If you’ve ever perused the aisles of a Japanese grocery store, you’ve probably noticed several things.
The bananas are prepackaged.
There is no cereal aisle, only an itty bitty cereal section with, maybe, 4 types of cereal (this makes me curl up in a ball and cry every time I go to the grocery store. No really).
A plethora of fresh seafood available at a decent price (being a couple thousand miles away from the ocean, you don’t see a whole lot of fresh ocean fish in Oklahoma).
Whole wheat bread? What whole wheat bread?
You mean you want a bag of whole wheat flour that contains more than two cups of flour for less than $5? But why? *cue involuntary eye twitch*
One other interesting difference you might notice is the lack of ground sausage meat. While there are plenty of mini wieners (called sausages here, but to me, they just taste like mini hot dog wieners), a few different types of real sausages, and even fish sausages, there is no ground sausage meat.
Now, some people love sausages. My husband is one of them. Power to them. I, however, have always preferred ground sausage, more specifically, ground turkey sausage. It’s healthier than your regular pork sausage, and it’s tasty too! Sadly, I’ve simply never found any form of ground sausage meat here in Japan.
One day, however, I discovered a ridiculously simple looking recipe for turkey sausage, and thought, “Yes! That’s it! I’ll make my OWN turkey sausage!”.
Following this epiphany, there was much dancing and rejoicing, until I realized that there is also no ground turkey meat in Japan.
Fortunately! I had another epiphany, and decided I would just use ground chicken (readily available in Japan) instead of turkey, because who can tell the difference, really?
Thus began my first attempt at making my own
turkey chicken sausage.
My husband and I both love this sausage. It tastes just like turkey sausage you’d buy in the store. Some added benefits, you can adjust the spiciness and salt content yourself, and you don’t have to worry about dangerous nitrates or other dodgy chemicals being present in your sausage. It’s a win-win situation. And who doesn’t like a win-win situation that involves good food?
The recipe I use is based on the Breakfast Turkey Sausage recipe from the book, Nourishing Traditions.
I recommend doubling (or tripling) this recipe, then just freezing the patties (method mentioned below), so you’ll have them on hand whenever you want.
- 1 lb ground turkey (or ground chicken)
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin, marjoram, ground pepper, oregano, ground nutmeg, ground ginger
- 1/8 -1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like your sausage)
1/2 tsp dried basil, thyme, sage
- 1/2 tsp salt ( recommend sea salt)
- 1 egg
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing until spices are well incorporated.
Cover and refrigerate mixture for at least one hour to allow the flavors to combine (trust me, it tastes better if you do this).
Shape into patties and cook on a skillet on medium heat until brown on one side, then flip and continue to cook on the other side until brown. You can either cook the patties in some melted butter, or on a dry non-stick skillet.
If you want to freeze your sausage patties, line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Shape the sausage mixture into patties and place on the lined cookie sheet so they’re not touching (You can create more than one layer of patties on the same cookie sheet if you separate each layer with wax paper). Pop the cookie sheet (uncovered) into the freezer for about an hour. After an hour, pop the frozen patties off the wax paper and store in a large freezer bag.
If you think of it, you can take out however many of the frozen patties you’ll need for breakfast the night before, and put them in the refrigerator. Or if you’re like me, and breakfast is a spur of the moment decision you make while waiting for the coffee to finish, then you can just defrost the patties in the microwave before cooking them as mentioned above. Easy.