"What's most surprising about this stir-fry is the lack of any gloopy sauce."
I think this is the third time I've checked out Fuschia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook from the library. I've been wanting to conquer every recipe for a while now, but there's always that one ingredient I don't have at the time, which means I have to lug it back to the library (only to run back to get it after I finally score that missing element).
This time it was Shaoxing wine, an ingredient Dunlop mentions constantly throughout the book, and uses often in meat marinades. In the past I've either skipped recipes mentioning it or used some kind of substitute (like white wine or even just water).
But I wanted to see what this ingredient would actually do.
I can't specifically point out where that Shaoxing Wine goes, but it's hard to deny how delicious this dish turns out to be.
What's most surprising about this stir-fry is the lack of any gloopy sauce. I'm only just beginning to dip my toes in authentic Chinese cuisine, specifically the areas of Sichuan and Hunan, but I'm still in that first moment of awe when you figure out that a cuisine is incredibly more complex and mysterious than it first seemed.
This one has a tinge of heat, but it's not overpowering. Honestly, the ginger, garlic, and green scallion provide the most flavor, creating this fragrant base that enlivens every bite.
- 2 boneless duck breast halves with skin
- 4 scallions
- 4 fresh red chiles, stemmed, seeded, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
Mix together the Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, and light soy sauce in a bowl. Holding the knife at a 45-degree angle to the cutting board, thinly slice the duck breasts. Add to the slices to the bowl.
Remove the bottom 1/2 inch of the scallions. Slice the scallions into 1/2 inch pieces, keeping the white and green parts separate.
Heat a work or heavy iron skillet over high heat. When very hot, pour in the oil. Add the duck slices, and cook, stirring constantly until they are nearly cooked. Then add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites and cook for 30 seconds, or until very fragrant. Add the chopped chiles and cook for another 30 seconds.
Stir in the scallion greens, turn off the heat, and then drizzle everything with the sesame oil.
Serve with some rice.