Sesame Hand Shredded Turkey 芝麻手撕火雞 is a refreshing low carb recipe that is super quick and easy to make. This light mouth-watering cold appetizer is a take on the traditional Sesame Shredded Chicken dish by swapping the chicken for turkey! We love the lower calorie count, concentrated source of protein, and nutrient-dense turkey. Turkey tastes delicious in your favourite, everyday recipes. Turkey is an excellent option to add to your daily protein rotation.
For our Sesame Hand Shredded Turkey recipe, we used turkey legs and thighs. My family loves dark meat because it has tender and moist meat with wonderful flavour! It takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to roast turkey legs (bone-in, skin-on) at 350F or 30 mins in an InstantPot. If you prefer you can also use different turkey cuts such as split breast without back with or without skin. For more information, visit THINK TURKEYTM and support your local Canadian turkey farmers!
Benefits of Turkey
- Turkey is tasty, versatile and very nutritious. To change up my recipes, I love adding turkey to our weekly protein rotation.
- Concentrated source of protein to help build strong, healthy muscles.
- Excellent source of Iron, Zinc, Sodium, Vitamin B12, Niacin, Selenium, Vitamin D, Potassium and Magnesium, Phosphorus and Tryptophan.
- Turkey is lean regardless of white meat or dark meat.
- Turkey is easy to prepare - bake it, roast it, fry, grill, pressure cook, etc.
I remember the first time I had Sesame Sesame Shredded Chicken 芝麻手撕雞 at a Chinese restaurant. It was so refreshing and appetizing! I loved the bright flavours of savoury with a good balance of tanginess and sweetness! I knew immediately that I wanted to replicate it myself at home.
How To Roast or Pressure Cook Turkey
Start by seasoning turkey legs with salt and pepper and a little garlic powder. Marinate for at least 20 mins in the refrigerator. If you are able to marinate overnight, even better.
Option 1: Roast turkey at 350F for 1.5 hours for approximately 1.5 lbs ( 680 g). Cook bone-in breasts, thighs, drumsticks and wings until a digital meat thermometer inserted into the meat, away from the bone, registers 165°F (74°C).
Option 2: To pressure cook turkey in your Instant Pot add 1 cup of your preferred stock broth - we suggest poultry stock or vegetable stock. Set timer for 30 mins under high pressure. Then 10 minutes Natural Release. Remove turkey and check for an internal temperature at 165°F (74°C).
Pro Tip 1: Discard turkey skin if desired. This will reduce the fat and oil content.
Pro Tip 2: Because this is a cold appetizer dish, you may choose to prepare this 1 day in advance and let chill in the refrigerator.
How To Make Hand Shredded Turkey
Once the turkey has finished cooking. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 to 10 mins until it is cool to touch with your hands.
To achieve hand shredded turkey, you must hand-pull the meat apart. Skipping this step will not give you the satisfying complex textures of tender turkey. You will want long fibre strands instead of chunks. The purpose of this is so every shredded, every small piece of meat gets the sauce. It is so flavourful!
Pro Tip: If you are really want to keep your hands clean, you can opt to use two forks and pull-apart the turkey meat from the bones. Remember to save the bones and any meat left on the turkey legs later to make soup or bone broth.
Preparing Other Ingredients
While the turkey is cooking, you can prepare the other ingredients.
To make this recipe healthier, easier, and quicker, we modified it with everyday pantry staples. We used sweet pickles instead of the traditional sweet and sour pickled vegetable 甜酸菜. I think they taste equally as delicious if not better!
We sliced baby red radish with a mandoline and then julienned them into tiny strips for crunch. Because radishes are neutral in flavour, it was a great vehicle to used the brine from the sweet pickles to help 'quick pickle' the salad. Plus, the vibrant red colour just simply brightens your dish!
Slice Thai red chilis, deseed and dice. Use one Thai red chilli deseeded for mild heat; two for medium and three (with seeds) if you would like it spicy. We do not recommend making this dish too spicy because you will miss the aromatic sesame flavours.
Peel cucumber skin. Cut in half lengthwise using a chef's knife. Scoop out the seeds using the tip of a spoon. Removing the moisture from the cucumbers is crucial because you do not want your Shredded Turkey Salad to get watery. Julienne the cucumber.
Pro Tip: Season cucumbers with a dash of salt, mix well and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. The remaining moisture will escape. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Julienne the green onions, smash a couple of garlic cloves and chop up some cilantro. Also, slice a couple of sheets of nori seaweed to give it a boost of umami!
How To Make Sesame Sauce
In a small mixing bowl, mix together your Sesame Sauce Mixture. Set aside or refrigerate.
Pro Tip: Make a big batch of the Sesame Sauce Mixture and have it on hand whenever you need to add a quick punch of flavours to your noodles, dumplings or salad. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Preparing Sesame Hand Shredded Turkey
In a large mixing bowl toss together hand shredded turkey, 2 tablespoon of the sesame sauce mixture, julienne sweet pickles, Thai red chilis, cucumbers, baby red radishes, green onions, minced garlic and cilantro. Mix well.
Divide and serve. Garnish with remaining cilantro, green onions.
Pro Tip 1: Although this dish is a cold appetizer it can be eaten warm as well.
