Asian Secret #28: Spicy Beer Duck!

Beer Duck 啤酒鸭

Ah, it’s Summer time again! Sun, beach, and beer time has come; and nothing excites me more than beer-infused, Asian recipes! First, I love duck, although it is a bit fatty, and can’t wait to start making this tasty dish back home for my family. A friend of mine in Zhuhai suggested it while she was home for a holiday. So, this new recipe of Chinese deliciousness is based loosely on her Guangxi family recipe – so here it goes without further delay!

Stuff to Prep:
a duck, preferably fresh and chopped into bite-sized pieces.
a spoonful of Dou Ban Jiang (chinese bean sauce).
two cubes of Nan Ru (red fermented toufu).
a few spoonfuls of oyster sauce (any brand will do).
600mL bottle of beer (or two cans). Continue reading Asian Secret #28: Spicy Beer Duck!

Ginger Fish (lightly fried)

Final Product - Ginger Fish

After months of anticipation, my university leader came over to bestow on me some Chinese cooking secrets again! I still have the savory taste of black beans and ocean fish in my mouth while typing this post. Without further ado, let’s get down to the EASY steps of making this awesome dish.

PREP: Your fish should be gutted and cleaned off. Then, you’ll need to lightly salt them before frying. Just a couple pinches on each side should do the trick. Also, cut up scallions, coriander, or whatever small planty flavorings you have around. (prep some Chinese Black Beans for a savory addition) Don’t forget some slices of fresh ginger, which is used in a lot of the cooking recipes on Asian Living.

1~ In a wok or pan, let a small amount of oil simmer for a short time. Put your fish in when its hot.  Don’t move the fish around! You need to let them cook like this for a couple minutes.

Adding Ginger and Chinese Black Beans

2~ When its time to turn them over, you can slide them with a spatula. At this point, put the ginger slices between the fish and let cook. Don’t shift the fish around.

3~ Shortly after, you can put the scallions, coriander, black beans, and other planty flavorings into the oil beneath the fish. (See image left) At this point, you could add a couple splashes of soy sauce.

4~ As a final touch, my university leader suggested putting the serving dish on top of the whole thing for a few seconds. (See image below) This is a method that cleans your dish prior to putting food on it; A habit she developed many years ago…

That’s it! Serve this fish with an easy dish of greens and white rice. Enjoy!

Final step - Serving Dish

Use Ginger in Dishes

Ginger is commonly used in Chinese cooking. You can find that and garlic everywhere in China! And its no mystery that it is good for your health. Slice it or chop it for added flavor with fried veges. A respected professor and leader in my university here suggested me to eat small cubes of it with warm milk in the morning to support the flow of “Qi” in the body and settle my stomach. Its better to eat (swallow) ginger earlier in the day, but you can use it with cooking at anytime of the day.

Here are some health benefits sourced from Wikipedia:

“Ginger may also decrease pain from arthritis, though studies have been inconsistent, and may have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease…Ginger compounds are active against a form of diarrhea which is the leading cause of infant death in developing countries…

Ginger has been found effective in multiple studies for treating nausea caused by seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy…. Ginger is a safe remedy for nausea relief during pregnancy…Tea brewed from ginger is a folk remedy for colds,… congestion, and coughs.”

Pork Rib Chunks with Garlic & Black Bean Sauce

Garlic pork ribs
Ingredients for Garlic pork ribs

I’m finally letting this simple, but amazingly delicious recipe out of the bag! I would eat ribs everyday if I could because they are so freaking delicious. My favorite rib-dish is actually steamed and served more frequently at Zao Cha (早茶) or “morning tea,” which is most common in Southern China.  I have yet to find a more delicious way to cook pork ribs at home, but we will need to take a quick trip to the Asian Market first.

Start by preparing the following ingredients:
MEAT: Obviously, first comes the pork rib chunks. I buy them from a butcher’s market, which sells all cuts of meat in open air. The amount in the serving bowl to the right is about one full rib, which is about 8 inches long. You can get a 12 inch long rib chopped up for 2 people if this option is available. If you are not sure about portions, take a look at this article related to meat portion control.

Chilli powder, Corn starch, and Marinade
Chilli powder, Corn starch, and Marinade

SEASONINGS: We’ll simply take the chopped up pork ribs, rinse them through water, and do a simple 1 minute-marinade. I like 李锦记 (Lee Kum Kee) Brand’s prepared Black Bean and Garlic Sauce” marinade shown in the picture. (buy online) I also mix in some 玉米生粉 (Corn Starch), which is that bag with the ear of corn on it. Any corn starch will do. Notice that I don’t cake this onto the ribs; just put a shallow amount in your palm, with the marinade, and mix by hand a few minutes before cooking. I also put in Chilli powder according to taste. A spicy edge can enhance the flavor.

PLANTS: I’ve chosen to separate the shelved Seasonings from the fresh ones. As in the picture above, just cut a few slices of raw ginger, long segments of scallions, and loosely chopped up garlic. This should only take 1 minute.

1 ~ Warm up a frying pan/wok with corn oil (or whatever is available in the house). Throw in some of the garlic you chopped up with 1 or two slices of ginger. Shortly after you can throw in the scallions.

2 ~ Quickly throw in your marinaded pork ribs. Move them around in the pan to give them equal heat. If you find the frying pan is drying out, just add small amounts of water periodically. You’ll slowly develop a nice coating of sauce this way.

3 ~ Cover and let them cook for a few minutes, mixing them up with the sauce in the pan. Add water if needed. (The meat cooks rather quickly because it is not frozen and its rather thin on the bone. Cooking times may vary according to the thickness of your meat.)

4 ~ I usually pull them off after 4-5 minutes. If you want, choose a thick piece and pull it out. Slice it and check the middle.

Garlic Bean Pork Ribs
Garlic Bean Pork Ribs with Rice

I eat this dish with white rice, as you can see from the picture of the final product. Also, it goes well with stir-fried green beans.  Notice that the vegetables and the rice portions are about 50% of the meal. (Try your best to make a habit of this!)

Enjoy!

Full Meal with Green Beans
Full Meal with Green Beans