Asian inspired citrus turkey recipe

Turkey recipe

  • 21 pound turkey, defrosted
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp chicken powder
  • 1/4 cup melted palm sugar with 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 lemon grass split and half
  • 1 or 2 oranges sliced
  • 4 stick of butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey


To make the brine:

  • Add the apple cider, water, salt, chicken powder, palm sugar, brown sugar, lemon grass and orange slices to a large bucket. 
  • Dunk the turkey until submerged.
  • Add ice. 
  • Cover with lid and let brine overnight 12-24 hours.


To prepare turkey:

  • Pat dry.
  • Use a spoon and gently lift the skin off the meat. You can also use your hands.
  • Spread butter under the skin.
  • Stuff the turkey with the veggies.
  • Tie the turkey ends, fold the wings under.
  • Add veggies and water to the roasting pan.
  • Place turkey in roasting pan.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake turkey covered with aluminum foil for one hour, then remove foil.
  • Bake turkey until the breast temperature is 165 degrees. 
  • Baste turkey with pan drippings.
  • Last 15 minutes, brush with honey.

Mangonada Recipe

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I last did a food tutorial. Today I will be sharing my recipe how to make a mangonada.


  • 1 to 2 cups of frozen mangos
  • 1 cup water (adjust if needed)
  • 4 or 5 ice cubes
  • 1 or 2 tsp Mio Liquid Water Enhancer Lemonade flavor
  • 1 tsp Chamoy
  • sprinkle of Tajin
  • tamarind candy stick
  1. In a blender, add frozen mangos, water, and ice. Blend for a few seconds.
  2. In a cup, add chamoy. Then sprinkle some tajin. Then add the blended mango. Add as many layers as you like.

Tips:  If you want a thick texture, add more ice.  If you want is more slushy, use less ice or increase water.


Where can I find these ingredients?


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  • Lotus Flower Wand 
  • powder food coloring (orange or yellow)
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Salt and Pepper Shrimp


  • 1 to 2 lb shrimp
  • 3 cup oil for frying
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced jalapenos
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Quick Notes

  • if you don't have white pepper, you can skip it.  
  • garlic powder is optional too.
  • if you like five spice powder, pinch a little into the dried spices mix.


  1. Coat the shrimp in flour and dust off excess flour.
  2. Heat oil in a pan on high heat.
  3. Deep fry the shrimp until it starts to ooze out. Remove and place on paper towel.
  4. In another pan, add the shrimp infuzed oil you used to fry the shrimp.  
  5. Add the jalapeno and green onion and fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add the dried spices.
  7. Add the shrimp and toss quickly.
  8. Serve.


Fawm Kauv - Steam rice rolls

Rice crepe:
1 1/2 cup rice flour (red bag)
1 1/2 cup tapioca flour (blue bag)
5 cups water
1 tbsp oil

Mix everything together. Set aside.

1 pound ground pork (or chicken, beef, turkey)
1/2 cup scallions chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper

Brown the ground pork until cooked. Add salt, black pepper. Add the green onion and cilantro.

Making of the crepe:
1. In a crepe pan (or non-stick pan), turn the heat on medium low. When the pan is hot, add crepe and swirl it around to coat the pan. Let it cook until the sides start to pull in and looks transparent.

2. Pour the crepe onto a large plate. I lay out a sheet of aluminum foil and pour it on that.

3. Sprinkle meat all over the crepe evenly. Add as much as you like.

4. You can fold it like how you fold egg rolls OR fold all edges in into a square and roll up.

Annie's peanut sauce:
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce (three crabs brand)
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp chunky peanut butter (or plain)
1 tbsp thai chili or chili sambal sauce

Mix everything together until well blended.

Vermicelli Salad with sweet and salty dressing

Most simple salad dressing you will love! Believe it or not, I just made up this sauce today. LOL



  • 1 cup vermicelli noodles
  • 1 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup any veggie of your choice
  • shrimp or chicken

Annie's sweet salty salad dressing - good for 2-3 salad servings

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (three crab brand)
  • 1 tbsp chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp chili sambal (jar with green cap)
  • (you can adjust the amount to fit your taste)

In a small pot, mix the sugar and lime juice and heat on high until the sugar dissolves. (about 1 minute).

Then remove from heat. Add 2 tbsp of fish sauce, chili sambal, and chunky peanut butter.

Mix until well combined. Let cool or you can chill in fridge until cold.

Pour sauce over salad when ready to serve.


Soy Sauce Chicken

Soy Sauce Chicken

  • 1 pound chicken cut up into small pieces
  • 1 onion sliced into thick wedges
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or 1/2 cup depending on the saltiness level of your brand)
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix everything together and place into a pan.
Heat the pan until it starts to boil, then reduce to low heat, cover with a lid, and let cook for 20 minutes.
Then turn up the heat to high and let the water evaporate until the sauce gets thicker.
Turn off the heat and serve.

