Peking Turkey Bao Buns
- 1 bone-in turkey breast, thawed if frozen
- 2 tbsp distilled vinegar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/4 c honey
- 1/2 c dark soy sauce
- 1/2 c Shaoxing wine*
- 2 tsp five-spice powder
- 1 tbsp sesame oil, Peking Sauce or Hoisin Sauce**
- 1 cucumber, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts
- Bao Buns, homemade or store-bought***
Remove the turkey from package and take out any pieces from the cavity. Prick the skin of the turkey all over with a fork, then use a paper towel to pat the turkey dry. Rub the turkey breast with the vinegar, which will help the skin brown evenly during cooking. After, rub the entire turkey breast with salt and place uncovered in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours to dry the skin.
Smoking the Turkey:
Fill a charcoal chimney with Cowboy All Natural Lump Charcoal and light.
Place roughly another chimney full of unlit charcoal in the fire basket of your smoker. Once all of the coal in the chimney is lit, dump it into the fire basket with the unlit charcoal and allow your smoker to preheat to 400°F.
Combine the honey, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and five-spice powder in a small bowl and mix well.
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and rub it with the sesame oil. Run your hanging hook through the back bones of the turkey to make sure it is secure and won’t fall into the fire. Hang the turkey in the cooker over the lit coals.
After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature of the smoker to 300°F. At the same time, baste the turkey breast with the soy sauce and Shaoxing wine mixture and rotate it for even browning and crisping of the skin.
Continue the baste and rotate process every 15 minutes until the turkey is browned and cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F in the center of the breast.
Remove the turkey breast from the cooker and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes, making sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. After resting, carve and slice the turkey.
Place a teaspoon of your sauce on a warm bao bun. Add a slice of turkey and skin. Garnish with a slice of cucumber, cilantro and chopped cashews or peanuts.
*Shaoxing wine is a traditional Chinese wine fermented from rice. If you cannot find this ingredient, try substituting dry cooking sherry.
**Lee Kum Kee makes a Sweet Bean sauce for Peking Duck that is available at most grocery stores.
***Try Chef David Chang’s bao bun recipe. Not into bao buns? Try small tortillas.