Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Three turkeys, three cultures

Okay, so there are four turkeys here and not three, whatever. November 2005
Okay, so there are four turkeys here and not three, whatever. November 2005 Photo by cobalt123/Flickr (Creative Commons)

It's two days to Thanksgiving and a turkey dinner prepared with...mole? Fish sauce? Heck yeah.

This morning I came across two posts on two different ways to prepare turkey, and they have nothing to do with basting it with butter or Mrs. Cubbison's.

Tasting Table Los Angeles featured a post on the secrets of Oaxacan-style turkey cooking as practiced by Guelaguetza restaurant chef Maria de Jesus Monterrubio, one of which involves a bird seasoned with chile paste, spices and chocolate and served with rich, chocolatey Oaxacan mole. KCRW's Good Food blog had a recipe for Vietnamese-style turkey seasoned with coriander, ginger and fish sauce.

Mmmm. Of course, Thanksgiving turkey made the immigrant way is about the only way I've ever eaten it at home. In my family, the bird is soaked overnight in mojo criollo, the garlicky marinade made with sour oranges that Cubans typically reserve for roasted pork. My parents must have decided that if they were going to assimilate and eat turkey instead of pork, they were going to do it on their terms.

The result has always been delicious. The same goes, I'm sure, for the tasty-sounding birds mentioned above. Enjoy the holiday preparations, folks.

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