Monday, January 24, 2011

Spirit of the Wok: Chapter 2

Sake and Ginger

Sliced Ginger and Spring Onions

Tea Smoked Peking Duck (recipe from "Authentic Recipes from China" by Kenneth Law, et al) was excellent but took over 3 hours to make. First there was a sauce to make (hoisin sauce, sansho pepper, sesame and other oils), then Sichuan Pepper and Salt dip and of course, steamed buns or Man Tou.  The Duck had to be cleaned, spring onions and ginger placed inside the cavity, salted and spiced with ground Sichuan peppercorns or sansho pepper (not sure what spice this is for sure so I used Sichuan Chili pepper which looked close enough).   Sake was then poured over the duck in a deep pot and then steamed for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Next came the smoking in a dry wok for 10 minutes.  Dried loose tea leaves, bay leaves, star anise and cinnamon are placed in a wok.  When the tea leaves and spices start smoking,  the duck is added to the wok over a rack and then the wok is tightly closed.  I had no lid for my wok, so I used a pizza plan weighed down by other pots..  The aroma was wondrous.

Then the duck was roasted for one hour while I finished making the buns (Man Tou) -to be steamed in the bamboo steamer the very last minute.  Of course I had no rolling pin at the condo we  leased, so I used a well cleaned full plastic soda bottle.  Needed to improvise, but it worked just great.
Finally the duck was deep fried in a large wok over high heat for 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side).
It was Crispy but moist, served sliced in the steamed buns - split open - with the sauce drizzled over the duck and then dunked in the Sichuan Pepper and Salt dip.  Spectacular!!