Barbary Duck, Steamed Aubergines and Pickled Turnips
Continuing with the flavours of Asia for September's dinner party menu, this delicious main is rich with the warmth of soy and ginger. Use Mediterranean aubergines or the slender purple Chinese variety. Our favourite from the kitchen garden is ‘Farmers’ Long’ which is ideal for this recipe (this month's 'Sow Grow Cook' article featured some sage advice on growing your own). Pickling the crisp turnips and steaming the soft aubergines are simple processes, the challenge lies in making sure your duck breast is pink in the middle and that the fat has rendered until it has almost disappeared leaving the skin beautifully crisp. Follow the instructions carefully, be patient and your guests will be suitably impressed.
- 2 duck breasts
- 1 tsp Sichuan pepper
- 3 tsp sea salt
For the pickle
- 1 turnip
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp rice vinegar
- 3 tsp caster sugar
For the steamed aubergine
- 250 g aubergines
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp Chinese black vinegar
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 cm pieces finely sliced ginger
- 2 thinly sliced spring onions, green parts only
- 1 tbsp vegetable oils
- Black sesame seeds
- Sesame oil
- In a small pan dry toast the salt and Sichuan pepper until fragrant. Set aside, cool and grind in a mortar and pestle.
- Top, tail, peel and finely slice the turnip preferably using a mandolin. Place in a small bowl, add the salt, rice vinegar and caster sugar, leave for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the aubergines lengthways into 1cm chips and pile them onto a square of parchment 15cm square and place on a side plate and steam for 20 minutes, until tender.
- Combine the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.
- Score the duck breasts across the skin, season with a sprinkling of the salt and pepper mix. Place skin side down in a dry frying pan and gently fry for approximately 10 minutes to render the fat and crisp the skin.
- Now turn the duck breasts and cook on the flesh side for 2 to 3 minutes, rest and set aside.
- Just before serving, either pile the aubergines in a serving dish or leave them in the parchment. Garnish with the garlic, ginger and spring onion.
- Heat the oil in a small pan until it is very hot. Carefully pour the oil over the garlic, ginger and spring onions – it should sizzle. Pour the soy mixture over the aubergines and serve immediately with the sliced duck breasts and the pickled turnips sprinkled with a few sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.
Enjoy our September Dinner Party Menu Recipes Below