Culinary Odyssey (Part 5): Warm duck salad with soy dressing
By Dan Jackson, Exodus Agency Sales Manager
With so much attention focussing on the Olympics right now it would seem fairly appropriate for me to knock up some amazing Chinese cuisine for you to salivate over. Only trouble is I’m going to hold my hands up and admit this is a gaping hole in my culinary CV - apart from the odd stir fry (and I’m not going to insult your intelligence by patronising you with this dish when we all know a student could knock up a half decent stir fry) I just don’t do Chinese food – in fact, I rarely even eat it all – and besides I’m not a huge fan of the thought of chicken feet and turtle soup.
So apologies if you were expecting a Chinese banquet for today’s culinary odyssey but this little number is perfect for a light Summery meal and the added bonus is that it does include a major ingredient in Chinese cuisine – Duck.
I’m going to dispense with the feet, neck and tongue and all the other ‘delicacies’ that you might find simmering away on a roadside stall in a Beijing alleyway and stick to the breast if that’s ok with you.
2 Duck breasts - skin on
100g bag of watercress
2 small oranges cut into segments (or try with cherry tomatoes instead)
5-7 spring onions roughly chopped
Handful of halved walnuts
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon of honey
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Pinch of fresh chilli flakes
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Score the skin of the duck breasts and season.
Pan fry the duck skin side down on a high heat for 4-5 minutes then transfer to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes if you prefer your meat pink, or 15-20 minutes if you get a bit queasy at the sight of blood oozing from your food.
Rinse the watercress and arrange on plates with the roughly chopped spring onions and orange pieces strewn (or cherry tomatoes) about as you see fit.
Mix the dressing together. Slice the duck (which ideally should rest for 3 minutes once removed from the oven) into strips and pour the dressing over the meat and over the salad. Scatter the walnuts over the duck and salad then serve while the duck is still warm.
To celebrate the Herculean efforts of our British Olympians out in China then how about trying a glass of Tsingtao beer from the Qingdao region in North East China which nestles between the Yellow Sea and Fu Shan mountains to accompany your vaguely oriental Duck dish.