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:
- As with all Chinese cooking, prep in advance!
- Duck breasts are harder to skin than chicken breasts. It's more akin to skinning fish.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Where's the pineapple? ...bless!