Crispy duck and watercress salad
Serves 6-8 as a starter
I conjured this up as a tongue-in-cheek homage to the tourist dish that features so often on Chinese restaurant menus when I was at Le Caprice about 20 years ago. I imagine that today it's still one of the best-selling dishes at The Ivy and Le Caprice.
1 x 1.5 kg duck or 12 duck legs
Water to cover
3 star anise
1 head of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
60g ginger, roughly chopped
20g coriander, stalks only, washed (keep the leaves for the salad)
1tsp Chinese five-spice powder
Oil for deep frying
For the duck sauce
4tbsp tomato ketchup
Juice of half an orange
1tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp sesame oil
For the soy and sesame dressing
2tsp soy sauce
2tsp rice vinegar
1 clove of garlic, peeled, crushed
A small piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1tbsp sesame oil
3tbsp vegetable or corn oil
For the salad
4 bunches of watercress, washed and thick stalks removed
100g white radish (mooli), peeled, cut into 3-4cm lengths and shredded into matchstick strips
1 small carrot, peeled, cut into3-4cm lengths and shredded into matchstick strips
60g beanshoots, washed
1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed, shredded on the angle
The leaves from the coriander (see above)
1tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1-2 punnets of Asian sprouts or cresses, such as shisho, mung, etc (optional)
Cover the duck with the water, add the herbs and spices and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Remove the duck from the stock and set it aside to cool. Skim the fat off the stock and use it as a base to make an Asian soup.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the duck sauce, then whisk all of the ingredients together for the soy and sesame dressing .
To assemble the dish, remove the duck from the bone, then cut into 1cm-thick slices. Preheat the oil for deep frying.
Arrange the watercress on the plates with the white radish, carrot, bean shoots and spring onion.
Fry the duck until crisp, then drain on some kitchen paper or in a colander and mix it with the duck sauce until it is nicely coated. Arrange it in piles on the salad and spoon over the dressing.
Then scatter the coriander and sesame seeds over the top (and sprouts if you are using them) and serve immediately.
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