You may have realised I love eating roast duck. I also love spring onion duck. It’s a recipe that my mum cooks and pre-keto I’d eat rice with the sauce and the spring onions. So much yum!
Duck is very keto friendly being a high fat and delicious protein filled meat and 0 carbs. At least till you add any soy sauce and spring onions which is what these two recipes include.
The other week with duck on special ($9 for a whole 1.4k duck!) I bought a couple of them to put in the freezer. My mum cooked one up and I cooked one up too.
I made mine as a slow roasted duck. My mum made the spring onion duck 香蔥扒鴨. She was even lovely enough to not add sugar or any cornflour and it was definitely delicious!
So there are two recipes here, my super easy Slow Roasted Duck (allow 7 hours but all the work is being done by the oven) and my mum’s super delicious Shanghai style Spring Onion duck.
Slow Roasted Duck
- Oven and oven pan
- 2.5 kg whole duck
- 1 bunch spring onions
- Sea salt
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp five spice powder
- Adjust oven rack to the lower third. Preheat oven to 120 C (250 degrees F). Line a baking pan with aluminium foil (for easy cleanup) and add a V-rack.
- Place duck on a working surface or a cutting board. Stuff sprng onions inside of the duck, using as many as you can. Use a few toothpicks to seal the bottom of the duck, to secure the spring onions inside.
- Use a sharp paring knife to score the duck breast, about 1 cm.
- Rub both sides of the duck with plenty of soy sauce and sprinkle with sea salt. Place duck on the V-rack, breast side up.
- Bake until the skin turns golden brown, 6 to 7 hours (depending on the thickness of the duck skin). You do not need to flip the duck or monitor the process.
- (Optional - When most of the duck fat has rendered and the skin has become thin (usually 6 hours to 6.5 hours), turn up the heat of the oven to 260 degrees C (500 F) to brown the duck for another 5 to 10 minutes. This method works better when you choose a duck breed with thinner skin (or a duck that was air-chill processed). The skin will crisp up nicely and the meat will remain more juicy.
- Remove the duck from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Do NOT cover the duck with foil. This step further crisps up the skin. The stuffing will keep the duck meat hot.
- Transfer the duck onto a large cutting board. Carefully remove the spring onion from the duck and leave it aside.
- To carve the duck beautifully, you can refer to this video. Alternatively, you can simply pull the meat apart by hand.
- Transfer the rendered duck fat into a small bowl. When it has cooled off, cover with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. Save for later use.
Spring Onion Braised Duck (Shanghainese) - 香蔥扒鴨
- large wok or other high edged saucepan that can fit a whole duck.
- 1 whole duck
- 5 bunches spring onions - cleaned and cut in half lengthwise Or more... it really does reduce down a lot
- 2-3 star anise
- 2 tbsp dark soy
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 cup oil for frying optional
- Prepare the duck by cutting off the neck and wings and tail. Not all ducks will have all those sections still on the duck but it makes it difficult to flip the duck if you have the wings and joints of the duck. It's also suggested to press down on the duck breast side up to break the breast bone so it's flatter.
- Rub the dark soy on the prepared duck and leave it for 10 minutes to soak in.
- Deep fry the duck in oil to make the colour of the duck stick and to make things more fragrant. Use avocado oil for optimal keto-ness. You only need to do this for about 2 minutes per side. The oil only needs to be half way up the side of the duck as you can flip it. Also use your wok spatula to pour the hot oil from the pan over the duck as you are frying it.You can also dry fry the duck if you want and render some of the fat out of the duck. The result won't be as good but it's still very tasty and solves the problem of trying to work out what to do with the used oil!
- Take the duck out of the oil and set aside.
- Pour out the excess oil - don't clean the wok.
- Use the same wok add the spring onion and fry till fragrant (1 minute).
- Add the dark soy that you have left on the plate (or whatever you used to rest the duck on when you rubbed the duck with soy on) to the wok with the spring onions. Add the hot water.
- Add the duck back into the wok.
- Heat the whole dish till it's boiling and reduce to a simmer.
- Cook with the lid on and at a simmer for up to 2 (ish) hours.
- You can try and reduce the sauce down if you need or use Xanthum gum. With the gelatin from the duck itself we found we didn't need to add any thickener.
- Serve up the duck (the whole duck goes onto the plate). It's so tender people can just pick at the duck from the table with chopsticks. (For the non Chinese, you can use a pair of poultry shears and just cut it into pieces or use a knife and fork I suppose 🙂 )
With these two dishes I even re-constituted the leftovers into a mashed up version of duck with some extra tofu… it was (and is!) scrummy!
Here it is in a bowl with bok choy on two separate occasions: