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Teochew Braised Duck (Lo Ack 滷鸭)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

It's not often that I cook duck as the oil it releases never fails to amaze me. Imagine skimming off 1 cup worth of oil for each duck you cook. And everytime I eat duck dishes in restaurants, I'd think to myself  'My god, I'm drinking at least 1/4 cup of duck fats...but it's too yummy to give up...' It's only when you start cooking that you realise/ find out what actually goes into a dish or what it's composed of. So now, instead of eating half a duck, I eat a quarter =)

teochew braised duck 02

This is fairly common dish and can be found in many stalls in Malaysia. It's normally served with beancurds, eggs and intestines that are braised in the same sauce. Usually served with porridge but I like mine with rice. Not to forget the pickled vegetable, a must in my opinion. You can read about a restaurant review here. That's how we usually eat Teochew braised duck. 

teochew braised duck 01

I got this recipe from Bee's, a recipe from Pat Tanumihardja of "The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook" It was really flavourful and the chili-lime dipping sauce went really well with the salty duck. The duck sauce was a bit too salty and not as sweet as I remembered, but still very tasty. We really enjoyed it. I saw a few other recipes that involves cooking with caramelised sugar, I might try that next time. One more thing, the skin seemed darker coloured and patchy. Any ideas on why? adn how do I get it evenly coloured?

teochew braised duck 03
Ingredients:
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
  • 1 (about 2 kg) whole duck - rinsed and dried with paper towels
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 2 cups water (or more)
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 2 stalks lemongrass - bruised
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
Directions:
  • Rub 1½ tbs of the salt evenly all over the duck, including inside the cavity.
  • In a vessel large enough to hold the whole duck add in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently lower the duck into the vessel. The liquid should reach halfway up the duck. Add more water if necessary.
  • For the first 20 minutes, baste the duck every 5 minutes or so to color it evenly.
  • Cover and simmer for another 40 to 60 minutes, or until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender, flipping the duck halfway through cooking. (Total cooking time should be about 1 to 1½ hours.) To check for doneness, poke the duck in the thigh with a chopstick. If the juices run clear, the duck is cooked.
  • Turn off the heat and leave the duck immersed in the sauce for another hour if desired.
  • Cut the duck into serving pieces and arrange on a serving platter. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce, then drizzle a bit of the sauce over the duck. (the sauce was really salty, so I only used a bit.)
  • Serve with rice and the dipping sauce.
Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce

teochew braised duck chili sauce 01
Ingredients:
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chili
  • Juice from 3 limes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt
Directions:
  • Pound the garlic and chilies in a mortar with a pestle.
  • Add the lime juice and sugar.
  • Add salt to taste, mix well.

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