preparation time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 1.5 hours
emergency contact: dorothy
duck – 1 whole or 4-6 thighs
star anise – 1 chin (3-4)
Szechuen peppercorn – 2 chins (2-3 tsp)
mandarin peel – 2 pieces
cloves – 1 chin (6-7)
liquorice root – 5 chins (2-3 pieces)
sar-ghem (ginger powder) – 3 chins (2 tsp)
tso-gwoh (black cardamom**) – 4-5 cloves
cinnamon – 2 chins (2 sticks)
dark soy sauce – 130ml
salt – 2 Tbsp
rock sugar – 1 small piece
* a chin is about 4 grams (approximate equivalents are indicated)
** also known as Nepal, Chinese or Indian cardamom
Wash the duck and the spices.
Put 6-8 cups of water in a deep wok or large pot and bring to a boil. Add the spices, salt and dark soy sauce and cook over low to medium heat for 20 minutes. Adjust salt and sugar to taste at this point.
Toss in the duck. Top up the water until the liquid just covers the bird. Turn up the heat and add the rock sugar. Using a large spoon, submerge and turn the duck several times to ensure that every surface has absorbed some of the braising liquid. Then turn the heat back down to medium low and cover the pot with a lid.
Every 10-15 minutes, agitate the duck so that it doesn’t stick.
After 40 minutes (or whenever the duck is cooked), take the duck out of the pot and let it cool before cutting it into pieces to serve.
In the remaining braising liquid, hardboil a dozen or so eggs. The eggs may be eaten right away or kept overnight in the fridge, still soaking in the sauce, and served cold the next day.