You can add thai chillies or hot pepper flakes if you like it spicy.


Barbeque Pork Ribs

Delicious, soft, fall off the bone barbeque pork ribs!


  • 1 slab of baby back ribs
  • 1 liter of apple cider
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 4 cups crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup any brand of barbeque seasoning or barbeque rub
  • 1/2 cup any barbeque sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1. Season the ribs with salt, black pepper, barbeque seasoning. Marinate it for a couple hours or overnight.
  2. Fire up the grill and grill the ribs for 10 minutes on each side until it's brown.
  3. In a large aluminum pan, place the crushed ice, chopped onion, and apple cider. Place the ribs on top and seal the top with aluminum foil.
  4. Place the alumimum pan on the grill for 1 hour and a half (or two hours). Cover the grill. Continue to check the pan often so that the pan still has juice. Do not let the pan go dry. If it starts to go dry, add more apple cider or water.
  5. Place the rib back on the grill and add barbeque sauce. Turn it on the grill so that both sides are nicely charred. Serve!


If you don't have a grill, you can also follow these steps and broil them in your oven.

White Fungus Mushroom Salad

white fungus salad

This dish has a sweet, sour, tangy taste. It's very refreshing! You can adapt it with any ingredients you like! This recipe makes a big batch that feeds about 10-15 people like the picture above.


  • 1-2 bags dried white fungus mushroom (use more or less depending on your liking)
  • 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers (you can combine red, yellow, green bell peppers)
  • 1/4 cup sliced yellow onion or green onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup sliced strips of cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp (sliced in half)

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fish sauce (I use the Three Crabs brand, if yours is different you may need to adjust the amount)
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp garlic chili sauce (the chili in a jar with green cap), you can also just use thai chilies if you don't have this
  1. Soak the white fungus mushroom in hot water. It's best if soaked overnight but if you are in a hurry, you can soak it for at least an hour.
  2. Rinse the mushrooms clean and break it apart with your fingers into bit size pieces.  You can get rid of any dark yellow spots.
  3. Make the sauce by adding the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, water, and garlic chili sauce in a large bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, add all the fresh vegetables and shrimp together and toss with the sauce.
  5. This can be eaten immediately but best served if refrigerated cold.
  6. Enjoy!

Tip! -- If using bell pepper, you can remove the skin first if you don't like the rubbery skin texture. I usually remove the skin and then slice them thinly.

Please note, this dish can be made ahead of time.  The only ingredient you may hold off on adding is the lettuce because it is delicate and will get soggy sooner.  You can adapt and add/remove any of the ingredients.  Experiment and do come back to tell me how it worked out for you!

Optional ingredients ideas:

  • avocado
  • vermicelli khaub poob noodles
  • jicama
  • cooked green beans
  • shredded papaya
  • other!

Yumaholic and Scentsy Party

These were the awesome ladies who stayed until the end of the party! I wished we would have taken pictures earlier in the day because there were more fantastic ladies who joined us!



Back Story:
My friend Julie Chang Valladolid (currently living in Japan) had a great idea for me to help her do a Scentsy Giveaway so she sent me a mid size warmer and 3 scents to try out back in December.  When I first unboxed it, it was so cute!  You install the light bulb (first time), plug the scent warmer to a wall socket and then you turn it on.  You break a piece of the wax and place it onto the lid and let the lightbulb warm it.  As it melts, it lets off scent! That's it!

During a Christmas party, my brother in law Doua liked my Scentsy warmer and scent so much he asked me to buy one for him.  I usually keep the Scentsy warmer on a table next to the wall in my living room.  On that same night, my niece Alis (she's 2 years old) was playing near the warmer and tripped over the cord and broke the light bulb.  I was able to get a replacement bulb but then on New Years Day, my niece Alis was playing with the warmer and tripped over the cord again. The jar broke in half, it was an accident :-).

I asked Julie if I could buy a warmer for my brother in law and that I needed to buy a new warmer because mine was broken.  Julie suggested I could host a Scentsy party and it could be an online party as well (for guests who live far away and can order online at their convenience).  It was a great idea and I got to thinking, I could combine this with my Yumaholic App Launch Party to celebrate my success launching my cookbook for the iPhone. 

I had then just two weeks to plan this event!

Two weeks before the event:
Invites!!! I invited everyone on my Hmong Food Facebook fan page to attend.  Those who were interested sent me a private message and I invited them on a Facebook Event invite list.  I started to sew every night. I made a bag a night after work. I had planned to give away a bag as a game / door prize for my guests.

One week before the event:
My friend Kia came to help me every day for 5 days. We packaged the gifts I had made as well as the awesome gifts that Julie had sent to me from Japan.  Kia also helped me decorate my house and also made us some awesome cream puffs to eat while we decorated. She's super awesome!

