I would have to say, Duck is probably my favourite meat. I think the reason why is that we don’t have it very often, so it is a bit of a treat. I love Duck of any variety and in any cuisine, however Asian style is the true winning cuisine for Duck, in my eyes. A hint of Chinese 5 Spice and a slow roast, basting occasionally with rich Hoi Sin sauce was a beautiful combination with a light, fragrant broth, delicate Asian mushrooms and crisp fresh greens. Such a simple meal but by no means simple in flavour.
Duck is a rich meat so 3 breasts would definitely feed 4 people, however use 4 if you are a bit of a glutton like me.
Prep time: 15 Minutes Cooking time: 50 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
3-4 duck breasts
2 tsp of Chinese 5 spice
2/3 cup of Hoi Sin sauce
1 tsp of sea salt
2 litres of chicken stock
3/4 cup of light soy sauce
5cm piece of ginger, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised with the flat of your knife
2 spring onions, halved
2 punnets of mixed Asian mushrooms*, small mushrooms kept whole, larger ones sliced in half
1 bunch of choy sum, cut into 4cm batons, rinsed
4 portions of Asian egg noodles
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Chilli oil or sauce of your preference for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 150°C and place a baking tray in the oven to warm up.
Place the stock, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and spring onion in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the broth to infuse on a low heat while you cook the duck.
Pat the duck breast dry with paper towel and lightly score the skin at 1cm intervals, being careful not to slice into the flesh. Combine the 5 spice and sea salt in a small bowl and grind the salt and spice together with your finger tips, before dusting both sides of the duck breast with the mixture, making sure they are evenly coated.
Heat a heavy based pan until nice and smoking hot and place the breast, skin side down in the pan. Allow them to cook for 4 minutes then turn and cook on the other side for 1 minute before removing from the pan and placing on the warmed baking tray, skin side up. You may want to lay a piece of baking paper underneath (save on washing up). Use a basting brush and brush Hoi Sin sauce on both sides of the duck breast before placing in the oven for 45 minutes. Baste the duck with another generous layer of Hoi Sin every 15 minutes before removing from the oven and allowing it to rest for 5 minutes before carving.
Cook the Noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and divide between the serving bowls.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the ginger, garlic and spring onion from the broth and discard. Pop the shiitake mushrooms in the broth and simmer for 2-3 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon and placing with the more delicate mushrooms on top of the noodles *(the more delicate varieties like Oyster and Enoki don’t require cooking. The residual heat of the broth will tenderise them once it is poured over).
Slice the duck breast on the scored skin lines and arrange over the noodles.
Place the choy sum in the simmering broth and allow to wilt for 1-2 minutes before removing with tongs and placing on the noodles. Bring the broth to a fairly rapid boil so it is nice and hot before ladling over the noodles, duck and vegetables. Top with spring onion and serve with chilli oil or sauce if you like, it adds a nice bit of warmth to the dish if you are a chilli lover such as myself.