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How to make a Korean-style roast turkey for Thanksgiving

Creating a Korean-style roast turkey for Thanksgiving can infuse traditional holiday flavors with a unique twist. Here's a recipe that combines classic Thanksgiving elements with Korean-inspired ingredients and flavors:

How to Korean-style roast turkey for Thanksgiving

Ingredients: For the Turkey:

  • 1 whole turkey (12-15 pounds)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

For the Stuffing:

  • 1 cup cooked short-grain rice

  • 1 cup chopped chestnuts

  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Prepare the Turkey:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).

  • Remove the turkey from its packaging, rinse it, and pat it dry with paper towels.

  • Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper.

2. Make the Korean-Inspired Marinade:

  • In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, honey, minced garlic, grated ginger, gochujang, brown sugar, and rice vinegar. This will be your flavorful marinade.

3. Marinate the Turkey:

  • Place the turkey in a large roasting pan.

  • Brush the turkey with the Korean-inspired marinade, making sure to get the marinade under the skin for maximum flavor.

  • Allow the turkey to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, turning it occasionally for even flavor distribution.

4. Prepare the Stuffing:

  • In a bowl, mix together cooked short-grain rice, chopped chestnuts, chopped dried cranberries, chopped green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper.

5. Stuff the Turkey:

  • Stuff the turkey with the prepared stuffing mixture. You can secure the turkey openings with kitchen twine.

6. Roast the Turkey:

  • Place the marinated and stuffed turkey in the preheated oven.

  • Roast the turkey according to its weight, following standard cooking times. Baste the turkey with the marinade every 30 minutes for a flavorful and moist result.

7. Check for Doneness:

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the turkey's internal temperature. It should reach 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.

8. Rest and Serve:

  • Allow the turkey to rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving. This helps the juices redistribute for a moist and tender turkey.

  • Carve the turkey and serve with your favorite sides.

This Korean-style roast turkey is a fusion dish that brings together the familiar tastes of Thanksgiving with the bold and savory flavors of Korean cuisine. Enjoy your unique and delicious Thanksgiving feast!

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