Turkey Roast Leftovers Curry – Japanese style πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

Recipe Intro

So, what to do with those turkey roast leftovers post-Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other celebration? I always find a way to put them to use; nothing goes to waste, whether it’s a tiny bit of meat left or a generous portion.
Let’s travel to far East. Here is a quick and simple turkey roast leftovers Japanese curry for you to try. Japanese curry isn’t too spicy, leaning towards a sweeter taste. It typically uses milder spices or curry roux, incorporating ingredients like apples for sweetness, compared to Indian curry, known for a bolder blend of spices that can bring some heat.

This time I had Christmas turkey roulade roast leftovers. It had various textures and flavours – both dark and white meat, along with some stuffing. This combination added incredible deliciousness to the curry!
This Japanese curry isn’t limited to turkey; it works well with chicken or other birds too. If you don’t have any leftover roast, opt for fresh turkey or chicken meat. For the best flavour, consider a blend of both white and dark meat, such as breast meat and thigh fillet.
Use your leftovers and create a new delicious dish to impress your loved ones!

Key Ingredients & Substitutes
  • Christmas turkey leftovers – Remove every piece of meat from the bones of your roasted turkey or chicken. Even if there’s barely anything left, strip away whatever meat is there, ensuring nothing goes to waste.
    If you have roulade or deboned turkey leftovers which is with stuffing, be sure to include it; don’t discard it as it adds to superb flavour! For larger pieces of meat, cut them into cubes or strips. You don’t need to do anything with it, just set it aside until it’s time to add it to the curry. For a bolder and more intense flavour, add some soy sauce and mix well, leaving the leftovers to sort of marinade until you prepare your curry sauce.
  • apple – Use sweet variety. Feel free to grate the apple or chop it into small bits; it’ll naturally break down during cooking, well, most of it will. It’s a key ingredient that adds a specific sweetness to Japanese curry.
  • spices; curry powder, garam masala, chili – Japanese curry is best with a mild curry powder. Don’t skip the essential Garam Masala spice mix as outlined in the recipe. If you’re a curry lover, feel free to add a touch more than specified in the recipe. Cayene or chili powder is optional, depending on your spice (in)tolerance! πŸ™‚
  • Butter and Flour (roux) – butter provides richness and flavour, while flour acts as a thickening agent. Toasting the flour until it’s a nice golden brown makes the curry taste richer and nuttier.
  • Optional: add some vegetables of your choice
Cooking & Tips
  • If you find yourself short on meat leftovers, simply add a selection of vegetables, with carrots being a top choice for this curry. However, any other vegetables or leftover veggies from the night before will work perfectly! It truly depends on what you have in the fridge.
  • Before adding meat or vegetables, blend the sauce for a smooth texture.
  • Feel free to experiment with various curry powders. Whether it’s mild, medium, or hot curry powder, choose the one that suits your taste preferences.
  • Since this was made using leftovers that were cooked and stored in the fridge, don’t put it back in the fridge or freeze it. It won’t keep well; it’s best eaten now.
  • Vegetarian version: You can use meat substitutes like tofu, tempeh, or seitan for a vegetarian twist. Adjust the cooking times accordingly, as these alternatives may cook faster than meat.
Presentation & Serving

Serve your turkey roast leftovers Japanese-style curry with various accompaniments: plain cooked or steamed rice, bread, pasta, or a simple cucumber salad. Garnish with fresh green onions, chives or cilantro. Add traditional Japanese side dishes like pickles or a crisp salad for diverse textures and flavours.

Recipe Card

The best Christmas turkey roast leftovers curry – Japanese style

Give your Christmas turkey roast leftovers a delicious makeover with a Japanese-style curry, making sure nothing goes to waste from your festive feast.
Servings 3 portions
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 200-300 g turkey / chicken meat
  • 2 onions
  • 1 sweet apple
  • 400 ml roast sauce or beef stock cube for broth
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 30 g butter
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper - or chilli
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • Salt, pepper - to taste
  • Oil


  • If you've got whole turkey roast leftovers, take the meat off the bones. For boneless roast leftovers, just chop them into small chunks or strips.
  • In a medium size pot, add oil, butter, and finely chopped onions, and fry over low heat for about 10 minutes until onions caramelize and become dark in colour without burning.
  • Now, mix in the flour and fry for a minute until it turns a bit golden, just be careful not to let it burn. You're aiming for a caramel-like colour. Then, add about 300ml of water or a mix of water and any leftover roast sauce. Give it a good stir. Add chopped apples and let everything simmer for around 5-7 minutes.
  • If you prefer a velvety sauce, allow it to cool a bit and then blend it. Blending is an option to achieve a thick, soup-like consistency. Alternatively, feel free to skip this step, leaving the onions and apples in pieces.
  • Add the meat to the sauce along with all the other ingredients: curry, garam masala, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne (if using), and ketchup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an extra 3-5 minutes to warm up the meat and blend all the flavours.
  • Adjust the thickness of the sauce to your liking. If it's too thick, add some water and simmer for a few minutes. If it's too runny, simmer a bit longer to allow for evaporation.
  • Serve over cooked rice


The total calories of approximately 1100 are estimations and may vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes. This recipe is designed to serve approximately 3 people, and adjustments can be made according to your preferences and serving requirements.
Calories: 366kcal
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Diet: Low Fat, Low Lactose

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