Before I left I had all these expectations – which can also be called worries – of what my life would be like here in Beijing. I worried about my classes being too difficult, about my lacking Chinese language skills, about making new friends and about everything else you can possibly worry about – luckily non of these worries keep me up at night any more. The only thing that I didn’t worry about was the food: I knew I would be in the luxurious position of having multiple delicious meals a day. This became reality and every time I’m about to eat something I get really excited cause I know it will be sooo good. Another thing I expected was that I would be eating a lot of Peking Duck 北京烤鸭 and that might be the only food-expectation that, unfortunately, didn’t happen, yet. I’ve been here for one and a half months and I haven’t had the dish where Beijing is so famous for. So for next week I think I’ll be focussing on getting myself some Peking Duck.
Even though I didn’t have the Peking Duck dish, I did eat some duck. We’ve made this incredibly delicious and succulent braised duck in one of the cooking classes. It’s not al all difficult to make, the only thing you’ll need is patience to let the duck braise for an hour (or more) and the result will be all worth it.
Recipe from Hutong Cuisine.
One whole duck (1 kg), chopped into 4 cm pieces.
5 g ginger, sliced*
2 pieces of spring onion, white and green parts seperated
1 piece of star anise
4 tsp sugar
5 tbsp light soy sauce
100 ml/7 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
*Because you’ll be braising the duck you actually don’t need to peel and slice the ginger. You can also just take the piece of ginger, leave it unpeeled and give it a good smash with something heavy (like a cleaver) and use just like that.
Blanch the duck in boiling water, take out of the water and wash.
Heat wok over high flame and when the wok is starting to smoke add 1 tbsp of oil. Add the duck and pan fry till it gets a light yellow color. Push the duck to the sides of the wok and make a well in the middle. Add star anise, ginger and the white parts of the spring onion. Cook till fragrant and mix everything.
Add Shaoxing wine and light soy sauce, cover and turn to low heat when the sauce boils. Cook till the sauce is gone, this will take about one hour. Mix one or two times during cooking.
Add green part of spring onion, mix and take out.