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How to Cook Lemongrass Turkey

  • Author: Seonkyoung Longest
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


  • 1 young turkey (10 to 12 lb)

For the Broth

  • Turkey neck bone, back bone and tail
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 lemongrass, crushed
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small shallot, cut into half
  • 2 oz ginger slices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups water

For marinade

  • 2 large lemongrass, chopped finely
  • 3 small shallots or 1 large shallots, chopped finely
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 5 to 8 Thai chilis, chopped (optional)
  • 1 oz ginger, chopped finely
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (avocado, vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 stick of temperature butter (8 tbsp)
  • Zest from 1 lime

For the Gravy

  • 5 tbsp turkey juice and fat from roasting
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 to 5 cups turkey broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place turkey on a working surface. Cut along both sides of back bone from one end of turkey to other with a pair of strong kitchen scissors. Remove back bone and tail, keep it for broth along with neck bone. Place turkey cut side down and flat out legs, left and right. Now, with both of your hands, push down on top of breastbone with your weight until you hear cracks. Now your turkey should lay flat. 
  2. In a large pot, add turkey neck bone, back bone and tail along with rest of ingredients for broth. Bring it to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Make sure to start broth first before anything for the most flavorful gravy. 
  3. Combine all ingredients for marinade and rub butterflied turkey with mixture all over. Make sure to put 2/3 of marinade under turkey skin. Place turkey on a roasting pan or a large baking pan that lined with a rack. Tuck wing tips under turkey breast. You can cover it and marinate turkey overnight in a refrigerator or roast it right away.
  4. When you’re ready to roast turkey, preheat oven to 450°F.
    Roast turkey in a preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Cover turkey with aluminum foil if needed after 30 minutes and rotate 180 degrees. To check doneness of turkey, insert thermometer into thickest part of breast and it should reach 150°F or into thickest portion of high registers 165°F. Remove from oven and let it rest, loosely covered with foil for 20 minutes. 
  5. Meanwhile, let’s make gravy. Pour turkey juice and fat from roasting pan into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in fish sauce and flour and cook until dark brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in turkey broth, 1 cup at a time. Add 3 cups for thick gravy or 4 to 5 cups for more silky texture gravy. (I added 4 cups) Reduce heat to low, simmer gravy for 5 minutes to combine flavor together. Taste gravy first, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Carve turkey and serve with gravy, fried rice stuffing, sweet & spicy cranberry sauce and more! Enjoy & Happy Holidays!
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes