I am craving Crispy aromatic Peking duck…
I can not travel, I am showroom bound…
F refuses to go to any Chinese restaurant in Johannesburg fearing that they will douse us with MSG…
I am still craving duck and pancakes…
F is trying to entice me with Tsuyu, my favorite Japanese…
I don’t want sushi or tempura or yakitori…
I don’t feel like rolling up my sleeves…
But of course I will…
I am totally capable of cooking my own crispy duck.
Duck is an easy to find ingredient.
I have the best recipe in hand.
I have hoisin sauce and yellow plum and ginger preserve in the fridge.
I have all the condiments in the cupboard.
F is a pancake master including the Chinese pancakes.
Make a shopping list.
Pop in to Berliner (the butchery) and Friendly (the grocery).
De-frost the duck over night.
Find the lost recipe of Ching -He Huang. http://www.chinghehuang.com/page/bio/
Think about a way to dry the duck completely.
Et voila! An iron kitchen towel stand!
This is Ching’s recipe altered to my taste.
a whole duck ( around 2kg)
6 tbs honey
4 tbs Chinese five-spice powder
2 tbs dark soy sauce
salt and pepper to season
6 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs dark soy sauce
1 tbs plum jam
1 tbs old brown sherry
*Prick the duck all over with a small knife or fork. Carefully pour boiling water over the duck to rinse. Discard the hot water. Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan and dry all over by patting it with paper towels. Sprinkle the duck with salt and pepper and leave it in the roasting pan until ready to cook.
*In a small bowl, mix together the honey, 6 tablespoons water, five-spice and soy sauce. Brush the duck all over, inside and out. Let dry for about 10 minutes and then brush again. Repeat this process until you have used all but 4 to 5 tablespoons of the glaze (reserve this glaze). Ideally, let the glaze marinate on the duck overnight, leaving it uncovered in the fridge.
Mine was standing up all night hanging on the towel rack… guess what, I had to punish some one for this days of craving and cooking saga…
*Preheat the oven to 180′
*Place the duck in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Flip the duck over, baste with the reserved glaze and cook until the skin is crisp and golden brown, another 45 minutes. Make sure you check halfway through that it is not getting too dark. If it is getting too dark before half the cook time is up, turn your heat down and lower the rack in the oven. When the duck is cooked, remove from the oven and let rest while you make your sauce.
Heat a pan or wok over medium heat and add the hoisin, sherry, plum jam, sesame oil and soy sauce. When the sauce starts to bubble slightly set aside and let cool.
*In a large bowl, add the boiling water to the flour and begin stirring it in immediately. Knead the warm dough until you have a smooth dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Turn the rested dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough in half. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll each half out until it is 1/4-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 3-inch circles of dough.
Use a pastry brush to brush 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil over the top of 2 dough circles. Lay one pancake on top of each other, so that the oiled sides are together. (Don’t worry if one of the edges hangs over the other). Roll out the pancakes to form a 6-inch circle. Continue with the remainder of the pancakes. Use a damp towel to cover the prepared pancakes and keep them from drying out while making the remainder.
Heat a heavy frying pan over low heat. Add one of the pancake pairs and cook until browned on both sides (about 3 minutes altogether; the second side will cook more quickly than the first side). Remove the paired pancakes from the pan and pull them apart. Be harsh and pul them apart fast and furious other wise you will struggle. Continue with the remainder of the pancakes. Serve immediately.
These pancakes can be made ahead and frozen. Or of course can be shop bought…
Carve and slice some duck. Place a teaspoon of the sauce in the center of each pancake, add a couple slices of duck, garnish with the scallions and cucumbers and EAT immediately.