The Chinese New Year celebrations fall on 16 February and it will be the Year of the Dog. 2018 will be the Year of the Earth Dog (the last time this happened was 1958 because there are different varieties of each of the twelve animals. The Chinese zodiac moves in a 12-year cycle, and according to Asian astrology, your year of birth – and the animal this represents – determines a lot about your personality traits. Apparently if you were born in an Earth Dog year you will be communicative, serious, and responsible in the workplace.
Here’s a recipe idea for anyone who loves crispy duck pancakes. Or any of our lovely readers who love the thick rich sweetness of hoisin sauce. Noodles replace pancakes in this quick and easy recipe for Hoisin Duck Noodles with Pak Choi, making it more of a supper dish than a side. I found it in Good Housekeeping and, true to form, it worked a treat (must admit I tweaked it a bit). I used duck legs because they are inexpensive, but duck breasts would be fantabulous too.
Hoisin duck noodles with pak choi
Ingredients serves 4
4 duck legs
1 tsp Chinese five spice
Quarter tsp freshly ground pepper
125ml hoisin sauce
1 tsp runny honey
Zest and juice of one orange
2 tsp freshly grated root ginger
2 pak choi, halved lengthways
150g dried egg noodles
4 spring onions, shredded
Half cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out and sliced into thin strips
How to prepare
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Put duck into large roasting tin and cook for one hour.
In a jug, mix the spices, hoisin, honey, orange zest and juice, and ginger.
Put pak choi in a heatproof bowl and cover with just boiled water. Leave for 2 mins and then drain.
Take duck out of oven and increase heat to 240 degrees (220 for a fan oven). Pour off duck fat and then loosely shred the meat. Cover with the sauce and pop back in the oven for 5 mins or until the sauce is bubbling and begins to turn sticky.
Meanwhile cook the noodles according to the pack instructions and drain.
Add noodles and pak choi to a serving dish, top with the duck. Serve, scattered with the spring onions and cucumber. Could also sprinkle over some lovely hot sliced red chilli. I did.
Lots more duck recipes here