Recipe: Smoked Turkey 

Covid numbers are still rather high despite recent announcements re-implementing RMCO on most locations across the country. If you must go out, always remember to wear a mask, sanitize your hands, adhere to SOPs and avoid crowded areas.

That said, these challenges during the pandemic shouldn’t necessarily dampen the festivity that’s soon upon us. Here’s another recipe from Margarita that’s perfect for Christmas just around the corner.

Smoked Turkey

By Margarita Lee

Margarita Lee

Ingredients A:

  • 3.5L Water
  • 180g Kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp Chinese tea leaves
  • 3 Star anise 
  • 2 Mandarin peel 
  • 1 tbsp Red pepper corn
  • 3 Cinnamon stick
  • 6 Clove
  • 6 Bay leaves 
  • 1 tbsp Fennel 


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a slow boil. Add in Ingredients A, then stir until the salt is dissolved. Leave it to cool completely. The brine is ready to be used.
  2. Remove giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse the outside and inside of a thawed turkey, then pat the dry using paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting bag and pour in the prepared brine. 
  3. Allow the turkey to marinate for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator.

Ingredients B (for smoking):

  • 3 tbsp Jasmine tea leaf
  • 3 tbsp Brown sugar
  • ½ bowl Cooked rice
  • Residue from the turkey brine 
Photo by Margarita Lee


  1. Remove the turkey from the roasting bag, sieve the brine, and pat the residue with paper towels. Keep residue for later use.
  2. Tie the drumsticks together and tuck the wings under.
  3. Steam the turkey in a wok on high heat for 30-40 minutes. Skewer the turkey leg joint to see if juices run clear. If any pinkness remains, steam the turkey for a further 10 minutes. 
  4. Line the bottom of the wok with 2-3 layers of aluminium foil. Put in Ingredients B.
  5. Place an iron rack on the wok. Place the steamed turkey on the rack and cover with lid.
  6. Smoke for 20 minutes on medium heat. Remove turkey from wok. 
  7. Rest the turkey for about 20 to 30 minutes before you start carving. If you start carving too early, the juices from the bird will run out and dry the meat. 


  • It’s important to reiterate not to use a self basting, pre-seasoned, or kosher turkey. Otherwise, the turkey will be too salty.

Check out more of Margarita’s recipes on her FB @ Umummy Food!


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