Sunday, 10 March 2013

Food Dairy: Teochew Braised Duck 【食记:潮州卤鸭】

卤鸭,潮州人过年少不了的年菜。我妈祖籍潮州,过节,祭祖,少不了自家卤的鸭。印象中,也只尝过我妈和她妹的手艺,想找家餐厅点道潮州卤鸭恐怕也没那么容易。

卤鸭I


卤,是中餐的烹饪技巧之一。把原料放入卤汁中慢火烧煮成熟,让卤汁渗入,晾凉后便可食用。卤蛋,卤肉较为普遍,不过卤味当中,卤鸭可是极品。就算是北京烤鸭也要让它三分。
卤菜做的好不好,考的就是卤汁调制的功夫。所谓的"色香味"俱全,菜未入口前,要看得上眼,要挑得起食欲,所以说"色"排在头位也不无道理。那卤味的调色、要拿捏的好。太淡了,激不起食欲,太浓了就有煮老了,煮焦了的嫌疑。当然,最简单的就是加大量的老抽,靠老抽的浓色酱汁给原料上色。不过总觉得,老抽的色泽太过浓烈,会把整道菜给弄的黑漆漆的。所以,家里老妈子的食谱会以熬焦糖开始。

细白砂糖熬煮到呈棕红色,开始闻到焦糖味时熄火,迅速浇入热开水,焦糖液既成。然后加入卤汁不可缺的香料 - 丁香,八角,桂皮,陈皮,草果,南姜。潮式的卤味,南姜是关键,绝不可缺。卤汁中要有南姜,鸭肚子里也要塞入姜块,卤熟后才取掉。最后依口味加入适量的盐,以及老抽。鸭子入锅,慢火卤煮时,要不停地给鸭翻身,除了要让鸭身均匀上色之外,也要避免鸭皮沾上锅子。


卤鸭II

卤熟的鸭子,晾凉之后便可斩切上盘。不须任何酱料,味浓香软的卤鸭肉,不油腻,非常的开胃。吃卤鸭肉,不象吃鸡,不挑腿肉,只选胸肉,背肉,尤其是沾骨的部分。南姜的幽香,肉片还未入口,已想要喊加饭!



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后记:
在一位中国朋友的推荐下一口气把七集的「舌尖上的中国」给看完。就在观后的感动及冲动下,自己也想动笔把自己的舌尖上的故事给纪录下来。这个系列可维持多久没敢保证。就希望这第一篇不会是最后一篇。

要用英语写吃的,除了"delicious", "taste good"之外,就没本事写出好东西,却又不想让这原是英语的部落格变了调,只好硬着头皮也写一小段。不能字译,只能意译,见谅见谅。
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When talking about duck in Chinese cuisine, Peking Duck or Cantonese Roast Duck will be the first one to come to mind. But there is one dish - Teochew style braised duck that worth mentioning. Braised duck is a Teochew delicacy that won't be missed on our dining table during traditional celebration. As much as I love the dish, it won't be easily found in a local restaurant, the memory of my taste bud is deep rooted with my mum's recipe.


The balance between color, flavor and taste is important while braising the whole bird. You can depends solely on dark soy source for the coloring but to get the perfect dark golden brown colors, start from melting caramel coloring is a no-brainer.

After diluting the burned sugar with hot water, add in the following spice - cloves, star anise, cinnamon, orange peel, black cardamom, galangal, salt and soy source. Here, galangal is the secret ingredient in this cuisine. Galangal not only used in the cooking liquid, it is stuffed inside the cavity to add extra flavor to the meat. While braising the whole duck, turn the bird often to color it evenly.

The fully cooked duck is then cool down before cutting into serving pieces. While drumstick is always the part of choice for chicken, I prefer to go for breast meat for this particular dish. The long hours of braising added enough flavor to the duck. The juicy and succulent meat goes best without any extra sauces.

While I try to divert my diet towards vegetarian, cutting down meat consumption in recent years, I can't really resist the temptation once I'm back into my mum's kitchen. As a meat lover, saying no is near impossible. I guess I can only be a vegetarian in my own kitchen after all :P




卤鸭III





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