The Malaysian Take on Turkey

November 14, 2019 | Blog

While not the most conventional meat found in Malaysia, turkey is one of the leanest, low-fat meats available to its consumers. As a rich source of protein, vitamin B and zinc, turkey boosts a host of health benefits such as anti-cancer and mood-enhancing properties. Its meat is cooked in a variety of ways from the traditional roast in the US during Thanksgiving to being baked as part of a weight-loss diet. Here are a few recipes you can follow which incorporate a truly distinct Malaysian flair through local flavouring.

Chai Buey (“Spicy Sour Mustard Greens”)

Nyonya by origin, chai buey utilises any leftover meat to make a soupy, savoury stew that incorporates all your essential nutrients into a bowl. This aromatic dish effortlessly encapsulates home comforts with its pleasant blend of spicy and sour flavours to compliment the mild taste of the turkey meat.


What You’ll Need:

Leftover turkey

6 dried red chillies, soaked then cut into pieces

4 pieces tamarind skins

1 cup tamarind juice

3 tsp fermented yellow bean sauce

5 medium bowls of water

4 stalks mustard green, cut into pieces

Salt to taste


How To Make It:

Bring the water to boil in a pot, then add leftover meat and boil for 15 minutes. Add in the dried red chillies, tamarind skins, tamarind juice, fermented yellow bean sauce, and mustard green. Simmer for 45 minutes and add salt to taste. Serve it hot with rice.


Malaysian-Style Turkey Curry

It’s not a Malaysian version if you can’t make it into curry. Because of its naturally gamey texture and full-bodied taste, turkey meat holds up well when immersed in flavourful plates such as stews and curries. The Malaysian curry’s fragrant flavour provides the perfect supplement to the rich, deep texture of turkey meat.


What You Need:

Curry paste:

½ tbsp cumin seeds/¼  tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp coriander seeds

4 large garlic cloves

2 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped

2-3 green chillies, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1 tbsp ground turmeric

3 kaffir lime leaves

1 stalk lemongrass, sliced with outer leaf removed

1 ½ tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp curry powder or garam masala

1 tbsp water


2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 red peppers, seeded and chopped

2 large shallots, sliced

100g curry paste

½ tbsp sugar

400ml chicken stock

400ml coconut milk

250g potatoes, peeled and chopped

150g carrot, peeled and chopped

3 kaffir lime leaves, crushed or sliced

2 limes, juiced

1-2 tbsp fish sauce

500g leftover turkey, stripped

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped


How to Make It:

Toast cumin and coriander seeds in a saucepan for about 2 minutes, then grind the seeds until they are broken up. Add the rest of the ingredients and grind until smooth, pushing the paste down the sides of the bowl, then store in a covered container in the fridge. Oil a large frying pan and then add peppers and shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until the ingredients soften, then add the curry paste and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add sugar, mix well, then pour over the stock and coconut milk. Stir it well and bring to boil before adding the potatoes, carrots, and lime leaves. Bring the mixture back up to boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the turkey and heat through before adding in the lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Mix in half the coriander, and balance with fish sauce or lime juice depending on preference. Serve with rice or noodles!


 Turkey Satay

As a fun new twist on a traditional Malaysian food, turkey satay pairs exceedingly well with the usual, accompanying peanut sauce. Its melding of quintessential Malaysian herbs and spices allows a seamless infusion of sweet, spicy, and savoury all on one platter. However, be sure to start cooking this early, as the meat needs to be marinated for at least an hour before cooking time!


What You Need:

560g turkey breast tenderloins

Vegetable oil

1 cucumber, sliced

1 onion, sliced


Spice Paste:

1 onion, peeled and cut into pieces

1 stalk lemongrass, sliced into rings

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt


Satay Peanut Sauce:

1 onion, peeled and cut into pieces

1 stalk lemongrass, sliced into rings

2 tbsp vegetable oil

120g chunky peanut butter

120ml-180ml water

1 tbsp Sriracha hot chilli sauce

1 tsp tamarind paste

2 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt


How to Make It:

Blend two onions and lemongrass in a blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons of water, then pour into a large bowl and pour half into a smaller bowl for the satay peanut sauce. Mix in ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and sugar, then stir in the turkey well to coat the meat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the meat to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, then thread pieces of turkey onto each skewer. Cook turkey skewers brushed with vegetable oil over barbecue grill until slightly charred outside and cooked well inside. Remove and serve immediately with the satay peanut sauce, sliced cucumber and onions. For the sauce, heat an oiled small saucepan and stir-fry blended onion and lemongrass for 5-6 mins, then add peanut butter and the 120ml-180ml water and stir until combined. Add in Sriracha sauce, tamarind paste, sugar and salt, then cook for 3 minutes on reduced heat while stirring constantly. Transfer to a bowl and serve with the satay skewers.


Dig into the festive season with these fun takes on fresh turkey meat. Just grab them and get cooking from your nearest Village Grocer outlet!


Keep it fresh,

Your friendly neighbourhood grocer.


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