Friday, March 18, 2011

Peking Duck

Peking Duck,or ba'k-ging ha'au nga'ap as the story goes began way back to the Yuan Dynasty and was prepared for the Emperor.  Of course it was not made for the masses, but over the centuries became a national dish which anyone can enjoy.  The ducks are bred for this, and are allowed to graze free range for the first 45 days of life and then are force fed every four hours for 15 - 20 days till they reach between 12 - 15 lbs.  They are cleaned and washed, then air is pumped in at the neck to separate the skin from the fat.  They are then soaked in boiling water and then hung to dry.  While hanging it is basted with a sugar solution and then roasted till a shiny dark brown.  They are roasted in either a closed oven or hung oven.  The hung ovens can roast up to 20 ducks at time and are hung above the open wood fire.  The close ovens have grills and the ducks are placed in them after the fire has burn down and only the coals are left.  Each oven uses its own type of wood.  The skin of the duck  is supposed to be very crispy and brown.  This dish comes from the Northern part of China.

One of the teachers from our school King Yu  invited Kylie, Jocelyn and us out for supper to try the Peking Duck.  The restaurant is down the stairs behind Blaine and is in the TST area.

On the table as appetizers were pickled cucumbers and carrots, peanuts and spears of fresh cucumbers.  Then they brought a dish of of some kind of greens, with shredded chicken and jelly fish on top.  It was in a light vinaigrette dressing.   I'm no good with chopsticks and wrapped it around the sticks to keep it from falling off!  Not something l'm dying to have again!

Kylie trying the jelly fish!  It didn't have much taste, wasn't slimy or rubbery but you had to chew it more than l thought!.  Sindy, Kings wife said she just swallows it!

The next thing to come were Shanghai noodles and they were good. 

There was also steamed pork buns.  They were good too.  You dip them in the vinegar sauce in the little bowl and eat them whole in one bite because they have a broth in the dumpling that spurts out everywhere if you try to bite them!  We also had fried rice that had shrimp, vegetables and pork.
The chef carving the duck.

The duck is sliced very thinly, and each piece has some skin as this is the prized part of the duck and has the most flavor. Sometimes the skin is served separately and dipped in sugar and  garlic vinegar and eaten by itself.  I think these bamboo steamers are rather neat.  Sindy said you can just put some chopsticks in the bottom of a dutch oven  and set these on top to steam things.

Sindy showing us how you eat the duck.  First you take one of the wrappers that are in the steamer.  They are very thin.  Then you  add hoisin sauce, some of the strips of spring onions, and slices of cucumber.
Then you wrap it up like an envelope and enjoy.  They were really good.

Blaine is getting much more adventurous in his eating, but we both still ask for forks!!
Rachel busy eating her white rice!

Adding the hoisin sauce to his duck wrap.  Of course you always get tea.  The red sauce in the other dishes is a hot spicy sauce if you want hotter.  There was one other dish l didn't get a picture of.  It was sort of like our egg rolls but the batter was more bread like and was filled with shrimp and vegetables.

  For dessert we had a  kind of a baked wrap with red bean paste in it.  We both rather liked that one.  Then we had the strangest little thing.  It had a coconut jelly bottom with red beans in another type of gelatin top.  I can't say l'd want that one again!!  I wish l'd taken a picture of it because it was quit different.
 Sindy has her masters in nursing from Australia and works in an orthopedic ward of one of the hospitals.  King teaches physics, at our school.  He was born in HK then lived in Japan for part of his growing up years, then went to the states for part of his university, and taught there and then came back to Hong Kong.  So many of the people we've met here have lived all over the world and are so interesting to talk to.  King loves to try new restaurants so we decided the next one would be a Brazilian one.  Should be fun!!

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