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Soy Sauce Brined and Glazed Turkey

Image for Soy Sauce Brined and Glazed Turkey


8 -10


Prep Time

10 minutes


Cook Time

2 hours


Total Time

14 hours

kikkoman products used:


10 ounces Kikkoman® Soy Sauce*, divided
12-14 pound turkey
2 gallons cold water
¾ cup kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
Handful of mixed woody herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and/or sage, divided
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 7 pieces
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
1 2-inch wide strip orange zest
1 cinnamon stick

*May substitute Kikkoman® Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce


  1. Reserve ¼ cup Kikkoman® Soy Sauce for the glaze (you’ll use the rest of the bottle for the turkey brine).
  2. Remove giblets and turkey neck, rinse turkey inside and out.
  3. In a 16-quart stock pot or 5-gallon container, combine the remaining soy sauce from the bottle with water, salt, sugar, garlic, black peppercorns, and most of the herbs (save a small bunch for the glaze). Stir to dissolve salt.
  4. Place turkey in the pot, cover with a lid and brine in the refrigerator for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.
  5. Remove turkey from brine, discard brine along with garlic, peppercorns, and herbs. Pat turkey dry all over with paper towels. Place turkey breast side up on a flat or V-shape roasting rack set inside a large roasting pan. (If you don’t have a roasting pan, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, set a wire rack inside the sheet, and place turkey on wire rack.) Let turkey sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours (this will help it to cook more evenly).
  6. Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 450°.
  7. Working from neck end of turkey, gently slide your fingers between turkey skin and breast to loosen skin. Place four pieces of the softened butter underneath skin, rubbing all over breast and taking care not to tear skin. Tie legs together with kitchen twine or string and pour 1 cup water into roasting pan.
  8. Roast turkey, rotating pan halfway through, until skin is nicely golden brown all over, 30-45 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, combine remaining ¼ cup soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, herbs, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan. Cook glaze over medium heat until bubbling and slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes.
  10. Reduce oven temperature to 300° and brush turkey all over with glaze. Continue to roast turkey, brushing with more glaze every 30 minutes and adding more water to roasting pan as needed to prevent drippings from burning, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast near the neck registers 150°, 65–85 minutes longer. The skin should be deep golden brown, lacquered, and crisp. Transfer turkey to a cutting board or platter and let rest at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving.

Recipe and food styling by Christina Chaey.


Even people who love soy sauce and use it all the time are often surprised to learn what it is and how it’s made. We make ours from just four simple ingredients—water, soybeans, wheat, and salt. Those ingredients are transformed through a traditional brewing process—much like making wine or beer—that has remained unchanged for centuries.


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