Soy glazed braised turkey breast with Asian five-spice is moist, tender, succulent and the juiciest turkey breast that you will make. It is so delicious, seasoned with Asian five-spice, and seared to perfection with a beautiful browned and crispy skin. Plus, use the pan juices to make a delicious, flavourful gravy in just minutes. Trust me guys, this one is a keeper.
What is Five-Spice?
Five-spice is a mixture of spices used in Chinese cuisine and some other Asian cuisines. It balances 5 main flavours in Chinese cooking including sweet, sour and spicy. It is traditionally made with Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds and cloves, but can be made with other spices that incorporate the 5 main flavours.
Our version is made with Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon, cumin seeds and yellow curry powder.
Ingredients in Five-Spice Braised Turkey
- turkey breast - a 2 to 2.5 lb. boneless turkey breast with the skin on. You can use a breast with the bone-on, but the cook time will be longer.
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- brown sugar - helps give the skin it's beautiful brown colour when searing.
- garlic and ginger
- bay leaves
- five-spice seasoning - made with cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, yellow curry powder, Sichuan peppercorns and star anise.
- dark soy sauce - adds flavour and also adds beautiful colour to the skin.
- gravy - made with turkey juices from the pan, water, and corn starch or all-purpose flour. See my easy 2-ingredient turkey gravy for more detailed instructions on how to make it.
How to Make the Best Soy Glazed Braised Turkey Breast with Five-Spice
The first step is to prepare the turkey. Pat dry the turkey breast with a paper towel completely (to remove any excess liquid) before adding seasoning. This helps create extra crispy skin when roasting.
Then, in a small bowl, combine olive oil, salt and pepper and mix together. Generously rub the seasoning mixture over the turkey breast and let it rest on a clean plate for at least 15 minutes.
Next, let's sear the turkey. Heat a cast-iron skillet on the stove for 5 minutes over medium-high heat or in the oven. Once the skillet is sizzling hot, sear the turkey breast by placing it, skin side down, into the hot skillet and sear until the skin turns brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the turkey breast over and sear the other side for another 5 minutes. Transfer the turkey breast on a plate.
Then, add olive oil and brown sugar to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute until the brown sugar dissolves. Transfer the turkey breast back into the skillet with the skin side down and cook for another 3 minutes until the skin side turns dark brown.
Now, it's time to braise the turkey.
Turn the turkey breast over with the skin side up. Add garlic, ginger, bay leaves and all the five-spice seasoning items. Stir to cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and water (about 1 cup of water). The liquid should be 1-inch deep, or cover approximately ⅓ of the thickness of the turkey breast. Bring it to a simmer.
Transfer the skillet into a 425F preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the internal temperature for the turkey breast reaches 165F (use a meat thermometer to get an accurate reading). Drizzle some juice in the skillet over the breast every 10 minutes to help infuse the flavour.
Remove the turkey breast from oven and place it on a large plate. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
How to Make Turkey Gravy
Making a delicious and flavourful gravy from the turkey pan juices is so easy. First, strain the remaining liquid from the skillet through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard all the chunky bits of seasoning and spices. Add the liquid back in the skillet and cook over medium heat.
Combine water and cornstarch (or all-purpose flour) in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve and add the mixture in the skillet. Stir well to form into a smooth mixture and slowly bring it to a simmer. Keep stirring for another minute until the smooth mixture thickens. Transfer the gravy into a bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you know the turkey is cooked? Once the internal temperature on the turkey reaches 165F, then it is cooked. Use a digital meat thermometer inserted halfway inside the thickest part of the turkey to get a quick reading. Using a meat thermometer ensures that you never end up with undercooked or overcooked turkey.
- Can I make it without the skin? I highly recommend cooking this turkey with the skin. The skin is required to get that beautiful brown colour. You can certainly make it without the skin, but the results will not be quite the same.
- Can I make it with a larger turkey breast? Yes, absolutely. You will just have to adjust the cook time. The larger the turkey, the more time it will take to cook. Using a meat thermometer will make it easy to tell when the turkey is done.
- How do I make the gravy? Use the pan turkey juices to make your own homemade gravy. You will find easy instructions in the recipe below. You can also get more detailed instructions with pictures in our easy 2-ingredient turkey gravy. If you prefer to make larger batch of turkey gravy using turkey stock, check out our classic turkey gravy recipe.
- How long does turkey breast last? Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also use any leftovers to make turkey fried rice or turkey wild rice soup.
What to Serve with Soy Glazed Braised Turkey Breast
Or, scroll through some other great sides to serve with this:
More Turkey Recipes
- Easy Juicy Roasted Turkey Breast
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- The Best and Juiciest Whole Turkey
- Classic Homemade Turkey Gravy
- Easy 2-Ingredient Turkey Gravy
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.