Braised Duck with Black Bean Sauce
According to Chinese herbal medicine, duck is the suitable poultry for summer. Duck meat is a ‘mildly cold’ food and can eliminate wetness in the body. Believe it or not, like most Cantonese, I have respected and followed this food theory that has been passed from generation to generation.
I always like to spend a bit more time cooking seriously nice and good food for myself and my family in weekends. Since duck is seasonal food, I made this braised duck with fermented black soybeans. Fermented black soybean is a common seasoning ingredients in many Chinese dishes, such as Steamed Pork Ribs with fermented black soybeans, Fried Green Chili Pepper with fermented black soybeans. Canned fermented black soybeans with Fried Fish is one of the most popular canned food for Chinese. This black seasoning ingredient can be obtained easily everywhere in most of the Chinese grocery stores, it tastes similar to soy sauce but with even richer flavour.
Duck, half, with bones, 1000g. In this recipe, I choose duck with thick meat. You could ask your butcher to chop and bone the duck for you. But meat with bone is always much more flavourful than those without;
Potato, 2, about 400g. Or any other root vegetables, carrot, turnip, etc;
Fermented black soybeans, 2tbsp;
Star anises, 3;
Big dry red chili, 2, it’s not very spicy but if you can’t bear any spiciness, skip it;
Rock sugar, 40g, or any table sugar;
Dry tangerine peel, 1. If you can’t obtain it, though it’s not difficult, you could use orange or lemon peel instead, remember to remove the white part, they are bitter;
Dark soy sauce, 2tsp;
Light soy sauce, 2tbsp;
Chinese cooking wine, or any cooking wine, 1/4 cup;
How to do –
1. Prepare the ingredients. Duck chopped into big pieces, ask for butcher’s help if you can’t do it yourself; ginger sliced; potato cut into big chunks;
2. Duck is quite a fat meat so I would blanch it first to remove some blood and fat. Put in the duck pieces in a big pot of boiling water, wait till the water boiling again, then drain. I really don’t like fat meat so I would process the duck in this way. But if your duck is not very fat or you don’t care much, skip this step;
3. Brown the meat. Heat a little oil in a hot pan, put in the duck, skin side down, in medium high or high heat, wait till one side turn golden brown and a bit of fat released, turn to other sides. It might need a bit time to brown the duck but it really worth doing so. There would be quite a bit of duck fat released and I wouldn’t keep it for this dish. Remove it all from the pan but do save it for fried vegetables or baked root vegetables;
4. Keep the duck in the pan, put in the chili, star anises, fermented black soybeans, fry with the duck for a few seconds till fragrant;
5. Layer the ginger slice at the bottom of a cast iron pot or any casserole pot, put the duck on, season with soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar, tangerine peel and some water. Lid on, bring to boil then simmer in medium heat for half an hour. Stir once or twice to make sure all meat braised in the sauce;
6. After simmering, have a taste, adjust with a little salt, then potato in, simmer for 20 more minutes;
7. Now duck and potato are tender enough. Heat up and reduce the sauce, do keep some sauce for steamed rice or noodle. When it’s done, heat off, lid on and let it sit for 10 more minutes. That tastes better.