7 Untraditional Ways To Eat Turkey This Thanksgiving, Including Deep-Fried With Sriracha

Food is a common denominator that unites us all, and that is never more evident than when Thanksgiving Day rolls around. Families of all walks of life gather and dedicate an entire day to stuffing themselves with traditional American Thanksgiving fare, as well as dishes from their own cultures. The kinds of food we grow up eating and learn to love largely depend on our cultural upbringings and our families’ special ways of cooking unique foods. As we get older, we tend to branch out and try out cuisines from cultures outside of our own.

And yet when Thanksgiving comes along each year, turkey is most likely the first word that comes to mind. Even if you’re a ham lover or a vegetarian, turkey is king this holiday. And while sometimes the tried-and-true recipes are best year-after-year, sometimes tried-and-true gets a little, well, tired-and-true. Why not spice it up this year and make your turkey feel a little more exotic? Here are seven alternative ways to dress up your bird this season that are way more exciting. Instead of garlic and herbs, cook a turkey using Sriracha, ginger, or tandoori masala. After all, nothing is more American than celebrating our country’s melting pot with multicultural cooking.

Image: The Shiksa in the Kitchen

by Karen Datangel

Mexican Thanksgiving turkey

Pati Jinich, the author of Pati’s Mexican Table, shares a Mexican-influenced recipe with The Kitchn, where the turkey is primarily flavored by achiote paste. The bird is roasted on top of a layer of onions and tomatoes, and the marinade includes a variety of citrus juices. Banana leaves are added for a tropical-like finishing touch.

Image: The Kitchn

Asian-spiced Thanksgiving turkey

Sommer Collier from A Spicy Perspective uses Sriracha in her fragrant recipe, along with ginger, soy sauce, garlic, Thai basil, and lemongrass. Mayonnaise is a surprise ingredient in the rub, and Collier says that it adds lots of flavor and makes the skin extra crispy. In her blog post, Collier also offers useful tips for preparing the turkey and suggests Asian-inspired sides to serve.

Image: A Spicy Perspective

Tandoori turkey

The Steamy Kitchen shares this recipe for flavorful turkey that combines traditional Indian spices in tandoori and gasam masala and a yogurt marinade. Tandoori chicken is a popular dish in Indian cuisine, so simply think of this recipe as the Thanksgiving version!

Image: Steamy Kitchen

Deep-fried Sriracha turkey

Sriracha is the Thai chili sauce that has recently made its way into signature Subway sandwiches and Lay’s potato chips. If you want this mouth and eye-watering flavor in your Thanksgiving main dish, you can follow the recipe developed by Tori Avey of The Shiksa in the Kitchen. The Sriracha is used in both the marinade and gravy. Avey, who celebrates Hannukah, chose to deep-fry the turkey instead of roasting it as many Hannukah foods are traditionally fried.

Image: The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Turkey with pumpkin, figs, and honey

For Thanksgivukkah, The Modern Menu author Kim Kushner offered an aromatic turkey recipe combining pumpkin, figs, onions, red wine, and honey via The Kitchn. Kusher says, “It tastes like winter, only better.” This is an easy recipe for those who don’t want to cook an entire bird in the oven — the dish is made with turkey breast and drumsticks.

Image: The Kitchn

Sticky garlic-soy turkey wings

Here is another Asian-influenced recipe from Kitchen Confidante, and another one that doesn’t require cooking an entire turkey. Turkey wings are the star here, and not only are they cooked in soy sauce, sherry vinegar, honey, garlic, and ginger, they’re also brushed with peanut oil. It’s a perfect main course (or side dish for smaller Thanksgiving gatherings), and good for year-round parties and get-togethers too.

Image: Kitchen Confidante

Individual Thanksgiving skillet spankopita

Traditionally made with spinach, a tasty Thanksgiving take on the savory Greek pie is filled with turkey, carrots, and celery in Climbing Grier Mountain‘s special recipe. You and your guests will surely get your phyllo to eat!

Image: Climbing Grier Mountain