The Leftover Turkey Salad that never was

Well I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are enjoying what is left of the break.
You know that moment when you just want to see the back of the turkey no matter how much you have enjoyed it? If, like us, you only have two or three people to feed over Christmas, even the smallest turkey goes a very long way. So after traditional turkey dinners on Christmas and St. Stephen’s Day, we’ve made a rich stock with the carcass and bagged and frozen it, we’ve frozen the leg and thigh meat for a Chinese style stir-fry some lazy evening in January and last night we had Bang Bang Turkey Salad with Sesame Dressing.
Tonight I had planned to make one last assault on the leftover turkey breast meat and turn it into a vietnamese style hot or cold salad similar to the chicken one featured by Gok Wan in Gok Cooks Chinese. I had flagged the ingredients for this in a shopping list just before Christmas and had them all in the house. But then I got lazy. Shane was out for the evening visiting friends so we went to the cinema to watch Life of Pi in 3D, an evening of heartwarming escapism which I can thoroughly recommend.
Turkey Sandwich
And when I came back, the only thing that would do for supper was a good old-fashioned turkey sandwich. Hardly merits a recipe really – just two slices of toasted spelt wholemeal bread slathered with mayonnaise, a few slices of lovely snow white turkey breast, some leftover stuffing made with apricots and pine kernels (the stuffing recipe came from Miriam Donohoe) and some home made cranberry sauce.
I served it up on my Australian-shaped bread board with a glass of Audrey Wilkinson Verdelho which I purchased with my daughter Claire one day in the Hunter Valley nearly two years ago. Taste and memories of that idyllic Australian summer day collide.
So sláinte Claire and thanks for that lovely day.

A fitting farewell to the turkey

If I had made the Vietnamese style salad, it would have gone something like this (with thanks to Gok Wan for the basic recipe):
Warm Leftover Turkey Salad


  • 300 – 400 g leftover turkey breast torn into strips and warmed in a steamer or warm oven
  • 3 – 4 nests of fine thread noodles cooked according to packet instructions
  • 1 medium cucumber in julienne strips
  • 2 carrots in matchsticks, blanched for one minute
  • 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions thinly sliced
  • Salt and white pepper

Salad Dressing

  • 4 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • Pinch of castor sugar
  • 1/2 fresh chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a small jug, adjusting the seasonings to taste.
  2. Mix the warm noodles, carrots and turkey with the other salad ingredients, add a little of the dressing and toss with chop sticks to separate the strands of noodles. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the salad on a serving dish and add the remaining dressing.

As the turkey is all gone I will have to wait until the next time I’ve leftover chicken to try it out.
If I had any ham left over  the recipe I would want to try isn’t a bit Chinese. It’s this delicious sounding Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Leftover Ham Risotto from Helena Moloney. Come to think of it I’ve lots of leftover brussels sprouts and streaky bacon…