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Wild Turkey Karaage
Photo by Larry White

If I could only choose one way to fry up turkey breasts for the rest of my life, karaage would be it. This Japanese influenced recipe uses a brine that is flavorful and produces some of the most moist wild bird meat that I've ever eaten. The turkey is coated in either corn starch, potato starch or rice flour which yield a light and crisp texture.

So if you happen to be on a gluten-free diet, this is right up your alley. The sauce is simple to whip up as it uses the same ingredients as the brine, mixed with a little Mae Ploy chili sauce (this can be picked up at most grocery stores). These Asian inspired grown-up turkey nuggets are great in steamed buns, sandwiches, tacos or rice bowls

For the Brine

• 1/2 cup – Water

• 1/2 cup – White Vinegar

• 1/4 cup – Sugar

• 1/4 cup – Honey

• 1/4 cup – Fish Sauce

• 1 tablespoon – Chopped Garlic

• 1 tablespoon – Chopped Hot Chilies

For the Turkey

• 1 - boneless skinless wild turkey breast, cut into 1 inch chunks

• 2 ounces – of the Brine

• 1.5 cups – Corn Starch, Potato Starch or Rice Flour

• Oil as needed for frying (peanut, grape seed, canola, etc…)

For the Sweet Chili Garlic Sauce

• 3/4 cups – Mae Ploy Chili Sauce

• All of the remaining brine

  1. Make the brine. Place all of the brine ingredients into a bowl. Mix well until the honey and sugar have dissolved.

  2. Brine the turkey. Place turkey into a small non-reactive container. Pour about 1 ounce of the brine over the turkey and distribute evenly. Let marinate for 6-8 hours.

  3. Make the sauce. Combine the remaining brine with the Mae Ploy chili sauce into a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

  4. Fry the turkey. Preheat your oil to 375 degrees. Drain the brine from the turkey and discard. Place the turkey in a large bowl and toss with the starch, making sure they are well coated. Shake the access starch off of the meat and gently place a few pieces in the hot oil. Be sure not to overcrowd the cooking vessel as this will drop the oil temperature. Fry the turkey chunks until they reach a nice golden color. Remove from the oil, season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and toss with as much of the sauce as you like.

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