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Soy glazed braised turkey breast with Asian five-spice is moist, tender, succulent and the juiciest turkey ever with browned and crispy skin. So flavourful. |

Soy Glazed Braised Turkey Breast with Five-Spice

  • Author: Sam | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 turkey breast (3-4 servings)
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Soy glazed braised turkey breast with Asian five-spice is moist, tender, succulent and the juiciest turkey ever with browned and crispy skin. So flavourful.


  • 1 (2 - 2.5 lb.) turkey breast, boneless, skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, thinly sliced 
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup water (or enough to cover the skillet by 1-inch)

For the Asian Five-Spice Seasoning:

  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 4 star anise

For the Gravy (optional):

  • pan drippings
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or all-purpose flour


Prepare the Turkey:

  1. 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.
  2. Add a tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well with a spoon to combine.
  3. Generously rub the seasoning mixture over the turkey breast and let it rest on a clean plate for at least 15 minutes.

Sear the Turkey:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Heat an iron skillet on the stove for 5 minutes over medium-high heat or preheat the iron skillet 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.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon 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. Cooking in melted brown sugar will further promote browning.

Braise the Turkey:

  1. 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.
  2. Add soy sauce and water (about 1 cup of water). The liquid should be 1-inch deep, or cover approximately 1/3 of the thickness of the turkey breast. Bring it to a simmer. 
  3. Transfer the skillet into the oven and bake at 425 F for 30 minutes, until the internal temperature for the turkey breast reaches 165F. Drizzle some juice in the skillet over the breast every 10 minutes to help infuse the flavour.
  4. Remove the turkey breast from oven and place it on a large plate. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes.

Make the Gravy (optional):

  1. Strain the remaining liquid from the skillet through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard all the chunky bits seasoning and spices. Add the liquid back in the skillet and cook over medium heat.
  2. Combine water and cornstarch (or all-purpose flour) in a 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.
  3. Slice the turkey breast and drizzle the gravy over the breast. Serve with mashed potatoes and stuffing on the side.


Equipment used: cast-iron skillet, a digital meat thermometer, and a fine-mesh sieve (for the gravy).

Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness: 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.

Cooking with skin vs. no 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.

Size of the turkey: You can use a smaller or larger turkey breast but you will just have to adjust the cook time. The larger the turkey, the more time it will take to cook, the smaller the turkey, the less time. Using a meat thermometer will make it easy to tell when the turkey is done.

Turkey gravy: Use the pan turkey juices to make your own homemade gravy. You will find easy instructions in the recipe above. 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 to store: 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.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes (+15 minutes wait time)
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Turkey
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: soy glazed braised turkey breast with five-spice, five-spice turkey breast, soy turkey breast, braised turkey breast, asian turkey breast