Pro Tip 2: For extra sesame flavours, toast white sesame seeds and sprinkle on top.
We hope you enjoy making this refreshing low carb quick and easy Shredded Turkey Recipe. It can be made easily in an Instant Pot or roasted in your oven.
For more information and recipe ideas, visit THINK TURKEYTM to learn more
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Sesame Hand Shredded Turkey Recipe | 芝麻手撕火雞
Quick and Easy to make Hand Shredded Turkey Recipe 芝麻手撕火雞. Low Carb Instant Pot Pressure cooker or oven roasted. Refreshing low-carb hand pulled poultry meal.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 2-4 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Chinese
Sesame Shredded Turkey
- 2 large Turkey legs (approximately 1.5 lbs)
- 1 English cucumber (moisture removed, julienne)
- 4 Baby red radish (slice with mandoline, julienne)
- 3 Thai red chili (deseed, diced)
- 2 slices Sweet Pickles (julienne)
- 2 springs Green onions (julienne
- 4 slices Nori Seaweed snack sheets
- 1 tsp Salt
- dash of Garlic powder
- 1 cup Poultry stock or vegetable stock
- ¼ cup Cilantro (rough chop)
- 3-4 cloves Garlic (minced)
Sesame Sauce Mixture
- 2 springs Green onions (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine or Sherry Wine
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Brown sugar
- ½ Ground White Pepper
- 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 4 tbsp Brine from Sweet Pickles
Cooking Sesame Shredded Turkey
- Season turkey legs with salt and pepper and garlic powder. Let marinate for 20 mins or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Option 1: Roast turkey at 350F for 1.5 hours for approximately 1.5 lbs ( 680 g). Cook bone-in breasts, thighs, drumsticks and wings until a digital meat thermometer inserted into the meat, away from the bone, registers 165°F (74°C).
- Option 2: To pressure cook turkey in your Instant Pot add 1 cup of your preferred stock broth – we suggest poultry stock or vegetable stock Set timer for 30 mins under high pressure. Then 10 minutes Natural Release. Remove turkey and check for an internal temperature at 165°F (74°C).
- Once the turkey has finished cooking. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 to 10 mins until it is cool to touch with your hands. Hand-pull or use two forms to pull apart turkey meat from bones.
- Sliced baby red radish with a mandoline and then julienned them into tiny strips
- Slice Thai red chilis, deseed and dice.
- Peel cucumber skin. Cut in half lengthwise using a chef’s knife.
- Scoop out the seeds using the tip of a spoon. Julienne the cucumber
- Julienne the green onions, nori seaweed, smash a couple of garlic cloves and chop up some cilantro.
Sesame Sauce Mixture
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together your Sesame Sauce Mixture. Set aside or refrigerate.
- Extra sauce mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for later use (up to two weeks.)
Preparing Sesame Shredded Turkey
- In a large mixing bowl toss together hand shredded turkey, 2 tablespoon of the Sesame Sauce Mixture, julienne sweet pickles, Thai red chilis, cucumbers, baby red radishes, green onions, minced garlic and cilantro. Mix well.
- Divide and serve. Garnish with remaining cilantro, green onions.
- Although this dish is a cold appetizer it can be eaten warm as well.
- Season cucumbers with a dash of salt, mix well and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. The remaining moisture will escape. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
- Make a big batch of the Sesame Sauce Mixture and have it on hand whenever you need to add a quick punch of flavours to your noodles, dumplings or salad. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- For extra sesame flavours, toast white sesame seeds and sprinkle on top.
- Can be served alone as a meal, with a bowl of rice, or lettuce wraps.
- Serving Size: 2 cup
- Calories: 448
- Sugar: 6.4 g
- Sodium: 1642.1 mg
- Fat: 22.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 49.3 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 14.2 g
- Cholesterol: 31 mg
Keywords: SESAME HAND SHREDDED TURKEY RECIPE, 芝麻手撕火雞, 芝麻手撕雞, Canadian Turkey, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Think Turkey, Low Carb Diet, Cold appetizer, chinese cuisine, chinese food, Instant Pot recipes, Instantpot, Oven roasted
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Love the simplicity of the recipe!! I am gonna try this soon!!
it's perfect for leftovers too~!
This sesame shredded turkey is such a quick and easy meal that everyone loves, packed full of different flavours and textures.
enjoy the lean meat protein toO!
Your turkey recipe is so refreshing super easy to make and so tasteful, thanks!
Thanks Natalie - enjoy it. It will make a wonderful side dish for the holidays!
I love this recipe! it's so simple and delicious and the perfect meal prep recipe.
oh yes!! it goes great on rice, noodles or pasta! of course on its own too!
So flavourful and a fantastic way to incorporate more turkey into our lives (instead of always just chicken).
absolutely! we often just think turkey is for Thanksgiving gatherings but turkey is such a great lean meat option to keep on rotation!
Aimee Mars says
The turkey was incredible. I followed your recipe perfectly and it was incredible!
Horray!! i'm so happy to hear that your pull apart turkey appetizer was a success!
This is absolutely delicious! I love that it’s such a crowd pleaser for the whole family
I'm so glad to hear that everyone at the dinner table was a fan! 100%