Asian Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey

Oven Roasted Turkey | #thanksgiving #recipes #turkey

How to Cook a Turkey in the Oven:  If you are anything like me, you are already thinking about bird day. How will you season your oven roasted turkey? What Thanksgiving sides will you make? Does Thanksgiving dinner have to be the same old thing you make every year?

I say no. At least, not quite.

I’m not suggesting you cause chaos by serving lasagna on Thanksgiving.

But what about taking the standard Thanksgiving dishes and give them a saucy makeover?

How to Cook a Turkey in the Oven | #thanksgiving #recipes #turkey

Thanksgiving purists are happy because all their traditional dishes are represented; the adventuresome eaters are happy because they get to experience those dishes in a new way.

This year I’m planning to serve Asian Turkey, fragrant with exotic herbs and spices.

How to Roast a Thanksgiving Turkey | #thanksgiving #recipes #turkey

I prep the turkey the same way I always do. Yet my rub, and the herbs I put inside the bird, will infuse a soiree of vibrant Asian flavors into the skin and meat.

This Asian turkey rub is made with mayonnaise, sriracha, ginger and garlic. Believe it or not, the mayo adds an amazing amount of flavor to the skin and makes it extra crispy.

How to Oven Roast a Turkey | #thanksgiving #recipes #turkey

Then I place some Thai basil, lemongrass, ginger, and scallions in the cavity to perfume the bird from the inside out.

This method for oven roasted turkey brings additional flair to your Thanksgiving table without overshadowing the other dishes… traditional or not.

How to Cook Oven Roasted Turkey | #thanksgiving #recipes #turkey

You can serve your Asian-inspired oven roasted turkey with classic Thanksgiving sides, or you can give them all an Asian twist:  boy choy braised in white wine and butter, sweet potatoes with crystallized ginger, lemongrass garlic mashed potatoes, savory soy stuffing…

Before we get to the Asian turkey recipe, I want to share a few pointers for oven roasted turkey. Following these steps can make a HUGE difference in the quality of your bird.

Oven Roasted Turkey Rub | #thanksgiving #recipes #turkey

How to Cook a Turkey in the Oven

Thaw Early.

Shop for your turkey at least a week before Thanksgiving. Place it in a roasting pan and let it thaw in the fridge several days. This will ensure you don’t end up with a frozen bird Thanksgiving morning.


Brining is a great way to infuse flavor into the meat. Prepare 1 gallon of water with 1 cup salt. Feel free to add any herbs and spices you desire. Then place the turkey in a clean bucket and pour the brine water over it. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Drain and dry.

If you run out of time to brine–don’t fret. Carefully loosen the skin of the turkey and rub all the meat (under the skin) with salt and herbs. Make sure to do this over the entire bird. Its not quite the same as brining but will still give your turkey much more flavor than simply salting the skin.

Dry Well.

Whether you brine or not, your turkey’s skin needs to be bone dry before seasoning to make sure in gets crispy. Use clean paper towels to give your bird a rubdown.

Stuff Not.

Stuffing a turkey is for the birds…heh heh! Sorry I couldn’t resist.

Make your stuffing in a baking dish, instead of stuffing it in the cavity of the turkey. Then your turkey can come out of the oven when the meat is moist and just cooked through, instead of drying out while you wait for the stuffing to reach the right temperature.

Birdy Massage.

Once your turkey is thawed, brined, and dried, rub the turkey down with oil, butter or mayo concoction to flavor the skin and make it crispy.

Start Upside Down.

Cooking your turkey upside down allows the fat and  juices to run into the breasts meat for extra flavor and tenderness. I usually cook my turkey breast-down for the first hour. Then flip it over, re-oil the top and roast it the rest of the way, right-side up. The top will pop back up and brown, for a pretty Thanksgiving bird.

Use High Heat.

After years of playing with the temperature and cooking time, I find I get a juicier bird with crispy skin, if I roast it at a higher temperature for less time–400 degrees F, usually for about 2 hours. This also frees up the oven for other Thanksgiving dishes.


After all that, you and the bird need a little rest. I like to allow the turkey to sit for 30 minutes before I slice it. The juices redistribute and the slices tend to come out much neater.

Asian Turkey | #thanksgiving #recipes #turkey


Yield: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Asian Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey

Whole Oven Roasted Turkey with Asian Herbs and Spices.


1 12-14 lb. turkey, thawed and brined
2 cups Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Sriracha chile sauce
2 Tb. ground ginger
2 Tb. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
1 bunch Thai basil
3-4 stalks lemongrass
1 bunch scallions
2 inch section of fresh ginger, sliced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lower the rack to the lowest position.

