Saturday, January 03, 2009

From the Kitchen of Mama Wong - Part 3

Ginger Braised Duck

I've only had this at three places - my home, my grandma's home, and at the home of some relative I go to during the Chinese New Year. I like the ones at the first two; the last one wasn't too nice coz they used the wrong type of ginger and there's a lack of sauce. No kick ar.

Ingredients -
Duck (Whole)
Bean Paste (2 tablespoons; I prefer the brand with the green urn as the logo)
Garlic (4 cloves)
Black Beans (it's called lu[3] dou[4] in mandarin, but I've no idea what it's called in English)
Young Ginger (2 medium-sized one about 10-12 cm long each)
Oyster Sauce (1 tablespoon)

All set? Here we go.

Newspapers Recommended
So you got a duck, and it's dead. Next thing you want to is to clean it (you don't know where it's wobbly ass has been do you?). Take the meat to the tap and tweezer its remaining feathers off.

Out then comes the cleaver, and to its head the first blow goes. Once that's done, take the carnage to [unsuitable content edited].

So once the duck's all cut up and you've cleaned up all the mess in the kitchen, it's off to the boring stuff.

Old Ginger May Be the Most Flavorsome
But in this case, we'll be using young ginger. You won't want to kill off the sweet sweet taste of the duck with an overpowering bitter aftertaste of brainsed ginger rite?

Thought so.

Anyway, there is a very easy way of differenciating young ginger from their grandparents. All you have to do is take a closer look - the young ginger usually comes in a packet labelled "YOUNG GINGER".

But seriously, the young ones have a slight green tint to it, and the grocers usually keep the green leaves for you so that you can differenciate. Also, their skin (or bark) is a very thin compared to old ones. They also have a sweeter smell when you break them; the old ones have a distinct 'spicy' ginger whiff to them. Kinda like old men and their Chinatown Cologne.

Back to the kitchen!

Scrape the skin off the ginger, and cut them up into big long slices. Put em aside and we'll move on the bean paste.

All Black and Blue and Brown and Gooey and Soft
Smash the garlic with the cutting knife to get the peels off, and then add them to 2 tablespoons of bean paste. Add the black beans to the goop and take out your cleaver. Oh, this has to be done on a hard surface that you won't mind damaging.

With the blunt end of the cleaver (you cut with the sharp edge. The other one's called the blunt end), pound in the garlic, bean paste, and the black beans. Once they're VERY MIXED (or when the police arrives as a result from a call from the neighbors), put the paste aside and fire up the wok.

The Oily Bit
Heat the cooking oil and toss in the ginger. Cook till you catch a whiff of cooked ginger and then add in the bean paste. Keep stirring in medium heat until you smell the garlic from the paste. (For those with blocked noses, stirr until the paste covers every bit of every slice of ginger; I'd still recommend clearing the blockage though)

Note: You have to keep tossing the paste around. You won't like the taste of burnt paste, trust me.

It's then time to add in the duck! Toss the meat around for about a minute to mix in the paste (make sure all of the duck's covered), and then add in the oyster sauce. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. The meat won't be cooked but that's what the next part is for.

Pulling the Transfer
Once the duck's cooked with oyster sauce for a little bit, we're going to transfer the duck from the wok into a pot. I'm not very good around the kitchen so I won't know the exact name of the kind of pot. All I know is it's made in France so I'll call it Potty le France.

So put all of the duck into Potty and then add in about 2 and a half bowls of water. Cook to a boil and then leave to simmer for 90 minutes.

Open the lid to stir the duck every 30 minutes. Otherwise keep it closed so the sauce remains thick.

At the end of 90 minutes, the duck's good to go.

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