Sustainable holiday recipes: Make pho ga tay (Vietnamese turkey noodle soup) from leftover turkey

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      As part of its sustainability practises, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has released a series of recipes for the holiday season from its chefs around the world.

      This first recipe, courtesy of Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront executive chef Michael Pagnacco, puts a Vietnamese spin on Western holiday traditions.

      “We work in an industry that has direct impact on food waste and as chefs it is our responsibility to find creative ways to utilize product that would otherwise be wasted,” Pagnacco stated. “I love making hot turkey sandwiches with Thanksgiving leftovers. For a more elevated and non-traditional option, I turn leftover turkey into Vietnamese noodle soup.”


      Pho ga tay (Vietnamese turkey noodle soup)



      1 roasted turkey, bone in (leftovers from festive dinner)

      20 ml Canola Oil

      2 small white onions, unpeeled

      2 fresh ginger (large)

      4 lt water

      1 lemongrass, cut into 10 cm lengths

      2 kaffir lime leaves

      14 g coriander seeds

      8 star anise

      4 cloves

      ½ cinnamon stick

      30 ml fish sauce

      10 ml palm sugar

      To taste kosher salt


      200 g rice stick noodles

      200 g cooked turkey meat

      200 g bean sprouts

      40 g green onion

      1 jalapeno

      1 bunch cilantro (rough torn)

      1 bunch thai basil (rough torn)

      1 lime (cut into wedges)

      30 ml hoisin

      30 ml sambal or chili sauce


      1. Preheat large (5 litre) heavy bottom sauce pot on a burner and set to medium-high heat.

      2. Cut onion in half, keeping skins in tact, and place cut side down on bottom of the pot. Place whole pieces of ginger around the onions. Cook without moving them until well charred. Approximately eight minutes. Turn ginger over and char the other side.

      3. Pick all the breast and leg meat from the leftover turkey into bite size pieces and set aside. Cut turkey carcass into smaller pieces that will fit into the pot.

      4. When onions and ginger are well charred, add in the turkey bones and enough water to cover the bones then bring to a simmer on medium high heat.

      5. Add in the lemongrass and lime leaves to the broth.

      6. Toast whole spices in a pan and add to the broth: coriander, star anise, clove and cinnamon.

      7. Simmer the broth for three hours skimming any impurities that come to the top.

      8. Strain the broth, discard the solids and allow broth to cool for one hour. Skim and discard any fat that rises to the top.

      9. Return the broth to a simmer on medium high heat. Season to taste with fish sauce, palm sugar, and kosher salt.

      10. Fill a second large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add rice noodles to boiling water and cook for seven minutes until tender, strain the noodles and place the hot noodles in the serving bowl.

      11. Meanwhile add the turkey breast and dark meat to the simmering broth.

      12. Ladle the hot broth with turkey meat over the noodles until completely covered.

      13. Serve immediately and dress the pho with bean sprouts, green onion, jalapeño, coriander, basil, lime, hoisin, and your favorite chili sauce.

      Vancouver's Fairmont Waterfront executive chef Michael Pagnacco
      Fairmont Hotels and Resorts