SMOKED duck breast, lightly cured, with its alluring woody aroma, delicate and tender meat makes an enticing starter. Serve it for your Christmas dinner at home. Tossed together with a succulent salad comprising aromatics like Thai saw-tooth coriander, cilantro, lemongrass and kaffir lime in a sweet and sour dressing, it is wave after wave of refreshment on the palate.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4 persons
A: Smoked Duck
200g smoked duck,* thinly sliced
B: Chilli & Lime Dressing
80ml lime juice
45-50ml fish sauce
1 medium red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
4 tablespoons sugar
3 stalks lemongrass, white portion only, finely sliced
5cm ginger, grated and 3 teaspoons juice extracted
C: Mixed Salad
2 red shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
200g green papaya, peeled & shredded
1 grapefruit or 3 segments of a pomelo, rind removed
5 stalks Thai coriander leaves, sliced
30g mint leaves
20g cilantro leaves
1 handful of Thai basil leves
2 kaffir lime leaves, spine removed, finely shredded
3 lemongrass, white portion only, finely shredded
2 heads butter lettuce, leaves rinsed & shredded
D: Toasted Rice
2 tablespoons glutinous rice
1. Prepare dressing: Combine all ingredients in a jar. Give it a good shake. Chill until ready to use.
2. In a frying pan, toast raw rice until golden brown. Place it in a pestle and mortar, and grind into a gritty texture.
3. Assemble B ingredients on a large platter. Give it a good toss.
4. Slice duck and set it aside. Substitute smoked duck with roast duck, pork or chicken. For healthier version, enjoy it with steamed chicken or prawns.
5. Arrange duck over salad. Pour dressing over.
6. Sprinkle roasted rice powder over salad. Then give it a good toss.
7. Serve immediately. Pink yet tender, the duck lends alluring smokey accents contrasting well with salad greens.
Bite into the duck with plenty of greens enrobed in a sweet and sour dressing for a refreshing textural contrast.
TIP: Smoked duck has bolder, deeper flavours as compared with chicken owing to the higher fat level. The real flavour in smoked duck is found in the skin and fat so do not discard it as they impart juicy succulence to the meat.
TECHNIQUE: The white membrane or pith is where the real source of heat is in a chilli pepper. Also known as the placenta, it has the highest concentration of capsaicin. To reduce spiciness in fresh chillies, discard both membrane and seeds.
Photos: Evonne Lyn Lee
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