Turkey Pastrami – Asian style

Hi there!

I love experimenting with various tastes when I cook, and especially with Asian flavours. So here I’ve tried a very interesting combination in the glaze for this juicy and tasty turkey breast pastrami. What’s best about this recipe, besides it’s taste and aroma, is you don’t really need a grill or a smoker – it will taste fabulous roasted in the oven as well!

Turkey breast is one of the leanest cuts and dries out before you say “Turkey”. The way to handle it is either brining for at least 24 hours, or injection, which is much quicker and simpler. So let’s get to it.

For one whole turkey breast (about 3 kg – 7-8 lb) we will use:

Spice rub

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 3 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp ground celery seeds

Tangerine glaze

  • 1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4-5 stripes of tangerine zest
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
  • 3-4 green onions – just the white part, crushed with a side of a knife
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 anise star

Injection solution

  • 1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau liquor

Sounds complicated? Not at all! Here we go!

  • Mix all the spices for the rub in the bowl, rub the turkey breast, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 5-6 hours.
  • About 1 hour before you are going to cook the pastrami, unwrap and inject the turkey with the injection solution – mix it all in a separate bowl and use an injector syringe – if you don’t have one you can get it online, it’s not at all expensive.
  • Set your grill or smoker for medium heat – about 150C (300 F) and use your favourite wood flavour. If you roast the pastrami in the oven – simply use a disposable foil pan. It is much simpler than cleaning your oven trays later!
  • Place the turkey breast in the grill/smoker, close the lid and set your timer for about 1.5 hours. That’s when we will start glazing it.
  • To make the glaze, put all the ingredients in a saucepan and hit, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves completely. Bring to boil and simmer until reduced, thick, syrupy and very aromatic. It will take about 20-25 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  • After 1.5 hour start brushing the pastrami with the glaze every 15-20 minutes, for another 30-35 minutes, and then check the internal temperature. You are looking for 70c in the thickest part of the meat. Then take the pastrami off the heat and let it rest wrapped in foil for another 35-40 minutes.
  • Eventually slice and enjoy!

2 comments on “Turkey Pastrami – Asian style

  1. Tangerine glaze sounds delicious. I would have never thought of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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