Teochew Braised Duck

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Served during special occasions in some Teochew homes, this dish is also available year-round in Teochew restaurants. The duck is cooked slowly over low heat until the meat becomes meltingly tender and absorbs all the flavours of the sauce. Firm bean curd, fried bean curd puffs and hard-boiled eggs are sometimes added to the gravy.

Ingredients

  • Duck 1, about 1.75–2 kg (3 lb 14 oz–4 lb 6 oz), cleaned and pat dry
  • Superior dark soy sauce 4 Tbsp
  • Salt 1 Tbsp
  • Five-spice powder 1 Tbsp
  • Cooking oil 3 Tbsp
  • Shallots 4, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Garlic 8 cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Cinnamon 1 stick
  • Ginger 5-cm (2-in) knob, peeled and pounded into coarse fragments
  • Galangal 5-cm (2-in) knob, peeled and pounded into coarse fragments

Seasoning

  • Sugar 5 Tbsp
  • Superior light soy sauce 375 ml (12 fl oz / cups)
  • Superior dark soy sauce 125 ml (4 fl oz / ½ cup)
  • Water 1 litre (32 fl oz / 4 cups)
  • Bay leaves 2
  • Dried tangerine peel 2–3 pieces, or about half a tangerine’s worth

Condiment

Method

  1. Start preparations a day ahead. Rub duck all over with dark soy sauce, salt and five-spice powder until it is well coated. Place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. Remove duck from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before you start cooking.
  2. Mix all seasoning ingredients together until blended and set aside.
  3. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wok large enough to hold duck. Add shallots and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add cinnamon, ginger and galangal and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add seasoning mixture to the wok and stir well. Place marinated duck in wok, breast side up. The duck should be at least half-covered with soy sauce mixture —add a little more water if necessary.
  5. Bring contents of wok to a simmer. Cover wok and braise over low heat for about 40 minutes, then turn duck breast side down, and braise for 45–55 minutes more, or until duck is thoroughly cooked and tender.
  6. Chop duck into serving pieces. Serve hot with rice, Teochew chilli dip and other side dishes.