STUBBORNLY, she walks straight past the boys’ Indomie stash and gathers sauces, herbs, aromatics, and some hokkien egg noodles from the fridge. She’s on a mission to make use of left over protein and marinade ingredients from the night before, and her partner is hungover and craving mi goreng.
Thus the Peking Duck Fried Noodles came to life.
But that is an unsettling amount of fried shallots Sha. I know. That was a mistake…well sort of…I left Josh in charge of garnishing, and he likes his fried shallots the same way he likes his chilli: loaded. However the difference between his bowl and my bowl is probably minuscule, so I shouldn’t pick on him alone for having a disturbing attraction to deep fried baby onions (I had control over how much he put in my bowl so I probably should have said when a little sooner). If I felt like lying to you when I wrote this, I would probably explain that it is to add drama and height to the dish, bringing in complexity by pairing the crunchy texture and bitter-sweetness of the shallots with the rich roast duck, and the silky, salty egg noodles.
But in all honest truth we are currently struggling through a fried shallot addiction. There. It’s out there in the open now. Phew. What a weight off my shoulders.
We made peking duck with mandarin pancakes the other night, after struggling to come to terms with the fact that we are back home in Melbourne and our desperate cravings for $4 hawker meals could no longer be easily satisfied by a quick stroll to a market down the road. Although we’re quite spoilt for choice with Asian restaurants in Melbourne, they do tend to come in the form of super trendy hipster fusion we-dont-take-booking establishments.
And I’ve yet to find fried noodles for less than $5 here.
So we decided to play Hawker Market and experimented with a peking duck recipe we adapted to meet our flavour palette. It still needs work, and I’ll be trying out a few different techniques to get the skin just right before I post a recipe. However it was an effort worth every burnt finger in the end, as we ended up with a feast that left us rolling around on the floor like Chihiro’s shiny, pink, piggy parents at the spirit world buffet (I swear to God if you don’t get the references in my posts we cannot be friends). It took most of whatever was left of the day to cook the duck and roll out the pancakes – but we managed to pull it all together by dinner time.
Lessons learned from making peking duck at home:
- Don’t rush to carve the bird. Gees it’s still like every other damn protein Sha, let it rest for a few minutes (hellooo burnt fingers)
- Use carving scissors if you don’t have a cleaver
- Struggle miserably if you don’t have carving scissors or a cleaver
And as expected, we had plenty of duck left over after dinner. I stripped it it down to the bone in hopes of using them to make stock for another dish later (which we forgot to do). BUT you will need to do this anyway if you want to make the noodle dish. The most potent ducky flavours comes from the meat that clings onto the bones: the stubborn pieces on the neck, around the wings etc – and that flavour is the hero of this dish. Save your nice big meaty, crispy skin bits like the breast for your pancakes.
If you don’t have a wok, be sure to use a heavy bottom pan that you can blast with high heat, so you get the Wok Hei flavour through the noodles. You can make the chilli oil in advance and keep it in the fridge for 6 month.
Happy feasting, and do mind your table manners!
PEKING DUCK FRIED NOODLES
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes (+30 for chilli oil)
Serves: 2 people
Difficulty: Very easy
FRIED NOODLE INGREDIENTS
- 2 portions of dry or fresh egg hokkien noodles
- 200 grams of peking duck, roughly chopped (no bones)
- 2 teaspoons of sesame or peanut oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed then finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ginger, finely chopped
- 2 star anise
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 2 teaspoons of wonton soup powder (you can replace with chicken bouillon cubes)
- 4 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of kecap manis (dark sweet soy)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- Fried shallots to serve
CHILLI OIL (make this ahead of time)
- 1/2 a cup of salted roast peanuts
- 1 1/2 cups of vegetable or peanut oil
- 5 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorns
- 3/4 cups of chilli flakes
FRIED NOODLE METHOD
- Preheat your wok or pan on high heat
- Prepare your noodles based on the instructions depending on your chosen type and set aside. Remember to leave them slightly under cooked as they will be cooked through later.
- In a bowl, combine oil, garlic and ginger, then fry mixture quickly on high heat for 1 minute
- Toss the duck into the oil and aromatics mixture, and fry until crispy for 5 minutes. If the pan gets too hot, pour in a tablespoon of water to release some wok hei into the protein without burning it.
- Add the noodles with the star anise, soy sauce, kecap manis, Shaoxing wine, and Srirarcha and toss to combine and fry for 2 minutes
- Add the bouillon powder and five spice powder, and toss through for 2 minute
- Add spring onions and stir through to cook briefly so as to not wilt them too much
- Serve with fried shallots and a good helping of the chilli oil
CHILLI OIL METHOD
- In a small sauce pan, heat the oil and the aromatics (bay leaves, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns) over medium high heat until it boils. Turn down to medium heat.
- Let the oil cook for 30 minutes to infuse, checking periodically to make sure it is not getting too hot (you don’t want your chilli to burn)
- After the oil is cooked, let it cool for 5 minutes before removing the aromatics with a strainer.
- Combine chilli flakes and peanuts in a bowl and pour in the infused oil, then mix well.
- When completely cooled, transfer to an air tight jar and store in the fridge.