Day before the event:
My sister Song, Myra, sister in law Nancy, brother Kou, nephew Monti, and niece Evangelynne came and helped me prepare for the big day! I don't know what I would have done without them!

Event day:
7:30 am
We started cooking.  My sister in law Nancy made the fawm kauv (steam rice rolls) and I started on the rest of the dishes. 

11:00 am
Xia was the first to arrive! Yay! She drove from Michigan to come hang out with us. I was really happy she was able to join us. It was my first time meeting Xia and her hubby Johnny. Then shortly afterwards Michele and her daughter Asia arrived.  Michele was very sweet, she brought me a lucky plant gift.  Misty, Danielle, and Patty drove from La Crosse to join us! Misty was also very awesome, she made stuffed deboned chicken wings, hot pepper, and sticky coconut rice balls. It was also my first time meeting Misty and her guests!

12 pm
We started the spring roll assembly line.  We had more guests arrive! MyYia, Leigh, and Kowjue. Everyone participated in wrapping the spring rolls.

1 pm
Bulgogi time! At this moment I lost all track of time and guests that were arriving. I did try my best to say hi to everyone and get people situated.  Wow, multi-tasking was hard! I was also hot and sweaty but having a blast from all the energy that was surrounding me.

2:30 pm
Most all my guests arrived! Tricia, KathyJo, Diane, Zong, Pa Houa, Angie & daughter, Nou, Sam ... I know I'm forgetting some names, please forgive me!

We laid out all the food on the table in my living room.  We started with introductions and went round robin answering, "What is your name, location, and tell us something unique about yourself."  It was very awesome to hear everyone's responses! Then I introduced all the dishes and described how each dish was made and the ingredients.  I also asked the guests who brought the dishes to speak about their dishes.

3:00 pm
We eat, buffet style of course!  Oh there was so much food! :-) And socializing! I think Bao showed up around 3:30 because she had just gotten off work.

Menu items were:

  • bulgogi
  • stuffed chicken wings
  • hot pepper
  • spring rolls and sauce
  • meatball on skewers
  • white fungus salad
  • homemade hmong pork sausage
  • steam rice cakes
  • hmong jello
  • rice
  • orange creamsicle drink
  • cupcakes
  • honeydew melon
  • khaub poob (chicken coconut curry)

3:45 pm
I tried my best to do my Scentsy demo. Julie wasn't able to join us because she was in Japan and also in a different time zone! My dummy part I didn't read the "Scentsy Host packet" before hand so I read it while I was doing the demo hahahaha!  I think people got my drift!  There were samples of scents for people to smell and I also lit my beautiful "Be Mine" warmer for everyone to see.  I tried to answer the questions as best as I could but as anyone knows, I am not that good at sales demonstrations.  The best convincing you can get from me is that I love the product!

4 to 5 pm
Somehow I just lost all track of time at this point hehehe. We had about 30+ people so I broke us into two groups to play games.  One group was in my main living room and the other group was in my other living room..  My brother is a game master, so while he was teaching the game to one team "Telestrations", the other team was waiting. I tried my best to socialize and kill time, but eventually I convinced that other team to play "Dixit". :-)  My brother didn't bring his 12 player game, so I had the group break out into partners and played the game.  It was so fun! <3

6 pm
Door prizes! So I had the winners of the Telestrations game (Sam and Micky) and the winners of the Dixit game (Zong and Xia) pick a number from 1 to 20 without going over.  Well, everyone picked the number that was over. So we tried it again and I told the secret number to my niece Evangelynne.  The lucky number was "eight" and my sister in law Sam won fair and square!  The door prize was a "Be Mine" Scentsy premium warmer and a Scentsy scent called "Happy Go Lucky".  Please note, Sam is Alis' mom. It was destined that Scentsy would become part of her life! Hahaha! I then proceeded to have the winners choose two gifts.  Then all the party guests got to choose one gift to take home.  Some people got the lovely japanese bowls that Julie gifted and others got the home made bags that I sewed and the bags of kitchenware accessories. 

6:30 pm
We took pictures in my smaller living room before the guests left!  We should have taken pictures earlier but things got hectic and we didn't have the opportunity to.  Next time for sure, we will do pictures before eating!

My last guest left after all the cleaning was done. Thank you Xia, you came first and left last.  :-) You are a sweetie!  Thank you also Kia for being patient with me and for staying late to help me wrap and decorate. I will remember your good deeds always.  A big thanks to my sisters Song, Myra, sister in law Nancy, Evangelynne, Monti and brother Kou for helping me the entire weekend. I don't know what I would have done without you here.  You guys always stick by my side and back me up always, I'm so grateful and blessed to have you in my life. 

Was that a mouthful or what?  Hahaha okay I'm just giving you the skinny version of the whole event but bottom line is:

We got to meet new friends, eat together, and make memories!


Next time, are you coming to my party?