Asian Spiced Turkey

Preparation Time:
Thawing: at least 24 hours
Wet Brine: 12 – 15 hours
Marinade: 5 hours
Cooking Time:
Roasting: 3 – 3-½ hours
(time varies according to turkey size)
Resting: 30 minutes
Serves: 10 – 12 people


  1. Use fresh turkey if possible.
  2. Best served with white rice.


  • One (12 to 13 lbs) Turkey
  • 1 cup Raw salt
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 – 3 litres Water
  • One big piece, sliced Ginger
  • One head, chopped Garlic
  • 3 – 5 Bay Leaves
  • ½ cup Sichuan Pepper & Star Anise


  • 2 pieces Fermented Red Bean Curd
  • 1 tbsp Five Spice Powder
  • 1tsp Turmeric
  • 3 tbsp Korean BBQ Sauce
  • 1 cup Sake
  • ½ cup each Sesame Oil, Mirin

Side dish:

  • 400 gm (25 – 28 pcs) Medium Size Fresh Shitaki Mushroom
  • 200 – 250 gm Brussels Sprouts
  • 375 – 400 gm Bacon
  • 4 – 5 cloves Garlic
  • 250 gm Peeled Carrots
  • 5 Shallots
  • 2 Leeks
  • 900 ml Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Corn Starch (Mix with 3 tbsp Water)


A. Thawing frozen turkey

  1. 1 Remove the bag of giblets from the turkey cavity. Put turkey into a pot or plastic bag and thaw inside the fridge for at least 24 hours till it is soft. Rinse and set aside.
  2. 2 Wet brine the rinsed turkey with a big pot of water (2-3 litres of water) filled with salt, sugar, ginger, garlic, Sichuan pepper, star anise for 12-15 hours (Note: water must cover the turkey.)
  3. 3 Drain and rinse the turkey. Dry the turkey inside and out with kitchen towel, ready to marinade.

B. Marinating the turkey

  1. 1 Mix all seasonings together. Apply evenly all over the turkey inside and out. Let it marinate for 5 hours.

C. Preparation of veggies

  1. 1 Remove the hard stem of the fresh mushroom and cut each into half, rinse and drain.
  2. 2 Cut one leek into short pieces.
  3. 3 Wash and rinse Brussels sprouts.
  4. 4 Peel carrots, garlic, shallots and chop, then set aside.
  5. 5 Heat wok and sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant. Add mushrooms and all veggies, sauté for 1 minute then set aside.

D. Baking the turkey

  1. 1 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. 2 Cut another leek into pieces and wrap them with some bacon slices, then put inside the turkey cavity. Secure the opening with a bamboo stick.
  3. 3 Arrange the remaining bacon slices evenly all over the back of the turkey. Ready the roast pan, the turkey is ready to roast.
  4. 4 Put all sautéed veggies at the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour chicken broth over the veggies.
  5. 5 Place the turkey over the roasting rack with back facing up, which allows the fat and juices from the top to run into the breast meat during the first half hour of roasting. Roast 450°F for 30 minutes.
  6. 6 Carefully pull out the roasting pan after 30 minutes. Remove the bacon slices from the back of turkey. Carefully flip the turkey over and put the bacon slices back. Wrap the whole roasting pan with foil. Roast with 350°F for two and a half hours.
  7. 7 After 2-½ hours, pull out the roasting pan. Open the foil and use a meat thermometer to test the temperature inside the turkey thighs.
  8. 8 The turkey should be done when the temperature reaches 165°F.
  9. 9 Remove the foil, re-oil the top of the turkey with the juice from the roasting pan, then roast for another 15 – 20 minutes until the skin is slightly crispy.
  10. 10 Carefully take out the turkey. Let it rest for 30 minutes to seal in the juice and for easy slicing before serving.

E. Serving the turkey

  1. 1 Take out the wrapped leeks from the turkey cavity. Mix it with veggies from the roasting pan and cook in a sauce pan in medium low heat. Add corn starch for thickening and finish as a side dish.
  2. 2 Slice the turkey and serve with the side dish.


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