Not Your Usual “Leftover Turkey” Recipe

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles
Chili Oil Sauce, Celery, Fresh Herbs, Peanuts

Wow. We were so impressed with a version of this edgy recipe for leftover turkey from San Francisco Chef Brandon Jew. It’s the opposite of everything one thinks of Thanksgiving leftovers:  spicy, cool, vinegary, vibrant, herby, even tingling…the Chef says it’s a nod to the Sichuan dish ma la ji pian that typically features chicken chunks in chili oil. Those looking for a leftover turkey recipe that is deliciously out-of-the-box will be extremely excited about this one.

Made only from sweet potato starch and water, sweet potato noodles are also known as Korean glass noodles. They do not contain wheat so these noodles are naturally gluten-free, and are slightly chewy and springy with a neutral flavor perfect for absorbing chili oil sauce.

My adaptation of Chef Jew’s recipe is below, using more readily available ingredients and it’s a bit less spicy to boot. If Sichuan peppercorns are not available, leaving them out will eliminate the tingling sensation, but this dish will still be worth making! His original recipe is here.

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles Recipe

Plus My “Do Nothing” Recipe for Cooking a  Perfect Turkey

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles

Chili Oil Sauce


3 t. sichuan peppercorns (Chef Jew uses more)

1 t. white peppercorns

6 T. Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch

4 T. toasted sesame oil

3 T. low-sodium tamari

2 T. rice vinegar

1 T. minced ginger

1 T. mincer garlic

1 T. sugar (or to taste)

1 t. kosher salt  (or to taste)


Toast peppercorns in a dry pan until fragrant. Grind very well with a mortar and pestle or in a spice mill.

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles


12 oz. sweet potato noodles

2 celery ribs

3 c. cold leftover turkey, shredded



celery leaves

roasted peanuts, rough chopped


Cook sweet potato noodles according to package instructions. Rinse under cold water, drain and set aside.

Slice celery ribs thinly on the bias. Place in a bowl with a little bit of water and microwave for about one minute until soft. Drain and set aside.

Divide noodles among shallow bowls. Top with shredded turkey and sliced celery. Ladle chili oil sauce over the top. Toss gently to combine. Top with plenty of herbs (chopped and whole leaves) and peanuts. Enjoy!

My “Do Nothing” Recipe for Cooking a Turkey

How to Cook a Turkey with "Do Nothing" Method
Back by popular demand is my “do nothing” turkey recipe. It couldn’t be easier and the recipe results in a perfectly cooked bird year after year. The only thing different is that this time I bought my turkey at Costco (as opposed to Whole Foods) for 99 cents a pound. It was one of the best ever!

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Remove neck and giblets from bird (use these for stuffing recipe here).

Rinse bird with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Rub interior with softened butter, salt and pepper.

Loosely stuff the cavities with roughly chopped onions, carrots, and celery.

Place bird on a roasting rack in the roasting pan, breast side up.

Rub the entire outside of the bird with softened butter, salt and pepper.

Put more roughly chopped onions, carrots and celery in the bottom of the roasting pan with about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of turkey or chicken stock, depending on size of the pan.

Roast at 325°F. Leave the bird alone, don’t baste, don’t cover, just “do nothing” and then marvel at the beautiful bird when it reaches 165 to 170 degree internal temperature.

Use a remote thermometer to monitor the temperature.

Remove that beauty from the oven and let it rest at least 20 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, make gravy with the juices from the roasting pan.

Note: Cook turkey on lowest rack in oven with bottom heat only. For my Wolf range I use the “bake” setting as opposed to the “roast” setting. This gives perfect bronzed skin while cooking the turkey thoroughly, without needing to cover the bird with aluminum foil.

Pictured is this year’s champion weighing in @ 17.74 lbs.

More Like This

My japchae recipe (sweet potato noodles with spinach, beef, shiitake, carrot, in a sweet garlicky sesame soy sauce) here.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving posts, which includes lots of heartfelt gratitude from 2009 here.

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