Give Your Barbecue a Cultural Twist With These Turkey Recipes

Turkey recipes

Take advantage of turkey's health benefits with two recipes that put a cultural twist on the high protein and low fat favourite. Photo: Tanya Bates

When it comes to meat, turkey is considered one of the healthier, lower fat and higher-nutrient proteins. And now, you can get a taste of distant shores with these delicious turkey dishes with a multicultural spin.

Spicy Cumin Turkey Burgers

Photo and recipe courtesy of Michele Wong


Serves: 6

Prep time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes



– 250 g all-purpose flour

– 2 g baking powder

– 3 g sea salt

– 1 g Chinese 5-spice powder (optional)

– 155 g warm water

– 5 g granulated sugar

– 7 g active dry yeast

 Turkey patties:

– 500 g lean ground turkey

– 1/2 large onion, minced

– 5 cloves garlic, minced

– 32 ml light soy sauce

– 16 ml dark soy sauce

– 10 ml avocado oil or vegetable oil

– 10 ml shaoxing wine

– 13 g granulated sugar

– 5 g Sichuan peppercorns, ground

– 3 g cinnamon, ground

– 30 g cumin, ground

– 15 g fennel, ground

– 10 g coriander, ground


– drippings from the baked turkey patties about 2 Tbsp, or 30ml

– 15 ml light soy sauce

– 60 g water, divided

– 2 star anise, whole

– 1 small cinnamon stick, whole

– 1 bay leaf, whole

– 15 g granulated sugar

– 15 g cornstarch

– 15 g tahini sesame paste


– 30 g chopped cilantro

– 30 g chopped green onions

– 2 fresh chilies (optional)

– 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced

Make the dough for the buns:

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can use a regular mixer if necessary), add in the flour, baking powder, salt and Chinese 5-spice powder (if using).

2) In a separate bowl, add in the warm water, sugar, yeast and give it a stir. Let the yeast activate and pour it into the flour mixture.

3) Using the dough hook, knead the dough until it is smooth, about 7-8 minutes.

4) Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm location, about 1 hour.

5) Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into 6 equal portions, about 70g each.

6) Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a long oval. Next, roll it up lengthwise. Then, coil it up like a snail and press down to flatten to about 3″ in diameter.

7) Place the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

8) Repeat with the remaining dough.

9) Cover the dough and let it rest for about 20 minutes. It will become slightly puffy.

10) Preheat a flat griddle (or a frying pan) over medium high heat and lay the dough onto the griddle (or pan). (I could fit 6 on my griddle, but if you’re using a frying pan, you may be able to fit up to 2).

11) Lay a large parchment paper over top of the dough and use the back of another fry pan or similar sized pan to press firmly on top of the dough. Let the pan sit on top for 1 minute before carefully flipping it over to cover the dough.

12) Lower the heat to minimum and cook for about 5 minutes on one side.

13) Remove the top pan and flip the dough. Cook for another 5 minutes until golden brown in colour.

 Make the turkey patties:

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey meat with the onion, garlic, soy sauce, oil, shaoxing wine, sugar, and all the spices. Mix to combine thoroughly.

2) You can cover and refrigerate for 1 hour for additional flavour or make them right away.

3) Preheat oven to 375°F.

4) Divide turkey meat into 6 equal portions, about 80g each. Use your hands to form into a flat round patty, about 2.5″ wide.

5) Place each patty onto a lined baking sheet.

6) Bake (or barbecue) for 15 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 165°F in the centre of the patty.

7) Remove the turkey patties (keep the drippings) and cover.

Make the sauce:

1) Pour the drippings into a small saucepan.

2) Add in soy sauce, 30g water, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and sugar. Bring to a low simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the star anise, cinnamon stick and bay leaf.

3) In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 30g water with 15g cornstarch until you have a slurry.

4) Bring the soy sauce mixture up to medium heat and add in the cornstarch slurry. Whisk until the sauce thickens.

5) Remove from heat and whisk in the tahini sesame paste. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add a little water to thin it out.


1) Cut the bun in half crosswise, about 3/4s of the way (don’t cut the bun entirely).

2) Lay a turkey patty on one bun, smear with the sauce and garnish with cilantro, green onions, and chili (optional). Add cucumber slices if you wish.

3) Serve immediately.


Turkey Kofta Mezze Platter

Photo and recipe courtesy of Tanya Bates


Serves: 5-6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes



4 Cloves of Garlic

1/3 Cup Fresh Mint

1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley

1 Tbsp of Za’atar Spice Mixture

2 lbs of Fresh Ground Turkey

2 Tbsp of Olive oil or Olive Oil Cooking Spray


1 Cup of Hummus

1 Cup of Plain Thick Greek Yogurt or Labneh

6 Mini Cucumbers quartered length wise

1 Bunch of Radish washed thoroughly

10 Small Dolmas, Stuffed Grape Leaves

1/3 Cup of Toasted Pine Nuts

2 Limes cut into small wedges

Fresh Mint to Garnish


  1. Place the garlic, mint, parsley and za’atar in a food processor and process.
  2. Add the ground turkey and process on low just until combined
  3. With scoops of about 1 ½ Tbsp of the turkey mixture, form an oblong ball around the skewer (you’ll need about 16-18 small skewers, soaked in water prior if using wood skewers)
  4. Place the skewers on a tray that fits in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes prior to cooking
  5. Heat grill to medium/high. Once heated, remove skewers from the fridge and brush or spray with oil
  6. Place skewers on the grill and allow to cook for roughly 10-15 minutes until fully cooked and internal temperature reads 165°F
  7. While skewers are cooking, assemble platter. Placing hummus and yogurt in separate bowls. Toasted pine nuts in a small serving dish to garnish, place fresh veggies on platter, with dolmas, lime wedges and forks and spoons for serving
  8. Once kofta are finished cooking, place them on the platter and serve!