Monday, January 16, 2006

Peking Duck Salad

Do you know when something seems SO obvious that you cannot believe you didn't realise it in the first place? Take tonight - I had some duck breasts and was looking to throw them into a quick salad before Figman expired from hunger. I tossed them into a hot pan and cooked for 6 minutes on the skin side. I then removed the duck fat from the pan (knew I should have bought that silicon baster) and put the breasts back in, on the other side, to cook for about 4 minutes. This is longer than the guidelines given in Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion, but I like my duck cooked. I left the breasts to sit in the pan while I got the salad ready.

A bowl full of mixed mesculun. Some olive oil and white wine vinegar. I ferried around in the veggie drawer for something solid and came up with a cucumber. This was peeled and julienned, in pieces about the length of a matchstick. My usual sauce had run out but I thought "Oh I'll just use the lovely Cunliffe Waters Spicy Blood Plum Sauce". As I continued slicing the duck into lovely thick chunks, my eyes wandered across the strips of pale cucumber and I thought "Oh my goodness, it's Peking Duck salad! How could I miss it??".

Okay, it's not stricly authentic. And I'd like to work on it a little when I am not restricted with my dietary intake. But for me, the changes are obvious: five spice powder on the duck as it sizzles; something crunchy - maybe diced bread fried in the duck fat; and the harsh bite of onion. Spring onion would be usual, but I'd like to try spanish onion for the texture and colour against the greens. Anyway, here it is for now, in all its imperfections.


At 3:03 PM, Blogger Ange said...

This looks delicious & what a great yet simple idea, i love duck & esp in any form of salad, will have to give it a go soon.

PS - Check out my blog if u have a spare sec, i promise there will be more exciting posts soon when i am off my January detox

At 12:37 AM, Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Looks very good. Love duck in this form!

At 11:23 PM, Blogger cin said...

Mmmm, two great asian food posts in a row. This salad looks great! and I love chilli crab two but I've never tried cooking with EITHER duck or crab before. Should just give it a go, shouldn't I?

At 8:48 PM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Ange, nice to meet another Melbourne blogger! I'm on a detox as well, and it's not very interesting at all - food wise!

Welcome Bea! I've only just starting cooking the duck breast in the pan this way - I've been more into the slow braise of the maryland cut. But this isn't bad at all and very meaty.

Hi Cin - I didn't even realise that they were both Asian meals! I've been doing a lot more Middle Eastern stuff this year but Asian fits more easily into diet/detox. I've only started cooking crab in the last year - I was really scared before that (and you can tell by the post that I'm not that brave) but it's worth it. And duck - so easy peasy, used to be only a "restaurant meal" for me and now I cook it all the time.

I've had trouble again being able to leave a comment on your blog, even in Explorer, but I'll try again this evening!

At 4:51 AM, Blogger Cyndi said...

I've never had duck. Ever. Doesn't mean I wouldn't like it, though. That salad looks wonderful! So glad I discovered you! I'll be back.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Niki said...

Very nice, and perfect for the weather. I went out to the North Fitzroy Star last night for dinner, where I've been wanting to go for ages, and all I could order was a salad. Granted it was a fantastic beetroot and fetta salad, but it was still a salad. In a pub. In 42 degree heat. Ugh.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger dani said...

divine divine. your last 2 posts talk to me so deeply. this is soul food to me, family comfort food. my mouth is watering.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger MM said...

The duck salad looks delicious. I love duck in any form too. Yums!


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