Dry the turkey thoroughly with paper towels. Stuff the basil, lemongrass, scallions and ginger slices in the main cavity and smaller neck cavity. Close the neck cavity with a toothpick. Most turkeys come with the drumstick tucked under a flap of skin to keep them secure. If your's didn't, tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

Mix the mayonnaise, sriracha, ginger powder and garlic powder in a bowl. Massage over the entire bird, leaving 2 Tb. of mayo mix for later. Then salt and pepper liberally.

Place the turkey, breast side down, in a roasting pan on a rack. Pour two cups of water in the pan and place in the oven.

Roast for 1 hour. Using paper towels or turkey lifting forks, carefully flip the bird breast side up. Rub the remaining mayo mixture over the top. Add additional water to the pan if needed, and roast another 45-60 minutes. You want to interior temperature of the bird to reach 165 degree F in the thigh area. *If the turkey starts getting too dark on top, cover it loosely with foil.

Allow the turkey to rest at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Just in time for Thanksgiving I’ve got a Calphalon 5 Piece Roaster Set Giveaway, generously donated by!

This awesome set from comes with:

  • Contemporary Non-Stick Roasting Pan
  • Roasting Rack
  • Baster/Injector
  • 2 Turkey Lifters

Turkey Roasting Giveaway | #thanksgiving #giveaway

TO ENTER:  ~CLOSED~ Winner: #276 Rebecca Graham

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569 Responses to “Asian Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey”

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    Sonya — November 7, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

    I follow Big Kitchen Store on Twitter as dewer421


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    I am thankful for my family and my home and my job


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    jen gersch — November 8, 2012 @ 4:05 am

    i am thankful for fmaily


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    Aimee Fontenot — November 8, 2012 @ 4:17 am

    I’m thankful for my family and to finally have a job.


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    sheila k — November 8, 2012 @ 6:52 am

    i am thankful i didn’t move to the east coast — would have been in the heart of the area damaged by Sandy


  23. #
    robyn paris — November 8, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    I am grateful that no one in my family had any substantial damage due to hurricane Sandy.


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    robyn paris — November 8, 2012 @ 7:08 am

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    deana c — November 8, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    I am thankful for my family.


  29. #
    Alison Wood — November 8, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    I’m very thankful for my fiance.


  30. #
    Sue Barney — November 8, 2012 @ 7:35 am

    Im Thankful for my Family and Friends :)


  31. #
    Melanie Montgomery — November 8, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    I’m thankful for my husband and for my family.


  32. #
    amy deeter — November 8, 2012 @ 8:58 am
  33. #
    Marie Oetzel — November 8, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    This year I am Thankful I am home with my family it came at a lot of costs (Job, Home, Friends) but getting back to be with my family for a while has been really nice.


  34. #
    Danielle — November 8, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

    I am thankful for my family, friends, and the roof over my head.


  35. #
    Chrissy Nestor — November 8, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    I am thankful for my friends and most importantly, my family!

    chrissylea1979 (at)gmail(dot) com


  36. #
    Lynde F. — November 8, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

    I am thankful for my husband & kids. Not having the greatest family growing up it is what is most important to me.


  37. #
    Beverly M — November 8, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

    I’m thankful for my family and I’m thankful I’ve survived cancer. Thanks!


  38. #
    Shari-Tickled Red — November 15, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    Now that is a glorious bird for Thanksgiving!! Love stepping out of the box with traditional food, to bad dad still rules turkey day :D Guess I’ll be making this for just me and the guys, too bad pops.


  39. #
    Lee — November 21, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

    Great recipe! I will try it tomorrow for the first time, but I don’t have a separate turkey roaster. I only have an oven. Should I wrap aluminum oil around the turkey and roasting pan?


  40. #
    Priyanka — November 25, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

    Hi, it’s my first time making turkey this year and I came across this recipe and really want to try it. I have a few questions though:

    1) Does it really only take 2 hours to cook the turkey?
    2) There is no basting needed for this recipe correct?
    3) Do you have a gravy recipe that pairs well with this turkey?



    • Sommer — November 25th, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

      Hi There!

      The cooking time varies base of the weight of the turkey, but at 400* a 12-14 lb turkey should cook in about 2 hours. And yes, this is a no-baste recipe.

      As for gravy, the pan juices have a lot of great flavor. You could whisk in some flour and simmer the juices and you would get a really nice gravy with asian flavors.


      • Priyanka — November 26th, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

        Thank you!

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