HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


For those not celebrating traditional Thanksgiving, what are you having for dinner?

So many posts about Thanksgiving lately, and while I found all of them interesting, they are not actually practically for me. Why? Because my Asian family doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving. However, that's not to say we won't have a good meal with the family during the holiday. For instance, my mother, knowing that we don't have to go to work and will all be available for dinner, will cook us some great chicken, simmer a big bowl of hearty soup for the whole day, and probably make a stew of some sort.

This year, I am actually spending my Thanksing holiday in Hong Kong, so I am likely to be enjoying roast goose and wonton! ;D

For those of you who don't really celebrate Thanksgiving or will be by yourself, what is your alternative for your TG dinner?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No turkey here! Five pounds of asari clams to steam from my favorite sushi bar, while the rest of the family eats the bird!

    1. Author Calvin Trillin writes that his family observes the REAL Thanksgiving tradition by dining on Spaghetti Carbonara. It seems that this was the Indians' specialty, which they brought to that first Thanksgiving celebration with their new, dour, party-pooping neighbors. Upon sampling this toothsome offering, the puritanical Pilgrims pronounced it "heretically tasty", dashing the festive atmosphere of the meal. When it was over and the Pilgrims left, the Indians said "Good riddance to those turkeys..." - hence the misunderstanding that has subjected subsequent generations to dry, chewy poultry.

      1. Chinese hot pot with all the fixins!

        1. I traditionally have a vegan Thanksgiving due to the returning home of various adult children who are vegan. I also have the same omnivore guests every year and they say they always look forward to it. So - the tentative menu this year is:
          Poached pear salad with aged balsamic vinegar and blue cheese for those who like to add it on top
          Pumpkin mushroom soup
          Veggie pot pie
          Mashed potatoes
          Cranberry sauce (home made)
          brussel sprouts with chestnuts
          Homemade string bean casserole
          stuffing (vegan- made in a casserole dish)
          Some sort of home made bread or biscuits
          Apple pie
          Another dessert to be determined
          Coffee and chocolates

          Some parts of the menu are the same every year. Screaming will result if there are no mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce or stuffing.
          Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Fiona

            i would be curious to know how you make vegan string bean casserole, i'm spending thanksgiving with a good friend who is vegan and from the midwest, and i know she'd love that! i've made it before from scratch but never thought it could be made vegan.

          2. Steamed clams, lobsters, potato salad, coleslaw and blueberry pie w/ vanilla ice cream for dessert.

            1. The SO will be coming home from a 10-day tour in Canada that day, so more than likely - grilled cheese sandwiches.

              1. I work stupid hours in retail, late Wednesday nignt, insane early Friday morning. Something I can do in thirty minutes or so, fried speckled trout I caught this summer, or grilled oyster. The insanity has already started, it's 4 am local and I just got off work.

                1. When my family still lived in New Orleans around all my other relatives, we would have a huge Vietnamese based feast. Always having chicken sticky rice the only way my grandma can make, crab puffs in a special way, egg rolls, big bowls of aspargus crab soup, rabbit in all sort of ways, and depending on grandma's mood sometimes we will have stuffed cornish game hens.

                  Man I miss having all those different foods. I think a couple years ago we had went for Christmas. Instead of any kind of traditional Vietnamese feast, it was just the beginning of crawfish season. So one day filled with just crawfish and the next day a feast of both crawfish and crab legs.

                  1. We generally have a vegetarian thanksgiving and just sub out the turkey for a veggie main dish. Super easy to do.

                    But, on Christmas we often eschew a traditional meal and enjoy an Indian feast. Samosas, potato/cauliflower/tomato dish that we love, basmati rice, dal or other lentil dish, some fabulous parantha and chutneys.

                    We love having a different kind of feast during the holidays. I'd suggest thinking ethnic, and just going for something completely unlike any traditional American feast, thereby avoiding any comparisons. A Thai feast would be a fun alternative, which we are considering for Christmas this year. Also, I would love to do tamales and have a south-of-the-border feast during the holidays one of these years.