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My insatiable appetite for all things spicy finds me digging into pepper-infused Thai cuisine on a regular basis. Unfortunately, save for a handful of restaurants, most don't deliver on the true heat I'm seeking, forcing me to settle on dishes that merely tingle the tongue, not set it aflame. I have found one dish though that seems to have more consistency in intense heat that has become my go-to at most places I dine—crispy duck salad.
Beyond the spice, there's so much to love about this—a salty lime dressing, fresh cilantro, sharp red onions, toasted cashews, sweet pineapple, and the always amazing crispy duck. This is a salad of the highest order.
I took to the flames to make a facsimile at home, and hit all the notes decently. My only issue was the grill couldn't deliver the "crispy" part of the duck as well as pan frying, but the lightly smoky, medium-rare duck breasts with a soft layer of tasty fat was delicious never-the-less, and I was one content eater, lost in the intoxicating juxtaposition of flavors with the bonus of an extra kick of heat I was able to tailor to my own taste.
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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.