Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let's Talk Turkey!

So while I was in line at the Yum Cha Cafe side of the San Gabriel Superstore, waiting for my half-duck to get cut up for my Thai red curry with roast duck recipe, I noticed a sign for turkey with free sticky rice for $35. So that's what I'm doing this year.

Thai Red Curry with Roast Duck, Bamboo Shoots, Eggplant, and Pumpkin 2

You'll have to check back in to see what I'm going to do with the turkey. I think it's supposed to be cooked Peking duck-style. Other barbecue places will do this same thing, but you have to bring in a turkey. Here, they provide the turkey for you. (Much thanks to the super-nice random Chinese guy who helped translate and asked the cashier the exact details for me!) Anyway, so it'll be an 8 to 12 lb turkey with a side of sticky rice.

When I mentioned this to cousin Q's parents recently, they were quite dismayed. They said last year's salt rub and butter turkey would be much better than anything I can get from the barbecue restaurants. But then his mom said she'd make two com ga Hai Nam (Hainanese chicken rice) so even if the turkey ends up a flop, we'll be amply fed with good poultry. :)

The oldest '87 told her middle sister I made the best turkey last year and is quite sad that I'm not making it again. After making five turkeys, I've found that really is the easiest and best recipe. Geez! What are you waiting for? And if that's not enough, you can then follow it up by making the leftovers into shichimenchou (Japanese turkey ramen).

Thanksgiving 1

Or you can try my Orange Juice Brown Sugar Turkey Brine.

If you don't have any family or friends and still want a turkey dinner, might I recommend last year's oldie, but goodie, -- Thanksgiving Dinner for 1 :( -- my review of 9 frozen turkey dinners.

Frozen Turkey Dinners 1

So what kind of turkey are you planning this year? Are you a traditionalist about Thanksgiving?

Yum Cha Cafe (inside the San Gabriel Superstore)
1635 San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776

1 year ago today, Punjab Indian Grocery Store - Alhambra.


  1. None actually, this year I'm visiting my parents and bringing along a ham dinner!

  2. Haha I remember that review, I shuddered at all the sodium intake you went through.

    We never really make turkey. We make chicken sandwiches and have tamales. Nothing is really set in stones though so it varies every year.

  3. When it comes to Thanksgiving, I'm a traditionalist. The day after is when I get creative :-) I'm going to try the dry brining thing this year.

  4. Hi WC, I'm a deep fried turkey guy. Once you go deep fried, you never go back. Been doing for 5 yrs now, 2 turkeys a night (it's that quick) ..but I'm thinking prime rib this year. Have a good thanksgiving!

  5. My in-laws are traditionalists. Same thing every year. With my family though, anything goes, so we have a good mix of Viet and Chinese food, and then sometimes if my cousin or I feel like making turkey or other American food, we'll do it the traditional way. This year, doesn't seem like either one of us feels like doing turkey.

  6. Haha, we don't do turkey... so last year (for a holiday party), we bought a Chinese BBQ Turkey to make it more "palatable" for us. ;D

  7. As we have family across the country - on the big turkey day, alone in Los angeles, we do dim sum. And love it!

    But I always buy a turkey and cook it up, so that I can make turkey carcass soup.

    Last year I did the dry presalting, this year I will do that again, with some tweaks...

  8. HC,
    Ham dinner. One of those spiral sliced sugar-glazed ones? I haven't had one of those in years.

    I was so thirsty after eating all those dinners. The crazy amount of sodium. I love chicken and tamales. Sounds good to me.

    Being creative with leftovers is even more challenging.

    I've never had deep-fried turkey. Gasp. I know! But no one I know owns a that big deep-fryer so that's that.

    My cousins like having turkey with all the traditional sides, and then the adults bring the Asian food to complement.

    I had never tried the Chinese BBQ turkey before so this year was my first time. The verdict? I prefer mine!

    Dry salting worked best for me. And resulted in the best leftovers too.


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