52 Cookbooks #1: Sweet and Sour Duck

So for my first run out in this challenge I chose Sweet and Sour Duck from Ching's Chinese Food in Minutes.

With a nod to January's traditional frugality part of the reason for choosing this was that I already had all of the ingredients bar the red pepper, which only cost me 48p!  I have cooked recipes from this book before, but not for a while and not this one. 

The sweet and sour sauce looked interesting as it wasn't one that relied on tomato ketchup, but instead orange juice and lime juice. I opted to serve this with plain jasmine rice rather than the egg fried rice suggested. Small steps, hey?!

What I learnt:

Ching's version

  1. As with all Chinese cooking, prep in advance!
  2. Duck breasts are harder to skin than chicken breasts. It's more akin to skinning fish. 
  3. My knives need sharpening. 

I swapped the orange segments for peas as MOH is a green-freak. By that I mean, he likes to have something green on his plate with each meal. I also substituted clementines left over from Christmas for the oranges - another plus in the frugality stakes!

What I'd do differently next time:

My version

  1. Ensure the duck is evenly coated in flour, yes like it says in the recipe. That should avoid the duck melee in the wok when you shallow fry it.
    1. Be brave and let the oil get hot enough. I chickened (or should I say ducked!) out of this as to start with I let the wok get too hot without the oil in it and needed to pause it let the wok cool down. 
    2. I'd probably consider batch frying the duck as I think there was too much steam in the wok. Maybe my wok's not so big as Ching's? 


Not too bad, a wok and a saucepan (for the rice), a bowl for the duck and flour mix, something to strain the used oil into and a plate to drain the duck on. 

I'm sure we've all cooked meals that have used many more pots than this!

MOH's verdict:

Where's the pineapple? ...bless!