Like every woman in America I am trying to lose a few lbs.
[Note: As a I write this I do at least realize the massive ridiculousness of typing that statement under a picture of a deep fried duck…but alas].
Not a lot of weight…(thank GOD I was blessed with sympathetic genes and a 5’10” frame that allows me to, for the most part, consume what I want…if not, I would surely be 300 lbs), but a few lbs that would render me more fit, more svelte, more chic. Generally, more kick ass.
How am I going to do this, you ask?
Having determined that stress and grieving aren’t going to do the trick I figured I would head to Vashon Island for a weekend, stay with my dear friends Henk and Marina, and spend the entire time cooking, eating, drinking, napping, laughing, and talking. Clearly, this is the road to becoming a toned goddess.
And I’m not just talking regular food…we are talking Deep Fry Fest meets Duck Fest 2010. And it was awesome.
This recipe for Duck Choo Chee, which incidentally is amazing and one of those stupid things I can’t seem to find on the West Coast, is very easy and quite delicious. It did start with us deep frying a whole duck, that’s right, a whole duck…but we’ll get to that story later. In the meantime, enjoy this over brown rice with a slightly sweeter wine such as a Viognier. It’s a very pretty dish that can be made the day before, so is excellent for entertaining a crowd…presuming they can handle a little spiciness. Note, you can also certainly modify this to your spicy preference. As this is written it’s about a 2 out of 5 on the spicy scale.
Duck Choo Chee
2 TB cooking oil
2 TB choo chee curry paste (you can use red curry if you can’t find choo chee, though it won’t be quite as delicious)
2 cups coconut cream or coconut milk
2/3 cup sweet basil leaves
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves (or, 2 TB lime juice if you can’t find kaffir lime leaves)
5 red chilis, slit to release flavors, but keep seeds in, which are very spicy
2 lemon grass stalks, chopped into 4 inch pieces
4 slices ginger (big enough they won’t get lost in there)
2 tsp fish sauce (add this one tsp at a time and taste the dish as you go…some are MUCH stronger than others and there’s nothing worse than ruining a dish by overpowering it with fish sauce)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cups cooked duck meat, in large bite-size pieces (you could also do fish or chicken)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat a wok to medium heat and add the oil.
2. Add the curry paste and stir until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).
3. Add half the coconut cream and stir until well combined with the curry paste.
3B. Add the basil, lime, chilis, lemon grass, and ginger and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally as flavors meld.
4.Gradually add the remaining coconut cream. Pending on your spicy tolerance you may or may not need the full second cup. Add the fish sauce and sugar, and return to a low simmer.
5. Add the duck and stir gently until heated through. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 more minutes, occasionally tasting and adjusting the seasonings as you see fit.
6. Serve over brown rice (reminding your guests they probably don’t want to eat the chilis, ginger, or lemon grass) and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and red chili.