These are lovely little rolls, easily portable and ideal for a sunny summer’s picnic lunch. They are fresh, light and juicy enough that they need no dipping in any extra sauce. The sweet lychee is a perfect foil for the rich roast duck flavour.
- 40 ml light soy sauce
- 40 ml cider vinegar
- 60 ml robust extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- white pepper
- ½ roast duck
- 2 cups finely shredded Chinese cabbage (wom bok)
- 5 medium-sized green onions, julienned
- 200 g peeled and seeded lychees, juice reserved (about 28 large lychees)
- 2 long red chillies, seeds removed, julienned
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 14 round large dried rice paper sheets
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, oils, any stray lychee juice and white pepper. Set aside.
If your duck hasn’t yet made it to a fridge, it should be good to use immediately. If, however, it’s not at room temperature, pop it on a tray, skin-side up, and place it in a preheated 160C oven for 10 minutes to give it a chance to warm through - this will also make the skin nice and crispy.
Shred your duck into large chunks about 5 cm in length. Make sure to keep and shred the skin too.
To make your rolls, make sure you have a nice clean bench and all your ingredients in separate bowls and within easy reach. You will also need a bowl of cold water to soften the rice paper in. (You can soak the sheets in warm water but I find they become harder to manage).
Take a sheet of the rice paper and submerge it into the water for a minute until it softens, you want to leave it until it’s malleable but left too long it will become delicate and will tear easily. Lift it out, give it a little shake to remove excess water and then place it down on the bench in front of you.
Place a small mound of the cabbage on the bottom third of the round, spreading it out so it covers about 3 cm x 8 cm, making sure to leave a clean edge of rice paper at the bottom. Add some of the green onion, then some duck and then some lychee. Spoon over a little of the dressing before topping with a little chilli and a few mint leaves.
Fold the bottom bit up over the filling and then fold in the sides as tightly as you can. Roll up the rest of the roll, maintaining a firm tautness.
Transfer to a serving platter.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients. If you aren’t going to serve your rolls immediately, they can sit out, covered with a damp cloth for a few hours. If you are going to pack them away for your picnic, make sure you place them in between sheets of baking paper so they don’t all stick together.
• You will probably need to make a trip to Chinatown for this recipe. Ingredients will be easy to find there. Buy a half roast duck but ask them not to cut it so it’s easier for you to shred.
• When I shred flesh from a roast duck, I keep the bones to make a quick light stock.
Photography by Benito Martin. Food styling by O Tama Carey. Prop styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.
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