Try a Chinese BBQ turkey this Thanksgiving

Try a Chinese BBQ turkey this Thanksgiving

Try a Chinese BBQ turkey this Thanksgiving.

Shops and restaurants in Los Angeles Chinatown are offering customers a new approach to the traditional American Thanksgiving fowl by supplying Chinese-style BBQ-roasted turkeys for the US holiday instead.

People in and around the Los Angeles area now drive for miles to Chinatown LA to grab these flavorful birds, which are available only in November, for their holiday meals.

The Chinese-style roast turkeys have been soaked in a soy sauce marinade that’s flavored with with star anise, two kinds of vinegar and sweet syrup. The bird is then roasted, which creates a sweet and savory turkey with crispy skin on the outside and moist flesh on the inside.

Prepared similarly to traditional Chinese roasted duck, the turkeys have a crisp tasty skin and better-preserved juices than oven-roasted turkeys.

Stuffing is also done Chinese style — instead of bread stuffing many Chinatown merchants offer sticky rice stuffing with sausage, mushrooms and other oriental-style ingredients.

No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without desserts and sides, which are also offered by the Chinatown businesses to complement the main Thanksgiving dish.

Since the BBQ turkeys are very popular around this time of year, Chinatown merchants suggest placing turkey orders at least one week ahead of time to ensure that the size you want is available. Turkey prices range from $30 to $60, depending on size.

Chinatown merchants offering turkeys:

CBS Seafood Restaurant, 700 N. Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-617-2323, Contact: David Ho. Roasted Turkey ($38+Tax, 16-20 lbs). Place order 3 days in advance.

Golden City Seafood Restaurant, 960 N. Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012,
213-253-2660. Contact: Edward Chao. BBQ Roasted Young Turkey ($45+Tax, around 14 lbs) includes pan-fried sticky rice Hong Kong-style, gravy and a small bottle of red wine (187ml). Order 3-4 days in advance, now through November 30th. Able to host holiday party - call for availability.

Hong Kong Chinese BBQ, 803-807 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-687-7238. Contact: Eddie. Roasted turkey with sauce ($39, 15-17 lbs). Roasted turkey with sticky rice and sauce ($45). Order one week in advance.

Hop Woo BBQ Seafood Restaurant, 845 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-617-3038. Contact: Lupe or Judy Liang. Roasted turkey ($38, 16-20 lbs) includes garlic rice cooked in clay pot and special sauce. Order one day in advance.

J&K Hong Kong Cuisine, 724 N. Hill St, #216, Los Angeles, CA 90012,
213-617-0638. Contact: Jane. Roasted turkey ($45.95, 13-15 lbs) includes beef fried rice and sample of Lee Kum Kee soy sauce.
Order two days in advance.

Lien-Hoa Deli, 721 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-625-5001.
Contact: Tracy. Roasted Turkey ($43, 13-16 lbs). Order four days in advance.

Lucky Deli (Wol Deli), 706 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-625-7847. Roasted turkey available - Price to be determined. Order a week in advance.

Master Chef Restaurant, 937 N. Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-687-3638. All diners will receive a free turkey dish with their meal (dine-in only on Thanksgiving Day).

Ocean Seafood Restaurant, 750 N. Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012,
213-687-3088. Roasted turkey ($38, 12-15 lbs).

San Woo BBQ Express, 727 N. Hill St, #111, Los Angeles, CA 90012,
213-617-1063. Contact: Liyan. Roasted turkey ($29.99, 12-15 lbs).
Order three days in advance.

Spring Street Smoke House, 640 N. Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012,
213-626-0535. Contact: Michael Mullins. Smoked turkey ($60.18, 14-16 lbs). Order four days in advance.

Yum Cha Cafe, 638 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-617-8698. Roasted turkey ($35+tax, 12-14 lbs) includes sticky rice and sauce. Order three to four days in advance.

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Authored by: Richard Lee

Richard has been traveling since he took a year off from college, where he was doing a BA in Journalism. He traveled half the world, backpacking with his girlfriend (now his wife). They spent time in South America, Asia, Greece and much of Europe. After writing about his experiences for several airline and travel magazines, he never went back to college.