Saturday, February 7, 2015

Recipe: 8-Treasures Duck (八宝鸭) *CNY Special*

With Chinese New Year just round the corner, for the upcoming posts I will not just be featuring some of the restaurants that you may want to bring your family to for reunion lunch/dinner. I will also be posting some recipes that you may want to try to make for your family for this CNY! :) 

I know some of us may not like to squeeze with the crowd in the restaurant? Or we missed the reservation quota? Whatever the reason might be, no food is comparable to homemade ones I will say. :) 

Long time readers of mine will be aware that I really dislike steps that are long and tedious, I tend to simplify recipes but I for sure would not compromise the taste of my food! So don't feel afraid of cooking, the dish, 8-Treasures Duck, definitely isn't as complicated as it sounds! 

So here we go! :) 

Before I start, a little background of this dish that we are going to make! 

In my opinion, 8-Treasures Duck (八宝鸭) is probably one of the most "rare" dishes in Singapore's food scene? I hardly sees them on the menu now! I wonder why eh? 

For this reason, I've always been wanting to attempt this "treasure dish". :) 

What is 8-Treasures Duck (八宝鸭)? 

Image credit:

A worthy restaurant-quality 八宝鸭. Sorry la, I'm no chef. Can't produce such high standard. So you just make do with my homemade one ok? :P 

It's basically a duck that is stuffed with 8 different ingredients before it is being steamed till soft and tender. 

Lol! The name says all. 

The 8-treasures
1. lap cheong (sliced thinly)
2. chestnuts (soaked overnight)
3. Chinese mushroom (soaked overnight and sliced thinly)
4. dried shrimps 
5. red dates (seedless)
6. peanuts 
7. red beans (soaked overnight)
8. 1 cup Glutinous rice (soaked overnight)

Actually, I've checked, there is not particular standard ingredients for the 8-treasures. So I chose the more popular ones. :) There are people who uses mung beans, lotus seeds, salted egg yolk and so on. So I guess it's quit flexible. :) 

Oh, you'll notice that I didn't put any quantity except the rice. So it's really depending on how much you like each treasure! For instance if I like lap cheong more, I'll add more in my 'treasures'! ^^
1 whole duck, clean and dry thoroughly
8 treasures - mix together
4 tbsp 5 spices powder
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet soy sauce (optional)
salt and pepper
1 litre oil 

1. Marinate the clean and dry duck with 5 spices powder, dark soy sauce, salt and pepper. Rub the sauces evenly on the duck. Leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

2. Heat up a large wok with enough oil that would cover at least half of the duck. Once hot, gently slide the duck into the hot oil (becareful of splashing oil!) Fry till the skin is dark (yes, dark not golden because you have marinated the duck with dark sauce). 

3. Turn the duck over gently and fry the other side (be very gently as the oil can splash onto you!) Fry the other side till dark as well. Set aside to cool. 

4. When duck is cool enough to handle, stuff it's cavity with the 8-treasures filling. Enclose the cavity with some toothpicks. If you have extra fillings at this point, no worries, just place them onto a metal container and fill it some hot water till half-filled and steam together with the duck for about 45 minutes (depending on the amount of rice you have). 

5. Prepare a large wok to steam the stuff duck until the duck is done. About 2hours. Do remember to check the water level of the wok to prevent it from drying up. 

6. Dish and plate the steamed duck. You notice a pool of sauce on the steaming plate. Collect them and cook it under low heat with some starch solution (1tbsp corn starch : 3tbsp water) and you'll get an awesome gravy! 

7. Drizzle the sauce over the duck. You may want to enhance the aesthetic of this dish by decoration it with some blanched carrots and broccoli. 

8.Time to enjoy! :)

The duck after marination and stuff with the 8-treasures. This is how I secure the opening of the cavity. :)

This was how I steamed my duck. Remember to use a large deep dish to collect the precious sauce. :) 

Done and waiting to be eaten! :D

Slice open the cavity to reveal the treasures. 

Whoa! The glutinous rice was seriously good! All the essence of the duck is locked within this rice! I actually prefer to eat the rice more than the duck. hehe.. :D 

For the sake of clarity of photo, I've not drizzled the sauce in these photos. :)

Really isn't that difficult right? :)

I do have another recipe of duck, Teochew Braised Duck (Lor Ak) on my dayre. Check that out if you're interested! :) 

On a side note, I think pumpkin kueh, roasted pork belly and flowery meat egg roll make good dishes on the reunion dinner menu too! Click on the names for the recipe! :)


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