Life’s a Feast: Leftover turkey with lemongrass in lettuce cups


PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 7 mins

SERVES: 5 people

Boxing Day is usually a day to recover from the excesses and excitement of Christmas Day. In my opinion, there is nothing better than relaxing at home with the family, munching away on the remnants from yesterday’s feast – and the recipe below will help use up any turkey leftovers.

Marinating the turkey in the lemongrass mix adds an intensity of flavour, whilst still allowing the aromatics of the lemongrass to shine through. This quick, simple recipe is especially good for Boxing Day which is often a little slow in many houses around NZ. Merry Christmas everyone!


Lemongrass turkey marinade

800g leftover turkey pulled off in chunks (not too large) off the bone

2-3 stalks lemongrass

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 shallots peeled

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

Mix for the lettuce leaves

1 iceberg lettuce (or buttercrunch if youcan find one, I was unable to)

2 carrots grated

100g pack snow peas cut diagonally to 1cm

2 good handfuls fresh baby spinach,washed

1 good handful fresh mint leaves

1 good handful fresh coriander

2 spring onions, finely sliced


Remove the first 1-2 really woody layers off your lemongrass. Chop off the skinny end of the lemongrass, say 5-10cm; this has little flavour. Next combine all ingredients for the turkey marinade in a small blender and combine until as smooth as possible. Alternatively use a mortar and pestle but it may take some time as lemongrass is pretty tough.

2.Thoroughly mix the marinade and turkey together, ensuring it’s all coated, and set aside.

3.Slice your lettuce in half, cut out the core, then gently pull the lettuce cups off one by one and put on to large platter and put back in fridge to keep fresh.

4.Next take a large pan and heat to a medium-high heat. Add in a little vegetable oil and heat. Tip in your marinated turkey and let it turn golden on one side (about 2 mins) before turning. Once this is cooked, add in your carrots. Cook for a couple of minutes until starting to soften and add in spinach and snow peas.

5.Cook until the spinach is wilting then add in mint, coriander and spring onions. Thoroughly combine and remove from the heat.

6.You can either put the turkey mix into a large bowl and let people make their own, or gently place the turkey into each of the lettuce cups and serve immediately.

NB.You can use any vegetables in here that you need to use up in your fridge, just cook them in the order they will cook in the pan, i.e slowest cooking goes in first.