Sesame Duck

Friday, 1 January 2010

2009's gone. Just like that, phffft!

Time for some new year resolutions?

Heheh, resolutions are not for me. I never keep them, so there's no point in making any. Actually, I don't even remember what they are by February!

I prefer new year wishes, which are much better than resolutions. Just wish, no resolve needed.

What do I wish for?

Oh, you know, the usual stuff. Lots of money, the more the better, so that I can buy everything that can be bought.

And, because money can't buy everything, I also wish for love and good health.

PhotobucketCan I have all the money, love and health I want and still be unhappy?

OK, just in case that's possible, I wish for happiness as well – an unlimited amount. (Obviously, I've read all the stories about people making wrong wishes after they find a lamp, bottle, or monkey's paw.)

And since it's no fun being rich, loved, healthy and happy alone, I wish you all the money, love, health and happiness that you would ever want.

Happy New Year, everyone!

The first recipe I'm sharing in 2010 is sesame duck. It's like chicken stir-fried with sesame oil (recipe here) but tastes very different. Nicer and more sophisticated, I would say, because duck has a richer, more complex flavour, and we don't eat it very often.

Duck can be quite dry in a stew but this recipe gets round that by chopping up the duck into small pieces. This allows the stewing sauce to get right into the meat, keeping it moist and tender.

There's plenty of galangal added, which makes a fantastic complement to the duck's gamey flavour. sesame duck is one of my favourite duck recipes and, you know, we Teochews know a thing or two about cooking and eating ducks.

(Recipe for 4 persons)

½ duck (about 1 kg)
80 g ginger, washed and julienned (I never peel ginger but you can if you want to)
80 g galangal, washed and sliced 2-3 mm thick
4 big cloves peeled garlic, washed and thinly sliced
1½ tbsp sesame oil (plus a few more drops when serving)
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
3 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp sugar
200 ml water

Rinse duck and remove skin and fat around the bottom. Chop into small pieces about 2 x 1 inches (5 x 2½ cm). (If you go to the market, you can get the duck chopped up when you buy it.) Heat a wok till very hot. Add 1 tbsp sesame oil and ginger. Stir-fry over medium heat till ginger is lightly golden. Add garlic and the remaining ½ tbsp sesame oil. Continue stir-frying till mixture is golden brown. Increase heat to high. Add duck and stir-fry till it changes colour and wok is very hot again. Add wine, dark soya sauce, light soya sauce and oyster sauce. Stir till well mixed and sauces are absorbed. Add 100 ml water and stir to deglaze the side of the wok. Tuck galagal slices around the duck. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low.

Put sugar in a small pot (don't use non-stick) and cook over medium heat. Swirl melted sugar around the pot and continue heating till it bubbles and looks like dark honey, when it's no longer sweet and before it turns bitter. Next, stand back from the pot and add 100 ml water. If some of the caramel solidifies, continue heating till it melts again. Add caramel liquid to the duck stew. There should be enough liquid to almost cover the duck.

Check that the stew doesn't get too dry and stir once every 20 minutes or so. Add a bit more water if any duck pieces are not in contact with the stewing sauce. Taste after 1 hour and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Duck's ready after 1¼ hours of gentle simmering, a big longer if you like it really soft. The sauce should be reduced but still watery, covering 60-70% of the duck. To serve, remove duck pieces to a serving bowl, skim off oil from the sauce, then add the sauce and a few drops of sesame oil to the duck. Or you could keep the stew in the fridge, covered, and remove the hardened fat the next day. Reheat thoroughly with a little bit of water added, and you have a better tasting stew than the previous day.


Blur Ting said...

I love duck. I'm going to make this for dinner!

Blur Ting said...

I made this dish for dinner and it was really really good! Four of us ate up one whole duck!

petunialee said...

This is excellent!!

KT said...

Hi Blur Ting, Petunia, I admire you for trying out recipes so promptly. When I see recipes I like, I try them, like, three years later!

Anonymous said...

I am delighted by your blog!
Could you please recommend a really good brand of dark soy sauce for this dish, and also a good choice of light soy sauce? Thank you!

KT said...

I like to use Tiger brand's dark and light soy sauces. There're various grades. I buy the one that's 'special' (above 'standard' and 'top quality').

Some brands are better than others but, to some extent, what's good is also a question of what you grew up eating.

Cheers. Good luck.

YEU said...

I am Teochew I love duck ! So when I see this recipe I just have to try it. I tried cooking this but sauce dries up after 1 hour more or so of cooking, leaving the duck soaked in a pool of it's own oil. Bottom of the wok was covered with the dried gluey black sauce :(

It happened after I added in the caramel liquid, fire was turned to the lowest to simmer, I stirred and left the kitchen (I kicked myself for that !). It had dried up when I returned after less than 15 min intended to give it a stir. I guess my stove lowest setting of fire is still too high. I was worried it will have chao tar smell and taste bitter so I stopped the cooking process.

End product was chewy duck, luckily not too tough nor taste burnt. Nevertheless, tasted great, love the flavour but so sad no sauce for rice. My family of 4 finish the whole duck in one meal !

Also, getting the caramel right is a bit tricky. KT, what is the reason for heating it till it's not sweet ?

Thanks for the wonderful and detailed recipe KT. Love it ! Will definitely try again....this time will watch the fire like a hawk.

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