Weekend Tangent: My great grandmother’s veal turkey stuffing recipe


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Hi Blog.  This is some serious business for me, although a tangent for others (but not so as Canadian Thanksgiving is mere days away; American readers, stock up!).

This here’s a family recipe, handed down through now four generations, for the thing I miss the most about the US:  turkey stuffing.  As any aficionado of turkeys knows, if the stuffing is subpar, then the turkey also comes out dry and bland (this is one of the reasons why so many Japanese I believe find turkey underwhelming, and don’t know what the fuss is about).

I grew up on this, but since I can’t get it here (turkeys cooked here are often killed by a soy sauce, not a butter, base; they are smoked up here in Hokkaido rather than baked as well, which to me is underwhelming), there’s no reason why I shouldn’t propagate this recipe worldwide.  It’s very simple.  The only thing you have to do is convert Imperial to metric, and Bob’s Your Uncle.  From my great grandmother Appolonia Mendis Cypcar, born in Southern Poland, emigrated to the US at the turn of the 20th Century, survivor of one of the world’s biggest nautical disasters (the capsizing of The Eastland in Chicago harbor on July 24, 1915), survivor of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 (my great grandfather Mendis did not survive it), survivor of the Great Depression, who died at the age of 96 in the 1980s.

From Arudou Debito, great grandson, Debito.org

(for a 13-14 lb turkey)

  1. 1 lb ground veal
  2. 1/2 box of saltines (box 1 1b size) ground coarsely
  3. 1 pint whole milk
  4. 1/2 lb butter
  5. 4 eggs beaten
  6. salt and pepper to taste

And that’s it. Mix together and stuff family turkey as normal.  Enjoy.  Arudou Debito in Tokyo

14 comments on “Weekend Tangent: My great grandmother’s veal turkey stuffing recipe

  • Dang, for me(an american) this feels early! I’ve got it! Americans immigrating to Japan must be mandated to bring stuffing with them! But then the GOJ might get upset about the Soy sauce “Japanese” turkeys getting “corrupted by foreign influences”. We will become Turkey Activists and demand the right for stuffing in Japan! (『出人の七面鳥改正案』wwww)

    — Hey, people have been telling Debito.org to get stuffed for quite some time now.

  • Is there a place I can find turkey in Japan?I remember last time I had turkey was on Xmas at Ramada, 2 years ago.

    — Costco has them oftentimes. The disastrous ones with soy sauce base were prepared for me by Mitsukoshi.

  • I sometimes get a good stuffing, but that’s because I do Karate. Does that count? As for the Issuikai and all their ilk can get stuffed.

  • Always good to be English at this time of year! (And at American Thanksgiving). No turkey to stuff, no relatives to invite, nothing to worry about till Christmas!

  • Hi, I tried this recipe for our Thanksgiving Dinner and it turned out very yummy. I liked it better than the other various sorts of stuffing recipes I’ve tried over the years. We don’t eat much meat so this time I think we are justified to eat veal only once a year …

    I thought half a pound of butter was a bit of overdose (!!!) so I cut that into 1/3. Melted butter was still visible remaining at the bottom of the pot after everything has cooked … I don’t think you need half a pound, haha!

    Also to cut the cooking time of the turkey, I cooked the stuffing outside of the cavity .. in a pot. To infuse with turkey flavor, I made turkey stock with giblets and poured it into the stuffing.

    To keep the turkey moist, I cooked it upside down, (i.e. breast down), following this recipe: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moms_roast_turkey/

    Happpy Holidays!


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