Thai flavors wrapped in a taquito!
This yet another instance where I wanted to take a classic and give it a little twist. Taking something from Mexican/Latin to Thai is actually not even that far of a stretch; take out the cumin, add a little fish sauce and BAM! MexicAsian fusion. The rest is all lime and coconut and general tropical-ish flavors that we know blends together.
With my first attempt, the meat was just not quite… flavored enough. You do want to marinate the bird because it doubles as a brine and will help keep the turkey moist when you bake it, but I set some marinade aside to toss with the meat before stuffing the tortillas and added toasted coconut to give everything a little more oomph. You just want to be careful not to make the meat too wet with marinade or you’ll end up with soggy taquitos.
If you have a deep fryer and are willing and able, by all means go ahead. I, however, do not own a fryer nor do I have the inclination to use one. To get the taquitos crispy enough, I coated the outside and the inside with oil. You can do this with either spray or a brush; a brush will work a smidge better because you will end up with more oil per tortilla. This is also a good time to point out that baked instead of fried doesn’t really mean healthier here. Maybe a little bit; so you’ll have a heart attack five minutes later. You’re welcome.
For the dipping sauce I took inspiration from the Aussie’s. They love the combo of sweet chili sauce and cream cheese so much they even have a Lay’s potato chip flavored with it. It’s also so super easy. Just get some sweet chili sauce (I got mine at Trader Joe’s), and pour it over room temperature cream cheese. Done and done. This also paired well with guac.
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 packet corn tortillas (about two dozen)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut (toasted)
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (for brushing)
- 1/2 package cream cheese (softened)
- 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
- guac (for serving)
- 1/2 wild turkey
- 1 can coconut milk
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 2 stalks lemongrass (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1-2 cup water
|First, combine everything for the marinade. You want just enough water in there for the marinade to cover the birds in a ziplock. Set aside about 1/3 cup of the marinade, then poor the rest over the bird in a ziplock and refigerate for at least 2 hours or up to over night.|
|Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the turkey from the marinade and place it on a foil-lined pan and bake until a thermometer in the breast reads 165, or about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can toast your coconut. Once done cooking, pull the meat off the bone and either shred with a fork or chop into bite-sized pieces. If it's a little pink in the middle that's okay, you will be recooking it.|
|Change the foil on your pan once the pan has cooled. Toss the chopped turkey meat with the remainder of the marinade and the toasted coconut. Use your best judgement - you don't want the meat to be too wet or you will end up with soggy taquitos. Next, brush both sides of a corn tortilla and roll, then place on the pan. If they are not wanting to stay rolled, you can secure it with a toothpick. Repeat until you run out of meat and/or tortillas.|
|Bake the taquitos for about 10-12 minutes, or until they are crisp and starting to brown on the outside. While those are in the oven, put your cream cheese in a dish and top with the chili sauce. Stir to combine if you want to, but it's not necessary. When the taquitos are done, serve them warm with the cream cheese and chili dip and guac, if you have it.|
Non game substitution: Use chicken!! The marinade/brine is also a great way to get breasts that don’t dry out.