Panda has been with us in the cartoon kitchen for almost three weeks now, and – despite Fidget’s initial dismay – his unexpected arrival has blossomed into a period of delicious and exotic culinary creativity. So with Christmas fast approaching, the Rowes have been inspired yet again…
Duck with plum sauce and vegetable side dishes
Based on a Ching-He Huang recipe, this tasty meal offers a main dish of duck accompanied by a selection of side dishes (stir-fry green beans, paprika sweet potatoes and roasted plums and apricots).
Start by preparing the duck and the marinade. In a food/freezer bag mix the ingredients for the marinade: 4tbsp grated fresh ginger, 2tbsp rice wine (mirin), 2tbsp Sichuan peppercorns (pounded), 1tsp sea salt, three star anise (whole) and 2tbsp LKK Double Deluxe Soy Sauce. Put two duck breasts (skin criss-cross scored) in the bag and massage the marinade into the meat. Close the bag and set aside to rest for at least 30min while you get on with the rest of the preparation.
For the sweet potatoes you will need: two sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-size chunks, 1tsp paprika, 2tbsp olive oil, 1tsp sea salt. Toss well in a bowl then cook on a baking tray in the oven at 180°/gas mark 4 for 30–40min. On one side of the baking tray you can also roast two plums (stone removed, sliced in eight) and four or five soft dried apricots (sliced).
For the green beans you will need: a bunch of green beans (about 100g) trimmed, clove of garlic (sliced), 1tbsp vegetable oil, 1tbsp sesame oil, 2tbsp LKK Double Deluxe Soy Sauce. Blanch the beans in boiling water for a minute or so, drain well and stir fry for a couple of minutes with the vegetable oil and garlic. Add the sesame oil, give it another minute, turn the heat off, add the soy sauce, toss well and set aside. Keep warm.
When the sweet potatoes are nearly ready, take the duck breast out of the marinade and fry, skin-side down, for 2–3min. Continue cooking in the oven: place the breasts (skin-side up this time) in the baking tray next to the sweet potatoes and cook at 200°/gas mark 6 for another 4–5min until the duck is done to your liking and the sweet potatoes are ready. Remove the roasted plums and apricots from the tin and toss them in a bowl with the juice of a lime.
Let the duck rest (covered in foil) for 2min, then cut it into 1cm slices and serve with the green beans, sweet potatoes, roasted plum/apricot and a good helping of LKK Plum Sauce for dipping.
Such richness of flavour – earthy and zingy: no wonder Fidget wants Panda to stay!