in the kitchen

with chen

Tag: turkey

thanksgiving 2012, take i: herb roasted turkey thighs with brussels sprouts

The main dish for our small gathering (three exactly: my roommate, a friend, and I). An herb-abundant twist on the traditional whole roasted turkey.

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fueled: whole wheat pasta tossed with ricotta, glazed carrots, and turkey bacon

I thought this was a nice long weekend until I found the new homework posted.

Why did two animals fight each other forever and why did I calculate their payoffs? Why did a firm only hire the low-skilled workers though the high-skilled workers were more productive? Why would someone use grim-trigger to reach an equilibrium?

Didn’t they feel tired? Were they hungry?

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labor required: seaweed and (the world’s 2nd best) meatball soup

With minimum ingredients, the soup looks simple; but not the technique for the meatballs, which I learned from my mom. However, mine can never beat hers no matter how hard I’ve tried. No wonder mom’s dish is always the best in the world.

seaweed and meatball soup
Dried seaweed can be found in Asian supermarket (NOT the seaweed snack “Nori” or the “ready-to use” style).

Makes 4 servings

1 cup dried seaweed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger

For the meatballs:
4 oz lean grounded turkey (or pork or chicken, your pick)
1 1/2 tbsp cooking wine
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt

Day 1.
Soak the dried seaweed in water.

Day 2.
Wash the seaweed carefully and rinse thoroughly to get rid of grits.

In a large pot, add seaweed, chicken broth, and ginger and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the seaweed becomes tender (the cooking time really depends on how thick the seaweed is; it may take longer to cook).

While the soup is simmering, make the meatball. Place all the ingredients for the meatball in a large bowl. Use chopsticks to stir everything together. Keep stirring in one direction and be vigorous. Stop this “exercise” when the meat gets “sticky,” but keep in mind that the longer you stir, the better the meatball is. This is what I mean by “labor required.”

When the seaweed is ready, drop spoonful meat into the simmering soup. Season the soup with salt to taste. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Turn off the heat and stir in 1 tsp sesame oil. Serve immediately.

light and lightning: turkey, leek, and mushroom stir fry

I want to hug the person who invented stir-fry, without hesitation.

From our home cooking to the whole nation, stir-frying is the most common technique in Chinese cuisine.That’s not only because it cooks everything quick and easy, stir-frying helps to assemble any possible ingredients together.

Unfortunately, stir-fry dishes are sometimes blamed for being fattening (probably because of the amount of oil used by some so-called Chinese restaurants). Fallacy. That’s a fallacy.

Q: Show that Chinese stir-fry can be light and nutrition balanced.


Suppose that Miss L needs a quick-fixed dinner that contains high quality protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and complex carbs tonight. She makes the following stir-fried turkey and vegetables and eat it with some steamed forbidden rice (black rice) and cherry tomatoes.

turkey, leek, and mushroom stir-fry
Usually, I just need to cook for myself. Hence, the recipe yields small portion. But it can easily be doubled.

Makes 2 servings

4 oz lean grounded turkey
1 heaping cup of sliced leeks
4 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soak in water overnight then drain and dice into small cubes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger

1/2 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp cooking wine
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper

1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

1/2 tsp sesame oil

Heat EVOO along with garlic and ginger in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Once you smell the fragrance (do NOT brown the garlic), add turkey to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Quickly break any large pieces. Then add cooking wine. Stir and cook until the liquid almost evaporates. Remove the pan from the heat and set the turkey aside.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add leeks to the pan. When they turn translucent, add diced mushrooms, chicken stock, and brown sugar. Let the liquid cook down to half, then stir in the turkey mixture. Mix well. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Let the liquid cook down, about 5 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and add to the pan. When it comes to a boil, stir in the sesame oil and turn off the heat. Serve warm.