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!


Get your local news fast. Download the Ipoh Echo App on your mobile. Available on both Google Playstore and Apple Appstore.

Show More

See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button