Asian-style turkey stock
One of the blessings of Thanksgiving is that you have a wonderful turkey carcass leftover that is just dying to be made into homemade stock. This recipe is the beginning of a homemade Vietnamese-style pho (a noodle soup pronounced "fuh.") See my recipe for Turkey pho soup to make a quick, fragrant and healthy soup. While making the pho is very quick once you have the homemade stock, making the stock takes time, but not a lot of work. You make the stock in a couple hours without much effort. Just toss the ingredients in the pot and skim off the foam occasionally as it cooks.
Traditional pho stock
This stock is a simplified version. Traditional pho stock involves several more steps and several more hours.
Toasting the spices
Toasting brings out the flavor of a spice and is always worth the extra effort. It takes just a couple minutes and makes a huge difference in both flavor and fragrance.
Removing the meat
If your turkey carcass still has a lot of meat on it, remove most of it with a knife and reserve for pho or another dish. If there is still a substantial amount of meat on the carcass I proceed with the recipe and let the carcass cook for about 15 minutes then remove it. When the carcass is warm you can slip the meat right off the bones. Then I return the carcass back to the pot and continue with the recipe. You do not want to use any meat that gets left in the pot as it will grow tough over time.
Freeze for a rainy day
I like to make a big batch or two of this stock and freeze it in 2-serving portions. This way I can pull out a bag from the freezer and whip up a delicious pho in just a few minutes. There is nothing better than turkey pho when you have a cold.
Asian-style turkey stock
A fragrant Asian-style broth that is perfect for making pho. This is the answer for what to do with your leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass.
- 3 T coriander seeds
- 8 whole star anise
- 2 T cumin seeds
- 1 turkey carcass, most meat removed and reserved for another use
- 4 carrots, cut into 2" pieces
- 4 celery stalks, cut into 2" pieces
- 2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
- 3 - 4 green onions, roughly chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, mashed with the blade of a knife
- 1 3-inch pieces of ginger, cut into slices and bruised with the back of a knife
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1/2 to 1 t red pepper flakes
- In a small frying pan toast the spices until they are fragrant, 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove any big pieces of meat, reserve and save for adding to soup later. Break the carcass up using a kitchen mallet or cleaver knife and put into a large stock pot.
- Cover carcass and vegetables with water and add remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or longer, skimming foam off the top as it develops.
- Taste the stock and adjust seasonings. Strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. The goal is to get a clear broth with no chunks of meat or vegetables in it.