Practice Turkey Day (Giveaway Post)

About 3 weeks ago, the lovely people at Kikkoman sent me a HUGE box of goodies with one intent: create a "practice" Thanksgiving meal using their products, and share my ideas with you, my readers! I jumped at the chance because, believe it or not, I'd never made a turkey.

Once our Thanksgiving plans were solidified, I figured out a day to make my practice Thanksgiving dinner. It was a little hard to plan out because turkeys can take upwards of 5 hours to cook thoroughly, and there are very few days that I have that much free time.

Then it hit me: I didn't have to make a whole turkey! Because Kikkoman had sent me a Whole Foods gift card, I went to my local Whole Foods Market and found what I was looking for: a bone-in turkey breast. My original plan was to follow the Kikkoman directions for brining a turkey in soy sauce, but I'm not that patient. I'll get to my method in a minute.

I dug into the other goodies that Kikkoman sent and found a box of Extra Crispy Tempura batter.


I'd never made tempura before, and I figured no time like the present! Rather than a standard side dish of candied sweet potatoes and green bean casserole, I made some deliciously crispy sweet potato and green bean tempura with a Kikkoman lemon ponzu dipping sauce.




Crispy, crunchy, amazing tempura from my own kitchen?! YES PLEASE!! I see tempura fish, tempura chicken, tempura shrimp, tempura tempura...

I also tried my hand at making stuffing for the first time. I enlisted the help of the Whole Foods geniuses and got a box of their Canturbury Organics stuffing mix.


Then, I prepped my turkey breast. It was opened, rinsed, dried, and then I made a wet rub of Kikkoman soy sauce (about 1/2 c.), 2 Tb. Kitchen Bouquet gravy seasoning, garlic powder (about 1 Tb.) and about 1 Tb. of onion powder. I rubbed the turkey breast with this mixture and put sliced lemons in the cavity. It was roasted slowly at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for almost 3 hours.

I diluted the remaining rub with chicken broth (which Adam thought was weird?) and basted the turkey every 30 or so minutes until the internal temperature was 180*F. The result was perfect!


The skin, or the "bacon of the poultry world" as we call it, was crispy, salty, garlicky, and delicious. The meat was perfectly tender, and it's no doubt due to the extra salt in the soy sauce. I usually use a little bit in my poultry marinades, but the extra, absolutely made this bird boob (yes, I said bird boob) perfect.

The stuffing could've used a bit more liquid, but in all, it was a wonderful precursor to the multiple Thanksgiving meals we'll be having in the coming week.


In addition to the half-gallon of soy sauce, tempura batter, and ponzu sauce, Kikkoman also sent me:

Panko Crumbs.JPG Pearl Organic Soymilk Carton.JPGTeriyaki Baste & Glaze.JPG

As well as a Kikkoman rubber duckie, a soy sauce shaped spoon rest, a pair of tongs, and a coupon for a free Kikkoman product, AND a $25 Whole Foods gift card to offset the cost of the turkey as part of their Kikk off the Holidays project.

Want to win TWO free full-sized Kikkoman products? Leave a comment below about your favorite part of Thanksgiving! Winner will be announced Tuesday, November 23!

Thanks Kikkoman, for a lovely early Thanksgiving dinner! Can't wait to find out if you win? Visit Kikkoman online for a buy one get one free coupon!

Project Food Blog results for round 7 are announced tomorrow... thank you all for your amazing support of my video! I'm so nervous!



This entry was posted in Asian, chicken/turkey, contest, contest/giveaway, simple recipe, vegetables and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Practice Turkey Day (Giveaway Post)

  1. Jenny says:

    Awesome post! And tempura? Yes, please! I, too, have no patience for brining of any sort.

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving? Easy. When my brother inevitably drops an F bomb in front of my ex-nun step-aunt.

    Oh, and my mom’s pumpkin praline cheesecake isn’t bad, either. 😉
    Jenny´s last blog post ..BIG NEWSPossible total lunacy ahead

  2. Tyler says:

    Besides all the food? My favorite part is definitely seeing all of my family!
    Tyler´s last blog post ..Texas Caviar

  3. Christina says:

    Oh how fun, Mara! I have never cooked a turkey either, but I might have to get a breast. Initially we were going to just have 5 guests next week, but I invited more – so I need to bulk up the meal! hehe

    I use the Kikkoman panko ALL the time b/c it’s one of the VERY FEW breadcrumbs on the market that doesn’t have whey in it. It’s a life saver. I love your tempura, it looks absolutely beautiful. When I order veggie tempura the sweet potatoes are my favorite part!

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving are usually all of the sides and the desserts. I’m not a fan of the turkey, it’s usually so boring. If I had to choose, I’d say probably the yams as a side and maybe pumpkin pie as a dessert? Or pecan pie!
    Christina´s last blog post ..Pumpkin Rice Pudding

  4. redkathy says:

    I have to tell you the Kikkoman brand is fabulous! The Panko crumbs cost less than most other brands too. The think I like best about Thanksgiving is sharing great food with family and friends.
    redkathy´s last blog post ..Muffin Mania – Chocolate- Apple- Bran- and Berry

  5. Victoria says:

    Mmmm! That tempura looks so good. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is hanging out in a really warm kitchen and seeing my entire family. 🙂
    Victoria´s last blog post ..We’re Moving!!

