I watched the reruns of Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey on TV a couple of weeks ago – a show where he explored the the diverse food cultures in Southeast Asia by visiting traditional family-run restaurants, street stalls, floating markets, night markets and fishing villages. In the show, he travelled through Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh, sampled a wide variety of local specialities and also cooked many locally inspired dishes. In one of the episodes, he cooked a Vietnamese-style duck in orange sauce dish.
This dish resembles that of a classic French dish, Canard à l’Orange, in which roasted duck is served with orange sauce. Vietnam was colonised by the French for a hundred years, beginning in the mid 19th century, and so, it is no surprise that a number of Vietnamese dishes are heavily influenced by French. The original Canard à l’Orange may be tasty, but the addition of various aromatics and chili brought this dish to a whole new level. A combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours, this dish is T.A.S.T.Y.
Vietnamese Duck Braised in Spiced Orange Juice
Adapted from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 2 hrs
Yield: serves 4-6
- 1 whole (about 2.2 kg) duck – chopped into large chunks
- 1 bulb garlic (peeled and crushed)
- 4-inch (about 50 g) ginger – sliced
- 2 red chili – keep the seeds, sliced (more or less depending on how spicy you want)
- 2 stalks lemongrass – bashed
- 5 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 L fresh orange juice(I used Tropicana Orange Smooth)
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 4 tbs fish sauce
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 stalks spring onion – white and green parts separated. Leave white part about 2-inch in length, thinly slice the green part for garnishing.
- Place duck pieces skin side down in a Dutch oven or large pot. Slowly render fats under medium heat until skin is browned. Brown the other sides as well. You may have to do this in batches, do not overcrowd the pan. Leave the duck pieces aside for later use. You can soak up the excess oil with kitchen towels.
- Remove the fats leaving only about 1 tbs of oil in the pot. Keep the fats for future use i.e. chips! It’s good stuff.
- Add garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, red chili and lemongrass. Fry until fragrant.
- Add in duck pieces, pour in all the orange juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and pepper. Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer for 1 hr, covered.
- After 1 hr, remove lid and leave to simmer for further 30 mins.
- Add the white part of spring onions and leave to simmer for further 10 mins.
- Season to taste and stir in the green part of the spring onion before serving.
I’m sending this to Dang and Oanh from rauom who is the host of this month’s Delicious Vietnam – founded by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey and Kim and Hong of Ravenous Couple.