The universal appeal of this dish is biting into raw, crunchy vegetables, crackling skin, juicy meat and a piquant sauce, all wrapped in a delicate pancake.
4-5 hours or overnight drying
1 and 3/4 hours cooking time
2kg/5lb oven roast duck
1 tbsp. sugar or clear honey
1.5 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cucumber, cut into thin strips
5 spring onions
For the sauce:
6 tbsp. soy paste
3 tbsp. plum sauce, chutney or 2 tsp. plum jam
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. sesame oil
Slowly pour 1 litre (3/4 pint) of boiling water over the duck until the skin becomes almost white. Wipe the duck with kitchen paper and hang it to dry in an airy place for 4-5 hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6. When the oven is hot, place the duck on a wire rack in a roasting pan and roast for one hour – do not open the oven door while the duck is cooking. Mix together the sugar or honey, soy sauce and 200ml/7floz water. Remove the duck from the oven and brush all over with the soy sauce mixture. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. Slice the spring onions into 5-7cm/2-3 inch long matchstick slivers, slice the cucumber into pieces of the same length, but about three times as thick. Place the spring onion and cucumber slices on separate plates.
Stir the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan over a low heat until well blended, then pour into a bowl. Remove the cooked duck from the oven and peel the skin from the duck using your thumb and a sharp knife, as if peeling an apple, then place the skin on a serving plate. Carve the meat in the same way into long thin strips and place on a separate plate.
Pour some sauce onto a pancake and spread over, take a slice of duck skin and meat, then place it on the pancake with a slice of spring onion and cucumber. One edge of the pancake which will be the bottom of the roll is turned over the filling then the pancake is rolled and eaten with your fingers. Absolutely delicious!
1 and 1/4 hours, including resting batter, cooking time
250ml/8floz boiling water
1 tbsp. sesame oil
Sift the flour into a bowl, then add the boiling water to the flour. Mix well, transfer to a floured board and kneed well. Cover with a damp cloth or tea towel and leave for 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a long cylinder 25mm/1 inch wide. Pinch off 25mm/1 inch pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Flatten each ball into 6-7.5cm/2.5-3 inch discs. Brush one side of each pancake with sesame oil and place it against the brushed side of a second pancake. Lightly dust the pairs on both sides with flour and roll into 12cm/5 inch pancakes.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat for approximately 45 seconds, then place a pair of pancakes in the hot pan. When the dough begins to bubble slightly, after less than two minutes, turn the pancake over and cook for the same time again. Remove the pair of pancakes from the pan, gently tear them apart and place on a dish. Continue until all the pancakes are cooked.
Before serving, place the pancakes in a steamer or colander over a pan of boiling water, cover and steam for 5 minutes
Home-made hoisin sauce
5 minutes cooking time
Makes 150ml/5floz of sauce
This sauce can be used in most cases where hoisin sauce is called for.
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
60ml/4 tbsp. soy paste
25ml/5 tsp. plum sauce, chutney or jam
30ml/2 tbsp. tomato puree
15ml/1 tbsp. corn oil
25ml/5 tsp. chilli sauce
Just whizz all the ingredients together until well blended
Not at all easy to find suitable wines for this dish – indeed many would opt for a cold beer! It needs something dry, or just off dry, and with flavour and acidity to cope with the multiple flavours and oils in the dish. Try an Alvarinho grape variety white wine from the north of Portugal or, further south, DFJ produce an interesting Alvarinho/Chardonnay blend which would go quite well. For something different, try an espumante, a sparkling wine – go for Vertice Seco – not quite as bone dry as the brut and the very slight sweetness will go well with this dish.
For these and other wines come to WineMine Lda. They will gladly help you choose the wines you want and, as a member of the WineMine Club, you will be able to taste their wines before you buy and get a good discount. Find out more by calling 282 441 036.