  6. David says:

    The post is great and the pics…well, they are worth a thousand words
    David´s last blog post ..פרויקט עיר ימים

  7. Pearl Lee says:

    tempura + turkey = thanksgiving. yum!
    Pearl Lee´s last blog post ..a little distraction

  8. M.J. Jacobsen says:

    I love cooking turkey, I make 2 each TD, I roast one, and BBQ the other with apricot sauce. I love panko crumbs, they are so crispy and yummy!
    You did a fab job on your video!

  9. Amy says:

    OOh what fun! I’d love to try making my own tempura, and have been meaning to purchase some panko crumbs too. My favorite parts of Thanksgiving- family, pie and a barrel of wine. What’s not to be thankful for?

  10. Lauren says:

    I love my sister’s MIL’s sweet potato casserole. It has become my favorite part of Thanksgiving. 🙂

    PS- You’ve so got this! Round 8 here you come! 🙂 <3
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Long days- New Traditions

  11. tiff says:

    My favorite part of thanksgiving is the food! I love sweet potato casserole. Yum.

  12. Kelly Wilson says:

    It all looks so yummy. I am going to try it all.

  13. Kelly Wilson says:

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving is family. There is nothing better than sitting around talking and laughing with family and good food.

  14. Cara says:

    My favorite part is the sides! I’m just not a turkey person

  15. Jessica H says:

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving is getting together with family and eating great food!

  16. jessica says:

    I love watching all who’ve assembled at my house enjoy the food. And I love the open door policy we have. I can’t stand the thought of someone being alone on a holiday, so we usually end up with an interesting crowd.

  17. Susan says:

    My favorite part is the sides as it relates to food! I don’t care for turkey too much so I love trying the sides!
    Susan´s last blog post ..Food Strawn’s Second Hand Smoke My Trip to Shreveport

  18. Biz says:

    Hannah and I love making tempura veggies at home – I love having a deep fryer for them – they are never greasy.

    Fingers crossed you make it to the next round!!
    Biz´s last blog post ..A Bizzy Day

  19. Jess says:

    My favorite party about Thanksgiving is nursing my food baby on the couch after dinner watching football 🙂

  20. Jess says:

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving (apart from eating myself into a food induced coma) is parking it in front of the TV to watch football 🙂

  21. Lisa says:

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving is all the desserts!
    Good luck to you on making it to the next round. Definitely rooting for you!

  22. ahhh I hope you make it!

    Fave part of thanksgiving is probably POPOVERS! My mom always makes them on TG! 🙂
    natalie (the sweets life)´s last blog post ..Pumpkin Knots

  23. Jackie says:

    Thanksgiving is my #1 absolute favorite holiday!!! I love everything. Favorite part? Marshmallow’s on the sweet potatoes. Since the age of 5, it has been my job to make sure they don’t burn under the broiler!

  24. Cellabella says:

    My favorite part is the leftovers 🙂 They make for delicious second dinners!

  25. Susan says:

    I love the sides! I am not a huge fan of turkey – strange, I know! So, I really enjoy the different sides! It’s like a homemade buffet! LOL
    Susan´s last blog post ..Food Strawn’s Second Hand Smoke My Trip to Shreveport

  26. I’ve never heard someone say bird boob before, that makes me laugh so hard Mara!

    Nice job on the practice dinner!
    Jenn@slim-shoppin´s last blog post ..Blondie mini muffins

  27. Vanessa says:

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving is cooking with my mom. We are going to have it at her house this year. I love seeing all of my family. This year will be extra special due to a baby girl!! We all have lots to be thankful for…including super giveaways like this one!

  28. Great post. I wanted to offer some advice from my families tradition. We always cook our turkey frozen for 10 hours. We also have a wonderful Turkey and Dressing Recipe, check out Ashlee’s post on TurkeyNDressing.
    Have a great weekend
    Lew (´s last blog post ..Butternut Squash Lasagna! Yum –

  29. What a fun twist on Thanksgiving! You gotta try tempura tofu (soak it in soy or something overnight first… me!) or tempura plantains for dessert. Use the really ripe ones, maybe add sesame seeds

    I love getting to eat all the wonderful foods made by anyone else. I get bored eating my cooking all the time!
    Erin from Long Island´s last blog post ..Sage Wisdom

  30. Mary Beth says:

    I’m sure it sounds cliche, but my favorite part about Thanksgiving is getting to see family. My fiance and I live in Atlanta, far from both of our families. Every year we swap out which family we will spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with. This year it is Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. Next year our destination for the holidays will swap. Of course, the cooking portion is always a plus. Especially at my family’s house because, being from Louisiana, having a good cajun fried turkey and an abundance of southern home cooked sides is always a win!

  31. dragonmamma/naomi says:

    Mara, so what was the verdict on the citrus flavored sauce? Does it just taste like soy sauce with lemon in it, or what? And how salty is it compared to regular soy sauce?

    Favorite part of Thanksgiving: Turkey left-overs!

  32. FoodCents says:

    The tempura looks great, I like your twist on Thanksgiving.

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving and seeing friends & family, watching football & eating. I can not say the cooking things always works out to a “T” (just a few years back then Turkey went crazy & we ended up having Thanksgiving steak), but it’s usually amusing.


  33. Nikki says:

    Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! I love Santa Claus at the end.

  34. katklaw777 says:

    Bird boob…ROFL…My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. I make sure I cook enough extras for lots and lots of them. I have to have my cranberry, cream cheese, turkey sandwich on wheat toast!!!

  35. Lindsay says:

    my favorite part of thanksgiving is that i get to wake up to the smell of the turkey in the oven and my family chatting and playing games. then when dinner time comes around, i get to indulge in my favorite foods!! 🙂
    Lindsay´s last blog post ..I’ll Be Back…

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