Lemongrass Dry-Brined Turkey

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Cookie-Loves.com | Lemongrass Dry Brined Turkey

This recipe is a simple asian twist on your traditional Thanksgiving roast turkey. I used the dry-brining method after reading a few different blogs about why it works: essentially, liberally salting the turkey draws the moisture out of the meat at first and then as the salt dissolves, creates a brine directly on the surface, which is then reabsorbed with the salt, which breaks down the proteins, giving you more tender, juicy meat w/out extra liquid. See the helpful diagram below:


One key thing to note about this recipe: you MUST use pre-minced frozen lemongrass, or you will end up hating life trying to hand mince the mini-trees that are lemongrass stalks. Another alternative is to use a food processor, but then you have the extra work of dragging out that big piece of equipment. You can find this pre-minced stuff in the frozen section of an asian market. It  comes in either a flat-packed plastic bag or a small plastic jar. I always have this in my freezer and love it for quickly adding a lot of great flavor without a lot of work.

lemongrass1 LEMON_GRASS_MINCE.jpg_250x250


The resulting turkey was very moist and flavorful with crispy skin. The lemongrass flavor was mild enough that the gravy I made from the turkey drippings still tasted like regular (delicious) gravy.





Lemongrass Dry-Brined Turkey
Recipe type: Thanksgiving
Cuisine: Asian-American Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-20
Simple Asian twist on Thanksgiving Turkey
  • 1-2 cups frozen minced lemongrass, thawed
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 10-15 lb turkey
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 lemon
  1. Wash and dry the turkey
  2. Take handfuls of lemongrass & salt and rub all over the turkey, getting under the skin and inside the cavity.
  3. Place on a dish with at least 1 inch edge and place in the fridge uncovered overnight.
  4. The next day, heat oven to 500 and place roasting pan inside to preheat for 30 min.
  5. Take turkey out of the fridge and pat dry if needed.
  6. Rub olive oil & pepper all over the skin.
  7. Place rack in pan and turkey on rack. Roast at 500 for 20 min. Turn heat down to 300 and cook the rest of the way until a meat thermometer at the thigh reads 160. My 15 lb turkey took just under 4 hours. Cover wings with foil if they start getting dark earlier.
  8. Remove from oven and tent with foil and cover with kitchen towels to keep warm. Let rest for 30 minutes (very important!) Temp will continue to rise and finish cooking.
  9. While turkey is resting, use pan drippings to make gravy.
  10. Slice & serve!


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