Sichuan-spiced duck and seared scallops with smoked aubergine, asparagus and rocket salad

Serves 6 Starters and mains

01 Rocket  F+ Tmay10

Advertisement

Ingredients

  • ½tsp Sichuan peppercorns duck, about 1.7kg
  • 1tsp Chinese five-spice sea salt
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 5 spring onions
  • 40ml sherry vinegar
  • 120ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 6 small, slim Japanese aubergines
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 18 large scallops
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1tbsp flat-leaf parsley
  • 1tbsp flat-leaf parsley

Method

Dry-roast Sichuan peppercorns over a gentle heat until fragrant. Cool, then grind to a fine powder. Remove the wings, neck and tail end from the duck. Wipe the duck dry inside and outside with paper towel. Mix the Sichuan pepper, five-spice powder and 1tsp sea salt and rub into the skin and cavity of the duck. Put the bird on a tray lined with a dry tea towel, then cover with another tea towel and refrigerate for 12 hours to cure.Put the duck, breast-side down, into a large bowl and add the ginger and two of the spring onions, chopped. Slice the remaining spring onions. Cover the duck with baking paper, then seal the bowl with foil. Steam in a large Chinese steamer for 1½ hours, turning every 30 minutes to ensure even cooking. Insert a skewer into the thigh – if juices run pale pink, the duck is ready. Remove the duck from the bowl and discard the spring onions and ginger. Strain the accumulated cooking juices through a fine sieve into a jug and refrigerate until it is set to a jelly. Remove the fat from the jelly and set aside for another use. Melt the jelly over a gentle heat, then whisk in the vinegar and olive oil until amalgamated then add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Slice the asparagus diagonally and blanch in boiling water until crisp and tender, then plunge into iced water to stop the cooking. Drain on paper towel. Char-grill or barbecue the aubergines until blackened and blistered on all sides, then peel and cut into long strips. Set aside. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fryer to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas 4 and fry the duck for 5 minutes until crisp, keeping it submerged with tongs, then drain on paper towel. Remove the breast and leg meat and slice. Discard the carcass. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Brush the scallops with a little olive oil and sear them on both sides until coloured, about 2 minutes altogether. The flesh should be quite translucent inside. Using your hands, gently mix the warm duck and scallops, sherry dressing, aubergine, asparagus, remaining spring onions, red onion, parsley and rocket leaves and pile onto plates. Serve immediately.

01 Rocket  F+ Tmay10

Advertisement

Get Premium access to all the latest content online

Subscribe and view full print editions online... Subscribe