Thanksgiving Leftovers Inspirations with Asian Pantry Staples
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There have been many times in the past when I’ve considered incorporating some of the Asian pantry staples I use on a regular basis into the holiday meal. But in the end, I’ve kept it mostly traditional. My family enjoys and looks forward to those Thanksgiving food traditions we’ve established and I enjoy knowing what my menu is going to be.
What I like to do is fuse my leftovers with a little Asian flair. Grab up your kimchi, wonton wrappers, panko, ramen, and yes, sushi basics and check out a few clever ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers:
- Mini fried pies – Mix cranberry sauce with a little sugar, ground and fresh ginger, splash of bourbon, butter and cornstarch. Place a hefty teaspoon in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Seal the edges tightly in any shape you like and fry until the wrappers are golden. Dust with powdered sugar and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or egg nog.
- Toasted Walnut and Mushroom Maki - Make this delicious veggie roll without the oven-dried tomatoes. Add a good smear of cranberry sauce inside before adding the walnuts and mushrooms.
- Turkey & Kimchi Pita Pizza – Toss kimchi with some pizza sauce. Spread over a pocketless pita. Top with cooked turkey (shredded or diced). Add some shaved onion or chopped scallions. Top with Parmesan or shaved Asiago cheese. Heat in the oven (400 degree F) until cheese melts.
- Baked Curry Buns – Make these crunchy buns using chopped leftover turkey instead of ground lamb. Get more leftover bang by using leftover veggies like green beans in the mix, too.
- Turkey and Egg Donburi (Turkey and Egg over Steamed Rice)- Simmer shredded turkey in a skillet with a little water, soy sauce, mirin and finely grated ginger to make a thin glaze. Keep warm. Scramble an egg. Place steamed rice in a bowl and top with the glazed turkey and the scrambled egg. Top with chopped nori strips.
- Potato and Bacon Dumplings – Use this gyoza recipe to create a delicious variation on dumplings. Omit the ground chicken and substitute and equal amount of mashed potatoes. Add a few slices of crumbled, cooked bacon to the mixture. The dumplings can be deep fried for extra crunch or cooked gyoza style.
- Potato Korokke (Potato Croquettes) – Form cold mashed potatoes into small ovals. (If you like, you can mix in vegetables or scallions before making the ovals.) Dip the potato ovals in egg white and coat with panko (Japanese breadcrumbs). Fry in oil heated to 350 degrees F until golden and warmed through.
- Miso Ramen – Get rid of the seasoning packet inside the pack and use turkey stock or another stock as the base for the soup. Boil the noodles in the stock and stir in miso paste to taste. Add chunks of ham, turkey, and green leafy veggies like kale, sauteed cabbage or spinach. For extra yum factor, add a poach or boiled egg. Top with chopped scallions.