Leeks With Waxed Duck

Waxed duck is a common delicacy during Chinese New Year, but nowadays, not many people know how to manage it. Here’s a dish I’ve learned from my mother and modified a little to suit my taste. It’s actually very easy to prepare.

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I should have sliced the leeks obliquely, but I forgot. Just remember that when you make this dish. Not many people know how to manage leeks either. They don’t know what they’re missing because leeks are some of the best sources of Vitamin K. Check this out.


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This waxed duck drumstick cost me about $8. It’s pricey, but what the heck? It’s just once a year. It doesn’t smell very good on its own and handling it may result in quite a mess, but it’s worth the effort. Like salted fish and Chinese ham, it can be used in fried rice too.

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Dice up the waxed duck and fry it in a pan. No oil is required. Fry till the duck starts smoking, giving off a pleasant smell.

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In goes the leeks and just keep frying till the leeks start to brown and its aroma competes with that of the waxed duck. Add some water, a dash of dark soy sauce and we’re done. That simple.

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For the sake of the kids, I didn’t add any chillies here, but I’ve got to tell you that it goes very well with garlic chilli sauce.

© Chan Joon Yee

Dewdrop Publications presents Spellbound In Chiangmai

Soya Chicken

This is time-consuming dish – especially if you want your chicken soft and well-done. However, once you’ve learnt how to make this, you won’t feel like ordering the “commercial” soya chicken outside anymore.

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A big chicken will be difficult to cook, so make sure you get a relatively small one – something that can fit into a large bowl. You can see my chicken here, all marinated with five-spice powder.

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Apart from five-spice powder, you’ll need some seasoning in the form of dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, rock sugar and garlic. Next step is simple. Just add water and boil the chicken for an hour or so. In the meantime, you would need to prepare the accompaniment which is usually eggs and pressed bean curd.

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Notice that I’ve used quail eggs here. You can use normal-sized chicken eggs, of course, but my kids prefer quail eggs. Remember not to stew the accompaniment for too long. Cook the chicken for an hour first, then, add the quail eggs and pressed tofu.

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Simmer everything for another hour and your dish is ready for the dining table.

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Obviously, this is not the sort of dish you would attempt if you only have half an hour or so to prepare a meal. Nevertheless, it’s a real treat for a special occasion like Chinese New Year. A very happy Chinese New Year to everybody out there.

© Chan Joon Yee

Dewdrop Publications presents Spellbound In Chiangmai

Sambal Prawns

I’m cheating a bit here, using a ready-mixed paste for this wonderfully spicy and fllavourful seafood dish. Not much skill is required here. Just remember not to overcook or undercook.

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The “meat” of the dish – gorgeous, fresh seafood. Juicy prawns for $10 and squid worth about $3. Rather pricey, but there is no substitute.

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A couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the pan, heat it up and we’re in business. Fry the prawns and squid until they are half-cooked.

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Squeeze in the sambal paste and add half a bowl of water. Bring everything to a boil and we’re ready for the table.

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This dish is obviously not for kids. It’s quite spicy, a little sour and if you like such flavours, this dish will really make you want to eat another bowl of rice.

© Chan Joon Yee