Sunday, January 30, 2011

Foodbuzz 24x24: Roast Duck - 3 different courses

Roast duck trio

Lunar new year is often a hectic and joyous time in our family. As long as I can remember, my mother pulled all the stops. She would make an elaborate New Year's Eve meal with each dish representing a significant meaning such as a scallion dish which translate to 'smartness' and 'knowledge." My mother would also make us perform the superstition preparation before Lunar New Year - cleaning the house throughly, cutting one's hair, making sure the rice bin is full, returning any items and fulfilling any debt.

For January's Foodbuzz 24x24, my dad prepare the 3 course roast duck meal in celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year of the rabbit.



The Lunar New Year celebration is in coherent with my Chinese school celebration. In school, we would practice 'Good Luck' phrases in Chinese brush calligraphy, sing songs in Choir and make lanterns with red envelopes. As a child, the best part of Lunar new year is receiving red envelopes and good luck candy from friends and relatives.

Roast duck trioRoast duck trioRoast duck trio
Roast duck trio

As an adult, the best part of Lunar New Year is spending time with family and cooking together. Lunar New Year last for 15 days and between that time there is a plenty of eating, eating, eating and visiting family and friends.

Roast duck trioRoast duck trioRoast duck trioRoast duck trio


One of the meals my dad prepares during the 15 days of Lunar New Year is Roast Duck: 3 different courses. My dad roasts the duck the old fashion way - the way his father taught him back in Vietnam. Due to the limit in technology and equipment in Vietnam and it was also the 1960s, they used creative ways to prepare the duck. The duck is seasoned with spices such as white pepper, anise, chicken essence, salt and other ingredients. The duck's skin is separated from the meat by using a tube connected to a bicycle air pump. The tube is situated between the skin and meat and air is pumped through to separate the two. The duck is air dried in the refrigerator overnight before roasting in the oven.

The duck's skin is used for course 1, the duck's meat for course 2 - sauteed with noodles and vegetables and finally, for course 3 the duck's carcass is used in a soup with vegetables and tofu. The 3 course duck meal is a delicacy now in restaurants and pretty pricey because it is time consuming and laborious.


Course 1: Crispy duck skin with steamed buns

My dad skins the duck in large pieces and proceeds to scrap off the excess fat. The skin is served with steamed buns, thinly sliced scallions and hoi sin sauce. Course 1 is the everyone's favorite - the crispy skin combined with the hot steamed soft buns and aromatic touch of scallions equals heaven for a minute.

Roast duck trio

Course 2: Sauteed Duck Meat and Mushroom trio

Continuing with the trio theme, my dad sliced the duck meat into bite size pieces and sauteed it with clear vermicelli, enoki, black and white button mushrooms, and carrots. The dish is lightly flavored with mirin, soy sauce, scallions and white pepper.

Roast duck trioRoast duck trio


Course 3: Tofu and Gai Choy Duck Soup

The duck's carcass is used to stew a soup with gai choy (Chinese mustard greens), soft tofu and unsweetened soy milk. Yes, you read it right, soy milk. The soy milk is a flavoring agent and gives the soup a milky consistency. The soy milk becomes velvety with extraordinary flavor from the well seasoned duck bone. The soup is lightly flavored with chicken boullion powder and tastes even better the next day. I also like to gnaw on the duck bones for the little bits of meat left on the bones.

Roast duck trio- carcass
duck carcass

Nothing goes to waste with the roast duck and sometimes we will change the menu and make duck congee with the carcass.

Duck trio - duck bone soup
Duck trio - duck bone soup

I hope this post and back story inspires you to make the menu at home because while the dishes are delicious it is the tradition and memories that makes me so fond of Lunar New Year.

lunar new year

新年快樂!

chúc mừng năm mới

13 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

Gosh, this all looks so good. Which one is mine?
Happy New Year to you daaaaaaahling.
*kisses* HH

foodhoe said...

wow bonnibella that is quite a feast! I love tribal traditions... my family has shrunk so much that we no longer continue the really cool stuff from the old country. How wonderful that duck bun looks, I am really craving that now! Best wishes for the new year!

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said...

Looks so good - and your skinning technique is miles better than mine. I always make such an awful mess of it! And happy new year to you - hope it's a cracker!

Pegasuslegend said...

looks like you started your new year off great this looks all amazing!

Lolia S said...

Your parents (& you) sound like such amazing cooks. The pictures speak for themselves.

- FYG

Beef No Guy said...

Delicious! Kung Hei Fat Choy and best wishes for the New Year :-)

Kung Food Panda said...

OK, you've made me hungry now. Well, I'm always hungry, just more now! :)

emiglia said...

I think my favorite would be the crispy duck skin too... but I also love the idea of using all pieces of the duck to create this masterpiece!

FOODalogue said...

Duck x 3 is good!

I like the softness of your photos.

Fiona at Life on Nanchang Lu said...

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Great to have the three courses described - have eaten this in restaurants here in China many times, but never tried it at home!

Cheers, Fiona

Bonnibella said...

Thank you!

Seems like a majority are favorable with the crispy duck skin, I am in favor too!

Ling said...

Xin nian kuai le! (albeit a bit late) The duck dishes look amazing - I'm trying to improve on my Chinese cooking skills and will definitely try these recipes out

Gracie @ The Red Kitchen Project said...

This all looks amazing. That round bread and duck soup have me swooning. Sadly, my own food blog is centered around a rule that all ingredients must be so widely available that readers can even purchase them at ALDI or Save-a-Lot. I've never seen duck either place, so I can't play with duck for a post of my own. I'm very much vicariously enjoying duck through your blog post, though! Thanks for the neat post. Cheers!

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