Thai Turkey with Spicy Dipping Sauce

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I love Thai food.  The flavor combinations along with the spiciness of the food just sings to my taste buds.  Unfortunately there is not a Thai restaurant within 30 miles of my small town and I greatly miss being able to eat Thai food whenever I want.  Back when I lived in Pittsburgh Thai restaurants were abundant and I could go to one whenever I had a craving.

Thai Turkey with Spicy DIpping Sauce

Since I couldn’t go to a Thai restaurant I went looking for a Thai recipe that I could make in my own kitchen.  I found one for chicken but I didn’t have any chicken in the freezer.  After reading the recipe I determined it would work just as well with the turkey breast cutlets I had in the freezer.

The recipe is fairly easy.  The turkey is brined for an hour and then rubbed with a fragrant combination of herbs and spices.  Then the turkey is grilled until the outside is crispy and the inside is juicy.  It’s served with a sweet yet spicy dipping sauce.

When my husband tasted the turkey dipped in the sauce he smiled.  Apparently it reminded him of a Thai place he used to go to in Baltimore that served a similar chicken dish.  I thought the flavors worked wonderfully together and we both ended up drizzling the dipping sauce over top of our rice.  It was delicious.

Thai Turkey with Spicy Dipping Sauce (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
For the turkey and brine:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. salt
4 turkey breast cutlets
For the rub:
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece of ginger, minced
2 T. black pepper
1 T. coriander
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. lime juice
2 T. vegetable oil

For the dipping sauce:
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. lime juice
2 T. fish sauce
1 T. Thai garlic chili sauce
3 T. sugar
1 t. red pepper flakes

1.  Combine the sugar and salt in a large bowl along with 2 quarts of cold water.  Mix until the sugar and salt dissolve.  Place the turkey in the brine and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse with cool water, and pat dry.

2.  To make the dipping sauce combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour to allow flavors to combine.

3.  To make the rub combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Use your fingers and mix thoroughly.  Using your hands, rub 2 tablespoons of the mixture on each turkey breast cutlet.

4.  Heat the grill.  Cook the turkey cutlets for 6-7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature of the turkey is 160 degrees.  Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

5.  Serve the turkey over rice with a side of the dipping sauce.

Thai Turkey with Spicy Dipping Sauce



  1. We love Thai food but like you, the closest Thai restaurant near us is also about 30 minutes away. This looks great and I know my husband would love it–can’t wait to try it!

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