A platter of duck with steamed buns and accompaniments

A platter of duck with steamed buns and accompaniments

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

Presented at the table to be shared, this is an open invitation to celebrate the joy of eating together.

For braising the duck


Quantity Ingredient
peanut oil, for deep-frying, plus 1 tablespoon
2.5kg duck
12 red asian shallots, very finely diced
6 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
5cm piece of ginger, grated on a microplane
2 tablespoons salted soy beans, pureed
50ml dry sherry
500ml light chicken stock
10g tamarind pulp mixed with 200 ml water and then pressed through a sieve
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce

For the cucumber and chrysanthemum leaves

Quantity Ingredient
2 lebanese cucumbers, peeled
1 tablespoon salt
100g chrysanthemum leaves, washed, tough larger leaves discarded
100ml peanut oil

For the soured jerusalem artichokes

Quantity Ingredient
125ml rice wine vinegar
60g sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon salted soy beans, pureed
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
300g jerusalem artichokes, peeled, kept whole

For the grilled spring onions

Quantity Ingredient
8 spring onions, trimmed but kept whole
peanut oil, for brushing

For the steamed buns

Quantity Ingredient
220ml warm water
14g dried yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
430g strong flour
1 teaspoon salt


  1. Braise the duck:
  2. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 180°C. Deep-fry the duck until lightly golden to tighten the skin and prevent it breaking apart during cooking. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a large flameproof pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Fry the shallots, garlic and ginger until fragrant and lightly coloured. Season with some salt during cooking. Add the soy beans and cook until fragrant. Pour the sherry into the mix, let the raw alcohol smell dissipate and then add the stock and tamarind. Bring to the boil. Add the soy sauce and taste for saltiness. Lower in the duck and bake uncovered for about 1½ hours until the duck is well-cooked. Baste constantly. Transfer the duck to a plate and keep it covered and warm. Check the consistency of the sauce: if too thin, reduce it by simmering for a few minutes, then strain. The final sauce should be salty, slightly sweet and rather sour. Pour over the duck when ready to serve.
  3. Dress the cucumber and chrysanthemum leaves:
  4. Slice the cucumber in half lengthways and cut into thin slices. Mix with the salt and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain the cucumber, gently squeezing out excess moisture. Blanch the chrysanthemum leaves in boiling salted water and then refresh them in cold water. Drain and then squeeze out any excess water. In a blender or food processor purée the chrysanthemum leaves, adding the oil as you go. Season with freshly ground white pepper. When ready to serve, arrange the cucumber in a dish and spoon chrysanthemum leaf oil over the slices.
  5. Prepare the soured jerusalem artichokes:
  6. Bring the vinegar, sugar, salt and 250 ml water to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the salted soy beans and dark soy sauce. Put the jerusalem artichokes in a preserving jar and pour the liquid in. Seal tightly. Lower into a pan filled with enough cold water to cover the top of the jar. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour, when the artichokes should be soft. Take out the jar and leave to cool. Remove the artichokes and cut into cubes. Place on a serving dish, dressed with a little of the liquid in the jar.
  7. Grill the spring onions:
  8. Heat a grill plate to high heat. Brush the spring onions lightly with peanut oil and put on the grill until wilted, turning them once. Season with some salt and white pepper and slice thinly to serve.
  9. Make the steamed buns:
  10. These should be steamed just before serving. Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl and leave to activate. Mix in the sugar and oil. Add the flour and salt and mix to a rough dough which isn’t sticky. This can be done in a mixer with a dough hook. If the dough feels too dry, add extra water. Knead until smooth and divide into balls, about 30 g each. Cover with a damp tea towel to avoid drying. Working a few at a time, flatten the balls into 7.5 cm rounds. Brush half of each round with oil and fold it over to form a half moon shape. Spray lightly with water to prevent a crust forming and cover loosely with damp tea towels. Leave them all on the bench for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Working in small batches, steam the buns in a bamboo steamer for about 12 minutes. Serve immediately.
  11. Assemble the dish:
  12. Set the duck on the table with a serving fork, spoon and knife. Arrange the accompaniments and the buns on the table also. Invite guests to help themselves to whatever pieces of duck they wish. Let them know that they can sandwich the buns with one or more of the accompaniments and the duck meat.
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