This fragrant duck dish combines the sweet and numbing heat of Sichuanese spices with fresh aromatics, all braised together in a light beer sauce. If you're a fan of Sichuan cuisine, this is one dish you can't miss.
- 1 block konnyaku (móyù), see note
- ½ duck, cut into large bite-size pieces
- 60 ml (¼ cup) canola oil
- 6 garlic cloves, bruised
- 4 slices ginger, bruised
- ¼ cup dried chillies, cut into 2 cm lengths
- 2 star anise
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 piece cassia
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
- ¼ cup doubanjiang (fermented chilli bean paste)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 500 ml light-style beer
- 1 tbsp sugar, to taste
- ½ tsp salt, to taste
- 2 large green chillies, cut on a diagonal
- 1 red capsicum, cut into large pieces
- 4 spring onions, cut into 5 cm lengths
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- coriander leaves, to serve
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.
1. Place the block of konnyaku into a saucepan of cold water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, then drain and thinly slice into 5 cm pieces.
2. Add the duck pieces to a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. While the duck is cooking, use a fine sieve or ladle to remove any impurities that rise to the surface. Drain the duck and set aside.
3. Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add the oil and fry the duck for a few minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute, then add the dried chillies, star anise, black cardamom, cassia, bay leaves and Sichuan peppercorns. Add the doubanjiang, soy sauce. beer and konnyaku and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with sugar and salt to taste.
4. Add the green chillies, capsicum and spring onion and simmer for a further 5 minutes until the capsicum is softened. Remove from the heat, scatter with sliced red onion and coriander and serve.
• Also known as konjac or devil's tongue, konnyaku is made from a type of yam. The firm yet springy block is sliced and used to add texture to soups and stews. If you can't find it, substitute with firm tofu instead or leave it out.
Adam Liaw visits bushfire-affected communities and creates dishes using their local produce in Adam Liaw's Road Trip for Good.