Monday 15 February 2010

East Meets West - it's Grrrrreat!

As yesterday was Chinese New Year, which ushered in the year of the tiger, and tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day as it's known to many, I thought it was the ideal mid-way point to post this recipe.

Hope you enjoy!

Sticky Duck Pancakes
Serves 4 as a main with garlic & ginger pak choi & noodles or 8 as a starter
Rather than using shop-bought Chinese pancakes, why not try this? The batter, duck and garnish part of this dish can be prepared the day before so all you need to do is make the pancakes & re-heat the duck; it’s a great sharing dish for people to dig into.

If you want to serve this as you would get it in a Chinese restaurant, then prepare strips of cucumber & spring onion with hoi sin sauce. For a bit of difference though, why not try julienned French breakfast radish & finely shredded Chinese leaf with plum sauce or a mix of shredded wild garlic & watercress with a five spice cherry compote?

For the Duck:
Four large duck legs
3 tbsp Chinese five spice
1 whole star anise
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 onions, quartered
Half pint of milk stout or other dark, sweet beer like Mann's
Half pint of water
2tbsps Lyle’s Golden syrup

  1. Heat your oven to 190degreesC 
  2. Put the onions & star anise in the base of a baking tray which will fit all your duck legs
  3. Rub the five spice powder into the duck legs, arrange on onions and place in oven for an hour
  4. 50 minutes into cooking, put beer and Lyle’s Golden Syrup into a saucepan, whisk together and reduce until it coats back of a spoon
  5.  After duck has been cooking for an hour drain off the fat and add reduced sauce to the bottom of the baking dish then turn the oven down to 160degreesC
  6. Cook for another 20 minutes, basting the legs every five minutes for first 15 – skin should look varnished
  7.  Leave to rest somewhere warm – don’t cover or the skin won't go crispy
  8. Shred the duck just before serving

Pancakes (makes 16)
600ml Asian lager
4 medium eggs
250g plain flour
50g melted butter
2 tsp soy sauce

1.       Pour beer and eggs into a jug - beat well
2.       Place flour into a bowl and make hollow in centre
3.       Gradually pour the egg and beer mixture into the centre of the flour, whisking just in the centre as you pour
4.       As you pour more steadily, keep whisking so you pull in all of the flour from the outside of the bowl – this means you shouldn’t get any lumps
5.       Once all the flour is incorporated, whisk melted butter into the batter, cover with cling film and place in the fridge
6.       When you are ready to cook your pancakes take it from the fridge, add a tbsp of soy sauce and whisk into the mix before – cook as instructed in previous post

To Serve:
1.       Shred the meat from three of the legs and then only half shred the final leg before arranging on a warm sharing platter, the bone adds a little theatre to the dish. Put pancakes in a bamboo steamer separated by sheets of greaseproof paper and place in middle of table with the duck.
    3.       Serve with sauce and garnishes


    Mark said...

    Do you have a recipe for the five spice cherry compote? My other half would love that!


    Melissa Cole said...

    I don't have a recipe per se, it's a bit of a throw-together!

    I just stick some jarred cherries (because they have already been de-stoned and are guaranteed to be sweet) in a pan with a bit of sugar, black vinegar, chinese cooking wine, a splash of light soy, a small chopped green chilli and five spice then simmer until it's nice and sticky but not too solid!

    Mark said...

    Sounds good, thanks!