Welcome to Simply Gourmet, my name is Richard Harris and in my new series I’m going to be showing you how to take the fear out of entertaining, and cook gourmet food at home. In this episode I’m cooking duck breast with pickled vegetable and miso aubergine so it’s a really really interesting Japanese flavours.
Japanese food doesn’t need to be daunting, it’s full of really really exciting flavours and great textures. So the first thing we’re going to do is make a nice little picking liquour for our vegetables.
I’ve got some rice vinegar, that’s just going to go into the pan. Don’t worry about being too accurate in measuring this, just, you need enough vinegar to cover your vegetables. then just a bit of caster sugar, a little bit of salt, and we just want to cook that out until the sugar dissolves.
So while my vinegar’s heating up, I’m going to prepare the vegetables. I’ve got some normal radishes here and they’re going to give a really nice crunch to the dish. And then also mooli, which is a kind of Japanese white radish, really, really fresh and lovely texture.
So first up we need to peel the mooli. Some supermarkets do actually stock mooli, but if not then Asian supermarkets, Japanese supermarkets will stock it as well. I’m just going to gather that up and put it in a bowl.
So now we need to prep our radishes. cut them into quarters, or into halves. The smaller you cut them the quicker they’re going to pickle. For a full list of ingredients check out the description box.
So now my radishes are prepped I’m just going to chuck them in a bowl and cover them in vinegar. One of the most important things I want to get across in this series is taking the fear out of entertaining.
A lot of my friends worry about entertaining because they’re rushing around on the night trying to throw bits together. They spend all their time in the kitchen and they miss out on all the laughter, all the jokes, and all the wine.
And one of the most important things for me is having all the prep done in advance. And then when it comes to cooking on the night it’s literally just finishing things and putting things together. With this radish what we want to do is pickle this, so we can do this well in advance.
So you could do it the morning before your meal or even the day before. So our vinegar is now ready. The sugar is melted and we’re just going to pour some over the radish. And as the vinegar’s nice and hot, it’s going to cook and soften them slightly, and pickle them as well.
For the mooli I’m just going to add a little bit on the vinegar, just to toss through, so it’s more of a seasoning. We don’t really want to cook this down, because we want it to retain some of its really nice crunch.
And it’s also shredded a lot more finely than the other radish. With our mooli we just want to toss it through so it gets a nice coating with the vinegar. These radishes are going to take on all of the vinegar, be nice and sharp but still crunchy.
And it’s the sharpness that we want to cut through the fattiness of the duck. So I’m just going to pop these aside and leave them to sit. So now it’s time to do the duck. This has come out of the freezer and it’s been in there for about 5 to 6 minutes and that’s just to firm the skin so when we go to score it it’s much easier to work with.
So take your duck breast and take a sharp knife and we want to just scored the skin. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through to the meat otherwise the duck meat’s actually going to dry out in the pan.
So just score all the way across the breast, and then turn it round, and score again so you get a little criss cross pattern on the duck. We’re just going to season the duck breast, with plenty of sea salt.
And press it into the fat as well. And that’s going to help the fat render out. And just make it go really nice and crisp. I’ve got a nice hot frying pan, just going to lay the duck breast in skin side down, get it really nice and crispy.
So with the duck breast we just want to leave them in the pan don’t do anything to them at all. Don’t shake the pan or be tempted to move them around. If you shake the pan you’ll get air between the skin and the pan, Which will stop the duck breast from crisping up.
And it will basically just steam and sweat the skin. So we want to just leave them to do their thing. So our duck breast is cooking away nicely there, and I just want to show you this. If you look at the colour that the vinegar has gone in the bowl, it’s gone a really nice deep red, pink colour.
And already these radishes are starting to take on that vinegar but are nice and crunchy. So our duck breasts are now nice and crispy I’m just going to turn that over. You can see the skin really really nice and crispy and this is what we’re looking for.
So now we’ve turned the duck breast, I’m going to pop it in a hot oven, about 200 degrees for around about 6 minutes. My frying pan’s oven proof but if you don’t have an oven proof frying pan, just transfer the duck breast to a roasting tin and pop them in the oven.
So our duck breasts are done. They’ve still got a nice little bit of give to them and I’m just going to transfer these to a board to rest. Resting meat’s really really important. When the meat’s in the pan it feels all tense so what we want to do is let it relax, let all the proteins relax, so when we come to carve it it’s going to be nice and uniformed and pink all the way through.
What I’ve got here is some miso paste, and this is basically just a white soya bean paste and you can buy it in most supermarkets. So to that we’re going to add some ginger. We’re going to peel the ginger and grate it.
So if you like this recipe and want to find out more click the subscribe button. So just using a fine grater just grate up our ginger, and then add that to our miso. Give it a little stir, and then we want to add just enough warm water just to loosen it down so it’s a nice kind of loose paste.
And then I’m just going to add a little bit of toasted sesame oil. It’s going to give the aubergines a really nice kind of nutty flavour. Ok so that’s our miso glaze done. I’m using baby aubergines, I just think they look quite dainty.
If you can’t get hold of baby aubergines, use a large one and just cut it into nice bite size chunks. I’m just going to slice these in half length ways. Baby aubergines into a bowl, and then just spoon some of your miso glaze over the top.
Get your hands in there, and give them a good toss round. I’m going to put these into a roasting tin. I’ve just lined this with a bit of paper. I’m going to put them skin side down, and the paper’s just going to stop them from sticking.
Now if you want to be really super prepared, get them to this stage, keep them in the fridge in the roasting tin so when it comes to making dinner, all you’ve got to do is take them out of the fridge and straight into the oven 200 degrees for about 10 minutes.
The last thing to make is what’s known as a ponzu sauce, and this is a really delicious dipping sauce, really nice and zesty and zingy. It goes perfect with duck and other roasted meat. And it’s just got 4 ingredients.
So some soya sauce, I’m going to do a couple of tablespoons of this. Rice vinegar’s a lot less harsh than something like white wine vinegar so it works really nicely with this and it’s quite a sweet and sour dressing.
So again same quantities, two tablespoons, a good pinch of sugar. And then finally the most exciting ingredient, and this is something I really love, and if you can find it it makes the world of difference.
It’s yuzu juice. If you can’t find it, maybe just use a mixture of lime juice and grapefruit juice or just lime juice, but what we want there is that nice citrusy kick. And all we need to do is give it a nice little stir gently until the sugar’s dissolved.
So our miso aubergines have come out of the oven. Beautiful and golden and really soft all the way through. Now it’s time to plate up. I’m just going to carve the duck, so I’m just going to trim off the edges, just because they can go a bit crispy and a bit tough from cooking.
I’m just going to cut this into 2 long strips. I’m just going to get a little mound of mooli. So, just going to lay the duck across the top, a little spoonful of our radish underneath. So lastly just a bit of the ponzu sauce, just going to drizzle a little bit over the duck, and just a couple of dots around the plate.
So there we have it my Japanese inspired roast duck breast with pickled vegetables and miso aubergines. So I hope you enjoyed cooking this and impressing your friends and family at home. And if you’ve enjoyed this one, then I hope to see you back again soon for another recipe in my Simply Gourmet series.