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LA Chinatown Restaurants Offer A New Take On Traditional Turkey

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Chinatown Los Angeles restaurants and merchants are offering a unique approach to the traditional Thanksgiving fowl by offering BBQ-roasted turkeys, Peking ducks and tea-smoked ducks for the holiday. Angelenos throughout the city, and people living outside of Los Angeles, drive for miles into the historic district to grab these flavorful birds, which are available only during November, for their holiday meals.

Originating from Beijing, the Peking roast duck has been prepared since the imperial era and is now considered one of China's national foods. Now this age-old dish has a new tradition: Chinese families are serving it during the most American of holidays—Thanksgiving. Peking Duck is noted for its thick and crispy skin as well as flavorful dark meat. The ducks are seasoned beforehand and slowly roasted in a closed or hung oven. The meat comes out crispy on the outside yet tender and moist on the inside.

Another take on the duck is the tea-smoked duck, a quintessential dish of Szechuan cuisine. Tea smoked duck is prepared by smoking a marinated duck over tea leaves and twigs from the camphor plant, giving the duck a unique herby, smoke flavor.

Chinatown restaurants and merchants are also offering Chinese-style roasted turkeys, which are carefully steeped in a soy sauce marinade spiked with star anise, two different kinds of vinegar and sweet syrup. The turkey is then roasted, giving way to a crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, sweet and savory turkey. Prepared similarly to traditional Peking roasted duck, the turkeys have a crispy, seared skin and better-preserved juices than oven-roasted turkeys.

Many Chinese-American families serve their duck or turkey with complementary sides such as sticky rice stuffing, or with rice bao (a pancake), spring onions and hoisin sauce with their duck. These sides are available at most Chinatown merchants and restaurants.

Since these birds are very popular around this time of year, Chinatown merchants suggest placing turkey orders at least one week ahead of time to ensure that the size requested is available. Turkey prices range from $30 to $60, depending on size.

For a list of all Chinatown restaurants and merchants offering Thanksgiving food items, visit:

SOURCE Los Angeles Chinatown Business Council

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