Korean Sloppy Joes with Sweet and Spicy Cucumbers are a tasty Asian twist on the classic version! Easy to make and with just the right amount of sweet and spicy flavors that will please everyone!
Am I the only one who starts losing interest in making dinner midweek? I do most of my recipe testing Tuesday and Wednesday and by the time dinner rolls around Wednesday night I’m super thankful for the leftovers in the fridge. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t like having to cook a new meal every night of the week.
If for some reason there aren’t any leftover in the fridge of something I can pull out of the freezer, the next best thing is a quick skillet dinner. One of the fastest one pan recipes I know how to make is sloppy joes. Usually I make my grandma’s sloppy joe recipe, but I was in the mood for something different a couple weeks ago. Something spicy and sweet. I ended up making these Korean Sloppy Joes with Sweet and Spicy Cucumbers and am in love with them!
These are turkey sloppy joes, but with how flavorful the sauce is you’ll never be able to tell. Diehard beef fans, feel free to sub it in. The sauce for the Korean Sloppy Joes packs so serious flavor and heat, which can be adjusted according to your preference.
The sweetness in the sauce comes from hoisin. If you’ve never used it, I would describe it as an Asian barbecue sauce. I absolutely love using it in stir-fry recipes, lettuce wraps and now these sloppy joes. Generally hoisin sauce isn’t gluten-free, but there are now a few brands out there that are.
The spicy part of the sauce comes from gochujang. It’s sort of like the new sriracha. Gochujang is red chile paste that’s combined with rice, fermented soybeans, salt and some type of sweetener. It’s thick, spicy and adds a ton of flavor to whatever you’re putting it in.
Not only will you be using gochujang in the sauce for the sloppy joes, but in the sweet and spicy cucumbers as well. Basically these cucumbers are a quick pickle. I love the crunch factor they add to the sandwich. Speaking of the sandwich part, I served them on buns, but if you’re doing low carb you can serve it on top of mashed cauliflower or as protein on your salad.
More Sloppy Joe Recipes
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 3 tablespoons gochugang
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, gluten-free if needed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 5 buns
Sweet and Spicy Cucumbers
- 1/2 pound cucumbers, Persian or Kirby, sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon gochugang
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Sweet and Spicy Cucumbers
- Put the sliced cucumbers in a colander set over a large bowl. Sprinkle them with the salt and toss to coat. Let the cucumbers sit for 30 minutes to draw out the water from them. After they've sat, squeeze them to remove more water then pat them dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
- Put the cucumbers in a small bowl along with the gochugang, rice vinegar and sugar. Toss everything to combine thoroughly.
- Cover and chill the pickles for 30 to 60 minutes, or even make them a day or 2 ahead. The longer you keep them the less crunchy they will become.
- In a small bowl stir together the hoisin sauce, gochugang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and lime juice. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, swirl the oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. When the skillet is hot add in the onion and ground turkey. Use a wooden spoon to break the turkey up into small crumbles.
- When the turkey is nearly cooked through, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the ginger and garlic to the mixture, cook for a minute. Pour the sauce over the turkey and stir everything together until coated. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for several minutes or until everything is warmed through. Taste for seasoning and serve on buns topped with the sweet and spicy cucumbers.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1066mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 35g