Of all the oriental cuisines, Japanese food is my favorite. I love oriental food, I just keep telling myself how healthy and good for me is, and the truth is that some dishes are more fattening that one of "those" burgers. Chinese take away ranks second here in the UK, Indian food being the first.
But definitely, if there's something you can't blame to Chinese is their ability to get involved in the market. They try everything! For instance, in Barcelona, some years ago, when you wanted to get Japanese food you used to go to a Japanese restaurant, you wanted Chinese, Chinese restaurant. Now, there's a new thing going on..the Wok restaurant. It sounds good, it can look OK, but wait. You get inside and you are surrounded by Chinese staff, and then you start getting confused. Wait a minute, there's a sign outside that said: "Japanese restaurant". From the little Japanese I know I can tell these people are shouting in mandarin! The drawings on the walls depict mount Fuji and Japanese motifs. You sit on the table and you get grilled seafood and the belt keeps on bringing sushi and oriental salads and appetizers, even fresh oysters and on top of all that, a Chinese bread. And all of these for just 10 euros. As I already said, I love Japanese food, but these places make me feel like I am in the wrong place. Yes I leave with a full stomach but my gastro-brain says something is not right. But to be honest, I know that if these places exist is because people are happy to eat there. It's like that question without an answer: Why do the tourist shops in Las Ramblas (Barcelona) sell Mexican hats?
So, with this post I want to celebrate the incredible success (???) of the Wok restaurants. I give you a Chinese but a modern post, an oriental recipe but with a European touch, an Asian dish but from an Australian book...Enough! I'm getting more confused!
Peking duck crepes are one of the most popular in the Chinese restaurants, but today, this is a special recipe where the crepes are made with egg. The post has three steps, the crepes, the filling and the rolling. They are very pretty, not very rich and much more easier that it looks to make. If you cannot bother roasting the duck, you can buy a ready made one.
For the crepes:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups milk
200 g chives
Combine flour and salt in medium bowl; gradually whisk in combined egg and milk until mixture is smooth. Strain mixture into large jug.Finely chop enough chives to make 1/4 cup chopped chives. Reserve remaining chives.Stir chopped chives into batter. Cover and refrigerate one hour.
Remove from the fridge and heat a non stick frying pan with a little bit of oil. Pour 1/4 of he mixture into heated oil, and cook crepe until browned on both sides. Repeat with remaining bater. Using an 8 cm cutter, cut three rounds from each crepe. Cover with cling film and reserve.
For the duck:
5 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons Chinese five spice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
20g grated fresh ginger
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Place the duck in an oven tray and mix the rest of the ingredients. Spread all the mixture in the cavity and outside the duck. Bake for two hours basting the bird with the fat from the tray every 15 minutes, this will make the skin crispy.
The filling of the crepes:
1 cucumber thinly sliced
5 spring onions thinly sliced
Hoi sin sauce
Spread each small crepe with an equal amount of combined sauces. Top with duck, cucumber and spring onion. Remove bones from the duck and slice meat and skin very thinly.Place remaining chives into a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand until chives are wilted and drain. Fold in edge of crepes, roll to enclose filling. Tie a chive around each crepe to secure, trim ends. Serve with the sauce on the side.