Heavenly Duck Salad
Recipe from Everyday Sunday by Ray McVinnie © 3 Times a Day Publishers 2010
For the dressing
6 brown shallots
1 head garlic
3 large hot red chillies
4tbsp Thai fish sauce
4tbsp fresh lime juice
2tbsp pounded or grated palm sugar
1tbsp coriander stalks and leaves, finely chopped
For the salad
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp white peppercorns
2tbsp finely chopped scraped coriander root
3tbsp soybean oil
4 single duck breasts, skin cut in a criss-cross pattern down to the flesh
350g green beans, stalk ends trimmed off, blanched for 3 minutes in boiling water, refreshed in cold water and well drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small Fijian pawpaws, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup bought crisp fried shallots (available from Asian stores; if soft, spread them on a flat tray and crisp them up for 1-2 minutes in a hot oven, watching as they burn easily)
coriander leaves to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the shallots and garlic into a
dry roasting dish and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Add the
chillies and roast another 5 minutes until the shallots and garlic
are soft and well cooked and the chillies are browned.
Remove from the oven and cool enough to handle.
2. Peel and chop the shallots and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the cloves. Scrape the flesh and seeds from the chillies and discard the skin.
3. Put everything in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust the sweet, salty, sour and hot flavours if necessary until they are balanced to your satisfaction. Reserve.
4. Pound or chop the garlic, peppercorns and coriander root to a paste. Stir in the oil and rub the mixture all over the duck breasts.
5. Panfry the duck breasts for 8 minutes over moderate heat on the skin side, then turn over and fry gently for 4 minutes on the flesh side. Remove from the heat, cover and rest in a warm place for 5
6. Arrange the beans, tomatoes and pawpaw on a serving platter. Thinly slice the duck breasts across the grain of the meat and place them on top. Sprinkle the dressing over everything and scatter the fried shallots on top. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
This recipe also works well with chicken, prawns or fillet steak.
Use mango, melon, watermelon or pineapple instead of pawpaw.
Make sure garlic and shallots are well softened before removing from oven.
Pan fry duck skin side down is essential for rendering the fat.
Crispy shallots can be made by finely slicing shallots and shallow frying them at 160C crisp up in the oven if required.