Once thanksgiving has come and gone, and the food coma has dissipated (hopefully!), one is faced with the next big thing–leftovers.
Who doesn’t love turkey leftovers? I do! But having overdosed on one too many turkey sandwiches and turkey tetrazzinis, I’m looking for a turkey leftover makeover. My solution? Reincarnate the turkey in Asian-style dishes.
Just like grandmas and mothers everywhere are experts at improv in the kitchen, let your creativity run (turkey) wild. Hint: you can use leftover turkey in just about any recipe that calls for chicken bits.
Here’s my top 10.
10. Turkey stock
Place the turkey carcass in a big stockpot, cover with enough water, add some herbs and spices–I pop in a few smashed cloves of garlic, diced onions, a few ginger slices, peppercorns, and two to three stalks of green onions tied in a knot– and voila!
9. Turkey macaroni soup
One of my favorite comfort foods! Add shredded turkey, sausage slices (ballpark sausages will do) and a cup or two of frozen veggies to the stock above, and boil some elbows of macaroni . To serve, top with squares of Spam (you can fry them up first if you’d like), fried shallots and green onion ‘O’s.
8. Turkey lumpia
Shredded or chopped turkey tastes yummy rolled into a lumpia or egg roll with all the usual accoutrements. Dip in plum sauce … mmm … turkey and plum sauce … mmm … Try this recipe from food blog Pinoy Cook.
7. (Curried) turkey salad
Ever heard of Coronation chicken? Well, neither had I before I lived in England. It’s basically precooked chicken mixed with mayonnaise, curry powder, nuts and apricots/or raisins, and served between two slices of white bread (duh, it’s a sandwich!) or on a bed of lettuce. I know it sounds funky, but it tastes really good. Have a go at a turkey version by improvising on the original recipe or trying this Allrecipes.com one.
6. Turkey with nutmegged kecap manis gravy
This is a gravy my mum makes for Indonesian steak (basically the meat’s marinated in kecap manis or Indonesian sweet soy sauce) but I bet it tastes great with roast turkey too!
Fry 1 finely minced shallot and two cloves of garlic, minced, in a couple of tablespoons of butter until golden brown and fragrant. Add about a quart of turkey stock (#10), 1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (my mum uses tomato ketchup) and 1/4 cup kecap manis, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add 1/4 cup milk. Stir and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or to taste), and salt and white pepper to taste. Drizzle gravy over turkey slices and rice.
5. Turkey stir-fry with vegetables
Add bite size pieces of turkey to almost cooked stir-fried veggies. Give everything a good stir and serve.
4. Turkey sticky rice casserole
Pork is usually the staple in this popular Chinese dish but why not use turkey bits instead? Throw the turkey, lap cheong (Chinese sausage), water chestnuts, shrimp and sticky rice into a rice cooker and it’ll be ready in no time! Or if you are a stickler for tradition, cook it in a claypot. Try this recipe from Epicurious.com.
3. Turkey Tom Ka Kai
Instead of chicken, add turkey (toward the end of cooking time though) to this yummy Thai sour soup made with coconut milk, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass. Replace the chicken stock with turkey stock (#10) too. This recipe was given to me by Rin Nedtra, owner of Sea Siam Thai Restaurant in Miami, FL.
2. Turkey noodle soup
Here’s that indispensable turkey stock (#10) again! Boil your favorite noodles–egg, rice, or mung bean–and serve in seasoned stock. Top with turkey slices and your choice of vegetables–I recommend bok choy.
And now for my #1 way with turkey leftovers … drumroll please …
Using the turkey stock (#10), making turkey congee is as easy as 1-2-3 and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Light and filling, it’s the perfect antidote to the previous day’s gluttony.
Combine strained stock and rice in a stockpot (about 8 cups of stock to 1 cup of uncooked rice.) Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until consistency of oatmeal, about 1-3/4 hours. Stir frequently during last 1/2 hour of cooking, adding water if necessary. Season with salt or soy sauce. Ladle into individual bowls and serve topped with shredded turkey, and your choice of green onion ‘O’s, chopped cilantro and chung choy (preserved turnip.)
Drop me a comment if you have any other un-Thanksgiving leftover recipes to share!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!