January 6, 2018

Chinese Duck Lettuce Wraps with Duck Bone Soup 鴨鬆生菜包 | 鴨骨湯

Chinese Duck Lettuce Wraps with Duck Bone Soup 鴨鬆生菜包 | 鴨骨湯

chinese, duck, Duck Bone, leftover, Lettuce Wraps, mince, recipe, Soup, 一鴨兩味, 鴨鬆, 生菜包, 鴨骨湯
By Published: 2018-01-06
This Christmas we roasted a duck and it was delicious!  But it was quite a lot for the three of us and thus we had lots of ducky leftovers.  Humm...what to do, what to do...and then a lightbulb hit us!  We dusted off that old classic, the Chinese Duck Lettuce Wrap 鴨鬆生菜包, a simple and fabulous way to use up meat leftovers to create a scrumptiously savory mince that is then wrapped in fresh crunchy lettuce and eaten...with your fingers!  Yeah, I love finger food!  But wait...it gets better...

chinese, duck, Duck Bone, leftover, Lettuce Wraps, mince, recipe, Soup, 一鴨兩味, 鴨鬆, 生菜包, 鴨骨湯

It's the classic one duck two flavors!  Or in Chinese we call it 一鴨兩味.  That means you start with one whole duck, (or chicken or fish) and use it to make two (or three or even four) delicious dishes with it.  So in this case, besides using our leftover duck to make delectable Chinese Lettuce Wraps, we also used the scraped clean duck bones to make a simple but really flavorful Duck Bone Soup 鴨骨湯.  Duck bones are my favorite soup bones, they absolutely make the best soup: light, flavorful, effortless!

chinese, duck, Duck Bone, leftover, Lettuce Wraps, mince, recipe, Soup, 一鴨兩味, 鴨鬆, 生菜包, 鴨骨湯

There are many ways to make the mince for Chinese Lettuce Wraps but we decided to go with a Shunde style of mince.  Shunde 順德 (this area of Guangdong is very famous for its food) cuisine is sublime for its subtle yet elegantly delicious interpretation of Cantonese cuisine.  The Shunde interpretation incorporates duck with four uniquely Chinese ingredients to create a mince that is fragrant, rich, savory and just divinely delicious.

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The leftover duck meat is pulled and carved from the bones, fat, skin and all, and diced.  Don't you dare toss that fat out, that's where all the flavor is!! 

chinese, duck, Duck Bone, leftover, Lettuce Wraps, mince, recipe, Soup, 一鴨兩味, 鴨鬆, 生菜包, 鴨骨湯

Water chestnuts 馬蹄 are added in for the delightful sweet and fresh crunch that they provide.  Look for fresh water chestnuts at the wet market or at your asian grocery market.  Canned water chestnuts will not have the fresh sweetness of fresh chestnuts.  The skin must be trimmed off with a sharp knife, a wee bit of trouble but worth it and then the white crunchy flesh minced.

chinese, duck, Duck Bone, leftover, Lettuce Wraps, mince, recipe, Soup, 一鴨兩味, 鴨鬆, 生菜包, 鴨骨湯

The next two ingredients are Chinese Cured Pork Belly Lap Yuk 蒸臘肉 and Bamboo Shoots 冬筍.  Chinese Cured Pork Belly Lap Yuk is pork belly that is marinated and then air dried.  It has a spiced, winey intense flavor that adds a truly unique flavor to the mix.  Plus there's a lot of fat in it and as you all know, the fat is where the flavor is.  You can find this pork at your local wet market or at specialty Chinese preserved meat stores.

The bamboo shoots add another kind of texture and that special bamboo flavor.  We like to use chili oil marinated bamboo shoots, 辣油香筍 or 辣油玉筍, rather than the canned bamboo shoots as they have a lot more flavor as well as the usual crunch.  These are sold at wet markets and most asian grocery stores.

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The last flavor layer to add in is the Chinese Dried Mushroom 冬菇, that staple of the Chinese pantry that works so well to complement the meat flavors in your dish.  Remember to soak your mushrooms ahead of time as they take a while to hydrate.  

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And last but not least is the ice burg lettuce 生菜 used to wrap your mince into neat pockets of deliciousness.  Usually I'm not a big fan of iceburg lettuce but it is really quite perfect for Chinese Lettuce Wraps, being large, crunchy, juicy and tender, just the thing to wrap with.  Other lettuces could be used but they are usually not quite as juicy.


And that's it!  Now for the fun, just scoop and wrap and take a big satisfying bite.  So much finger-liciousness, what a great casual way to have a Chinese dinner!  And a great idea for any leftover meats during the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities.

chinese, duck, Duck Bone, leftover, Lettuce Wraps, mince, recipe, Soup, 一鴨兩味, 鴨鬆, 生菜包, 鴨骨湯


Chinese Duck Lettuce Wraps Recipe  生菜包
Prep time:    Cook time:

Ingredients: 15 ice burg lettuce leaves
6 slices chinese preserved pork 臘肉
3 cups cooked duck, diced
1/2 cup winter bamboo slices 冬筍
4 large dried mushrooms 冬菇
5 water chestnuts 馬蹄
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp shao hsing rice wine

Directions:
Soak dried mushroom in warm water just covering the shrooms for two hours or until soft.  (If you're in a hurry use boiling water and halve the time but except more of the mushroom flavor to dissipate into the soaking water.)

Carefully separate lettuce leaves, keeping them as whole as possible.  Rinse and dry.  Tear or use scissors to cut into 4" to 5" squares.  Chill in fridge while preparing the mince.

Slice and then mince the softened mushrooms, reserving the mushroom soaking water.  Remove meat, skin and fat from duck carcass and dice.  Steam the preserved pork slices for 5 mins. let cool and then mince.  Mince the bamboo shoots (if using the pre-marinated chili bamboo slices rinse the chili oil off first).  Rinse water chestnuts well, slice skin off and mince.

Heat the wok until hot.  Add in 2 tbsp of oil, then the preserved pork and duck.  Stir fry a minute over high heat until the duck just starts to brown.  Turn down to medium heat, add in bamboo and mushrooms, stir fry for another 2 minutes or until fragrant.   Toss in water chestnuts, then oyster sauce, sugar and salt and stir fry until slightly caramelized and very fragrant.  Splash in rice wine and stir until sizzle dies down.  Scoop into serving bowl.

Arrange lettuce leaves on a large serving plate and place the bowl of mince in the middle with a spoon for scooping.  Let each person make their own lettuce wrap, enjoy!


**And if your duck meat comes with bones you can continue on to make: 

Duck Bone Soup Recipe  鴨骨湯
Prep time:    Cook time:

Ingredients:
1 Chinese dried tangerine peel Chenpi 果皮
2 slices ginger
1 duck carcass bones
6 cups water
reserved mushroom water
10 oz winter melon 300g
salt to taste

Directions:
Soak dried tangerine peel in water to cover for 15 mins or so until soft and then slice into matchsticks.  Chop or break up duck carcass bones into manageable sizes.  Rinse winter melon, slice off rind and slice into 1/4" slices.

Heat wok.  When hot, add in 1 tbsp oil and ginger.  Stir a few times until fragrant, then toss in bones and stir fry for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add water and reserved mushroom water.  When water boils add in tangerine peel.  Cover and simmer for 20 mins or so until the duck bones flavor is released into the soup.  Add in sliced winter melon and simmer for another 10 mins.  Salt to taste and serve hot.



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