Late varieties of plum can still be found in October – gather up great armfuls to make this rich and complex sauce. The recipe makes a fairly large quantity, but then it’s not just for duck pancakes – you’ll want to eat it with everything.
- Duck pancakes (serves 4 as a starter)
- ½ ready-cooked Chinese duck
- 16 Chinese pancakes
- 4 tbsp plum sauce
- ½ cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks
- 3 salad onions, trimmed and lengthways
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 50g fresh root ginger, finely grated
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 red chillies, finely chopped
- 2.5kg plums, stoned and quartered
- 1 litre white wine vinegar
- 250g light soft brown sugar
- 200ml light soy sauce
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 3 star anise
- The sauce Put the onions, ginger, garlic, chilli, plums, vinegar and 300ml water in a large pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, until soft. Sieve, in batches, pushing with a wooden spoon to extract all the pulp and liquid. Discard the contents of the sieve.
- Return the strained liquid to the pan with the sugar and soy sauce and bring back to the boil. Add the cinnamon and star anise. Simmer, uncovered, for about 11/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thick. Remove the spices, pour into sterilised bottles, seal and cool.
- Store in a cool, dark place for up to 4 months. Once opened, keep refrigerated and use within 3 weeks.
- Duck pancakes Heat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Put the duck in a foil-lined roasting tin; cook for 20 minutes until burnished and crisp. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then shred or cut into bite-size pieces. Spread each pancake with a little plum sauce, then roll up with some duck – making sure each has some of the crisp skin – cucumber and salad onion.
A red with a little sweetness is ideal.
- Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
- Cooking time: 150 minutes
- Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes, plus cooling
Makes: 2.5 litres
Typical values per serving:
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This recipe was first published in Wed Oct 01 01:00:00 BST 2008.