Sunday, 10 March 2013

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




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。




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。

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


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