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Asian Spiced Turkey

I have my mother and our Chinese heritage to thank for this moist and savory turkey. The vanilla, aniseed and apple juice make the basting sauce unique. —K. Fung, Stoneham, Massachusetts
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 3-1/2 hours + standing
  • Makes
    19-20 servings


  • 2 to 3 celery ribs
  • 1 to 2 green onions
  • 1 turkey (16 to 20 pounds)
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon aniseed, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves


  • Place celery and onions inside the turkey cavity. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup water, soy sauce, sugar, apple juice, vanilla and seasonings; mix well. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan; pour remaining water into the pan. Pour 1/4 cup soy sauce mixture into the cavity and another 1/4 cup over turkey; set remaining sauce aside. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until a thermometer reads 180°, basting occasionally with remaining sauce. When turkey begins to brown, cover lightly with foil. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 328 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 137mg cholesterol, 866mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0 fiber), 55g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • jaymi
    Nov 26, 2020

    I've used the same recipe since the first day came out. Moist and flavorful. The drippings make the most delicious gravy ever.

  • middjett
    Aug 24, 2014

    As i not a real fan of poultry, this was ok for a poultry dish. I used chicken, as we are just 2. Cooked it for 2.5 hrs. Was moist. But a majority of the marinade flavor was only on the skin. I will try the marinade recipe again, but will cut up the chicken in advance and allow the parts to marinade overnight for the flavor to really sink into the meat. I think then I will truly be able to appriciate the flavor. (cant help but wonder how duck would be....may have to try that).

  • ringling
    Dec 10, 2009

    This Turkey is wonderful, it's moist not dry like a lot of Turkey recipes. I have made this for family and friends three times in the last month and half.