Chinese-style Braised Duck in Plum Sauce


1 whole duck (approx 4 lbs), head and wings removed, cleaned, pat dried
1 tbsp dark soy sauce, rubbed over duck skin
1 lb taro peeled, cut into 4 pieces


3 tbsp minced garlic
2 stalks spring onions, cut into 2″ sections
2/3 cup plum sauce
3 tbsp soybean paste
5 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp five-spice powder
3 cups water


  1. Deep-fry or pan-fry duck until skin is crisp and golden.
  2. Deep-fry taro until golden, drain and set aside.
  3. Stir-fry garlic and seasonings until fragrant, add remainder of seasonings.
  4. Stuff half of the stir-fried seasonings into the duck, stomach facing up.
  5. Boil the remaining seasonings in water and braise duck in the seasonings over low to medium heat for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn duck over, add taro, continue to braise for 20 minutes or until tender.
  7. Cut duck into pieces and slice taro. Arrange on a platter and pour sauce on top. Garnish with spring onions and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Gourmet Do It Yourself

Chinese Shanghai-style Soy Duck


4-1/2 lb duck
2 teaspoons salt
4 scallions, each tied in a knot
4 x 1/2-inch slices ginger, smashed with the flat side of a cleaver
6 star anise
3 cinnamon or cassia sticks
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 cup Shaoxing rice wine
3/4 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
3 oz rock sugar


  1. Rinse the duck, drain, and remove any fat from the cavity opening and around the neck. Cut off and discard the tail.
  2. Blanch the duck in a saucepan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then refresh in cold water, pat dry and rub the salt inside the cavity.
  3. Place the duck, breast side up, in a clay pot or braising pan, and add the scallions, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, rice wine, soy sauces, rock sugar and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 40-45 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the duck to cool in the liquid for 2-3 hours, transferring the clay pot to the fridge once it is cool enough.
  4. Keep in the fridge until completely cold (you can keep the duck in the liquid overnight and serve it the next day).
  5. To serve, remove the duck from the liquid and drain well. Using a cleaver, cut the duck through the bones into bite-size pieces.
  6. Traditionally, this dish is served at room temperature, but if you would like to serve it hot, put the clay pot with the duck and the liquid back on the stove and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the duck is completely heated through.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: The Food of China

Braised Sea Bass and Cilantro Salsa


6 sea bass fillets, 5 oz each
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 lb red-skinned potatoes, cut into quarters
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

Cilantro Salsa

1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
1/4 cup canned diced green chilies
1/8 teaspoon chili oil


  1. To make the salsa, in a small bowl, mix the sugar and lime juice until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the cilantro, chilies, and chili oil.
  2. In a large nonstick frying pan, bring the wine, water, chili powder, cayenne, and bay leaf to a boil.
  3. Add the potatoes and carrots. Reduce heat to medium-high, cover, and cook until the vegetables are barely tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Arrange the fish fillets on top of the vegetables and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until the fish is opaque throughout, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  5. To serve, divide the fish and vegetables among individual soup plates. Top each with an equal amount of the salsa.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Chinese-style Red-cooked Chicken


1 free-range chicken, about 1.6 kg
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light soy sauce


6 litres chicken broth
3 cups shao hsing wine
2 cups dark soy sauce
1 cup light soy sauce
2 cups yellow rock sugar
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup ginger shards
8 green shallot stems, trimmed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
10 whole star anise
1/4 cup cassia bark or 4 cinnamon quills
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 medium piece dried orange peel


  1. Place all sauce ingredients in a 10-litre stockpot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  2. Rinse the chicken under cold water. Trim away excess fat from inside and outside cavity, but keep neck, parson’s nose and winglets intact.
  3. Lower chicken, breast-side down, into simmering sauce, ensuring it is fully submerged. Poach very gently for exactly 14 minutes. There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface, adjust the temperature, if necessary, to ensure sauce does not reach simmering point again.
  4. Remove pot immediately from stove and allow chicken to steep in the stock for 3 hours at room temperature to complete the cooking process.
  5. Using tongs, gently remove chicken from stock, being careful not to tear the breast skin. Place chicken on a tray to drain, and allow to cool before cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces.
  6. Combine honey and soy sauce, then brush this mixture over the chicken to glaze.

Source: Kylie Kwong

Nigella’s Tomato-y Eggs on Toast


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 small ripe tomatoes, about 12 oz total, Campari size, or at least bigger than cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
2 large eggs
1 oz chunk pecorino Romano cheese
2 slices sourdough bread or whole-grain bread
small handful of basil leaves (may substitute leaves stripped from a few stems of thyme)


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half, then into bite-size chunks, then add them to the pan. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally; the tomatoes should start to break down, oozing their juices.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, salt and sugar. Cook for five minutes, by which time the tomato skins should be loosening and their juices mingling with the oil.
  4. For a creamier final consistency, pick the skins out and discard them.
  5. Crack in the eggs and stir as though you were scrambling them, until they form a creamy, tomato-y mass. This should take about three minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat, or cook them for a bit longer if you like your scrambled eggs firm.
  7. Grate or crumble half the cheese over the mixture in the pan. Let this sit while you toast the bread.
  8. Place a slice of toast on each plate. Spoon half the eggs onto each one, then grate or crumble the remaining cheese over, and tear and scatter the fresh herbs on top.
  9. Serve right away.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Simply Nigella