style twist. Today, we’re making Asian Sloppy Joes!

And, we’re even going to make this Asian/American fusion dish healthy!

We start by making our sloppy joe sauce. Traditional sloppy joe sauce starts with ketchup as its base, so we’re going to do the same. But, we’re also going to add some Asian ingredients like hoisin, soy sauce, and scallions. To really accentuate the Asian flavors, we’re going to saute some garlic and ginger in a little coconut oil before adding some shitake mushrooms to the party.

After the mushrooms start to caramelize, we add our meat to the pan: ground turkey. I love using ground turkey instead of ground beef for lots of reasons. It’s a much leaner protein, and I think it’s got a slightly softer, juicier texture when you cook it up. Once the turkey has spent a few minutes simmering in our sloppy joe sauce, the red meat lovers in your life will never be able to tell that you’ve swapped out beef for poultry. Also, the mushrooms add a nice textural component to the sloppy meat; but if you’re not in to mushrooms, just leave them out. These sloppy joes are equally as delicious with or without the shitakes.

When we’re ready to eat, there are a couple of different ways we can serve these sloppy joes. I was trying be good and save some carbs, so I decided not to serve these on the traditional sesame seed bun. But, you totally could! Everything tastes good with bread!

Instead, I decided to serve these 2 different ways: in a savoy cabbage leaf (when I’m being super DUPER healthy) and with wonton chips (when I’m feeling a little naughtier and want to get my dip on). Savoy cabbage leaves are nice and big AND nice and sturdy. So, they’re the perfect vehicle for holding our juicy warm meat. On the other hand, wonton chips add a nice crispy, crunchy factor. And, they only take about 5 mins in the oven to bake up. Either way you chose to serve these sloppy joes, don’t skip the shredded carrot, sesame seed, and green onion garnish. These extra little pops of freshness really help to complete the flavor profile of our perfectly rich and juicy sloppy joes. Talk about umami!

Ok guys! Now that we’ve had one of my favorite cuisines this week, I think it’s time to make the other one! Something Mexican on Wednesday sounds like a great idea to me!

For now, be sure to keep the napkins handy while you’re getting sloppy. And, let’s eat!


Asian Sloppy Joes

Serves: 4 Print


  • ½ cup ketchup

  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 2 green onions, sliced

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • 2 oz shitake mushrooms, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • savoy cabbage leaves, wonton wrappers, sesame seeds, shredded carrot, and sliced green onions, for serving


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine ketchup, hoisin, water, soy sauce, honey, and green onions. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.

  2. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and saute for about 5 mins until they start to brown. Add garlic and ginger, and cook for an additional minute until garlic becomes fragrant. Add ground turkey plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until turkey is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid. Return to the burner.

  3. Add ketchup mixture to the meat mix, and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.

  4. To serve, place desired amount of meat mix in the center of a savoy cabbage leaf. Top with shredded carrot, sliced green onion, and sesame seeds, if desired. Alternately, cut each wonton wrapper in half. Spray both sides with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray. Place on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for about 5 mins until crispy and golden brown. Use wonton chips to eat sloppy joes like a dip.

Recipe notes:

*When I eat these with a cabbage leaf, I only need one leaf per person. When I eat these with wonton dippers, I follow the suggested serving size on the packaging. I believe that's 3 wonton wrappers per person.

*I chose to serve these with cabbage or wonton wrappers to save carbs, but you can absolutely serve these in true sloppy joe style on a sesame seed bun. YUM!

*If you don't like mushrooms, skip them. They just add a nice textural component to the sloppy joes, but you'd be fine without them too.

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