i started cooking & inviting friends for dinners in mar2012. ^^
one year later i started my blog & made my very first post “I am NO Chef!” on 5.3.2013. at first it was on my cooking & dining out. later i added a travelogue for my travels.
i started with western dishes for simple reason. it is so easy to get cheap & very good hawker, zi char & chinese restaurant dishes, so cooking a good steak, lamb, cod, pasta etc western style & later japanese & “fusion” make a lot more sense than making braised duck & chicken rice 白斩鸡.
it was only later that i evolved my own recipes of braised duck, chicken rice 白斩鸡, curry chicken, claypot rice that i find it worthwhile (because they are good & replicable & easy to make) to make these dishes. in fact lately i made mostly these dishes for my dinner invites.
for this reason, there are dishes which i attempted but still don’t cook like sio bak (roast pork), hokkien mee, & hawker stall roast chicken. whereas my steak, lamb, pasta, miso cod etc would better many cafes & maybe equal some restaurants (not the plating & sides & sauces), it is meaningless to do cheap hawker dishes if i cannot do at least as good. of course i am not talking about elaborate fine dining dishes, sauces, foams, sous vide, confit etc. those are outside my league…
today i still think it is much harder to cook good chinese & asian hawker & restaurant dishes than western dishes. these dishes combines many ingredients & so complicated preparation eg a bakchomee vs a pasta, that unless i can make them easily & well, they are not worth doing.
of course views will change when you acquire the technique or method.
AND of course chinese roast duck is one such dishes. i never did a roast duck, so this was my very first attempt.
so that motivated me to try out first my own char siew & now my first time roast duck!^^
i debated doing a whole roast 1.8kg duck from giant or 1/2 a 2.2kg duck from sheng shiong to experiment.
so i cleaned & washed the duck thoroughly with salt (exfoliate), pat dry with kitchen towel, make a marinade & rubbed the marinade on the inside of the cavity & “stitched”. i did not have the longer bamboo skewer so i used what i have (toothpicks & lots of them). and they did a good job holding the marinade inside.
then i made a honey, rock sugar, white vinegar bath & baste the duck (holding vertically by neck) like 20times.
the i placed the duck on a roasting rack & left in the fridge for 2days to dry the skin (one of the youtube recipe suggested 4days! but 2 is fine for me).
on the day of dinner, i let the duck come to room temperature, pat dry further, and placed the rack in a 200degC oven (with circulation mode) for 1hr. did not know what to expect, but managed to turn the duck w/o tearing skin at 35mins.
at 1 hr i wanted the duck a bit more charred so i roasted for another 10mins.
the duck turned out to be very good.
all my friends actually preferred the duck to my char siew. anyhow for char siew, Meng Meng Roast Duck restaurant 阿明帝皇鸭 bar is just too high, and i am never going to meet that, so i am quite happy with the char siew i made. 🙂
my friends (& later my wife & children – i kept a drumstick quarter for them to try) said the duck was very flavourful. when i deboned the duck, i already knew the meat was tender & juicy, especially the parts near the bones, so i knew texture was good. & the taste & flavour was good too! only that i did not have any tong guai or herb flavours or tea smoked flavours. & the skin roasted, tasty, not tough, but also not the crispy skin of hawker stalls & restaurants.
it was not comparable of course with the delicious roast duck & best char siew at meng meng roast duck 阿明帝皇鸭 la!
still a very successful chinese roast duck, first time or not first time, anyhow i not sure second time will be better also la! lol! 🙂
i also made a simple sauce similar to the excellent sauce we had with london’s four seasons roast duck.
& it’s very easy to make – 3 tbsp top quality dark sauce, 1 tbsp top quality light soy sauce, 1-2tbsp water, 1 tbsp sugar & mixed.
simple yet so very tasty sauce for both chicken & duck! ^^
- one 2.2kg fresh duck
- 1/2 onion (sliced)
- 3cm ginger (sliced)
- 4tsp chopped garlic
- white stems of 2 stalks spring onion (small cuts)
- 3 star anise
- 1-2 cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp hoi sin sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp five spice powder
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp honey
bath for basting duck
- 3tbsp white vinegar
- 3tbsp honey
- 1tbsp hoi sin sauce
- 2cups water
- clean duck, exfoliate with salt & wash thoroughly, pat dry
- fry marinade (dry) to bring out the aroma, then add to marinade (sauce).
- marinade rub the inside cavity of the duck & stitch
- boil 2cups water & add white vinegar, honey hoi sin sauce. i use a wide wok pan for easy basting.
- hold duck by the neck & baste like 20 times, making sure cover every part of the duck including under the wings & drumsticks.
- place on roasting rack, cool & put in the fridge to dry the skin for 2 days.
- let duck come to room temperature, further pat dry, cover the wing tips & drumstick tips with aluminium foil, & put in 250degC oven for 1hr. turn duck at 35mins (optional – don’t turn if tearing the skin).
- let rest for 10mins. debone & serve.