Tuesday, 15 November 2011

5 spice duck with crunchy noodle salad and homemade sweet chilli sauce

This is my taste of the orient.  So fresh and tasty.  Duck is such a seasonal treat, readily available from September to January.  The richness of the meat compliments the sharpness of the sauce and the freshness of the salad.

serves 2
For the duck:
2 duck breasts
Salt and pepper
4tsp 5 spice powder

For the salad:
1 carrot
½ small white cabbage
A small handful of sugar snap peas
A small handful of beansprouts
1 sheet of medium egg noodles
2tsp Sesame oil
2tsp Sesame seeds
1tsp honey
2tsp soy sauce

For the sauce:
225g caster sugar
150ml water
1 red chilli and 1 green, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic crushed
1inch piece of ginger grated
1 stalk lemon grass
2tbsp fish sauce
1 lime, juice only
1 small spring onion finely chopped
1 very small bunch of corriander, finely chopped

Begin with the sauce as it can be made well in advance.

To make the sauce:
Place the sugar and water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chillies, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes a syrup. 
Remove from the heat, strain to remove all the bits and add the fish sauce, vinegar and lime juice.
Leave to cool, then stir in the spring onions and very finely diced coriander and refrigerate until required.  You can add more chilli for colour if you want but i like it clear.

For the duck:
Pre heat the oven to 200 / gas mark 6.

Score the skin of the duck to help render the fat.

Season the duck with the salt and pepper and the five spice powder on the skin and flesh.

In a COLD frying pan place the duck skin side down and then the heat on.

Set a timer for 3 minutes and cook the duck without touching it.

All the fat will render out of the skin slowly giving you a delicious crisp edible skin.

after 3 minutes flip the duck and fry for 1 minute on the other side.

After 1 minute transfer the duck to the hot oven and cook for 3 minutes in which time you can prepare the salad.

When the duck is cooked its ESSENTIAL you leave it to rest for at least 5 minutes to help the meat relax to make it really juicy and tender.

For the salad:
Cook the egg noodles as per the packet instructions, its usually simmer for 10 minutes until tender.

Cut the carrots into quarters lengthways then using a sharp knife, a food processor attachment or a mandolin slice the carrot as thinly as possible, so you have long thin slivers of carrot.  Do the same with the cabbage. 

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

For more flavour gently toast your sesame seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat until they are golden.  This releases lots more flavour than adding them un toasted.

Serve the salad drizzled with some of the prepared sauce with the duck sliced on the side and an extra little dish of dipping sauce on the side.  Totally food heaven!  Leave the duck out for a packed lunch staple!

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