MUNCH RATING: 3/5
This is Ching-He Huang’s recipe, but I have adapted it slightly to suit the ingredients I had.
CHANGES TO THE RECIPE:
Ching’s original recipe says it makes 10 Duck Puffs, but you will have lots of filling leftover, which is fine as I used it in some stir-fried some noodles (the duck tastes like Aromatic Crispy Duck so would be nice in wraps with cucumber and spring onion).
I have also changed the way the pastry is rolled out, as Ching’s way results in a lot of wasted pastry, so if you do it my way then you should get 16 Puffs out of 1 block of pastry.
They were quite time consuming to make, but I think they would be good for a dinner party as they can be prepared in advance and then popped into the oven for the last stage. I served them with cucumber and carrot matchsticks.
The duck filling is gorgeous, but the puff pastry makes them a bit dry in the mouth. I would prefer to just serve the filling in wraps.
- Prep: 30 mins plus 20 mins marinating time
- Cook: min 1 hr 50 mins
- Can be frozen before baking
- ½ finger-length piece fresh root ginger, grated
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons plum sauce (I used Hoi-sin sauce instead)
- 1 tablespoon groundnut/vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons clear honey
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice (this is my addition)
- 2 duck legs, skin on (make a few cuts into the skin & flesh)
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced (I didn’t have any!)
- 1 340g block ready-rolled puff pastry (I used Jus Rol)
- a little flour, for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten
- Marinate the duck: Mix the ginger with the soy and plum sauce (or hoi-sin), oil and honey (and Chinese 5 spice) in a deep dish, then add the duck legs, turning to coat. Cover and chill for at least 20 mins.
- Cook the duck: Heat oven to Gas mark 3/325°F/170°C. Lift the duck legs onto a non-stick baking tray, then roast for 1½ hours until crisp and golden. Meanwhile, tip the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and simmer for 2 mins, then cool. When the duck is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and finely shred the meat. Mix with the cooled marinade and spring onions.
- Prepare your pastry: Take your block of pastry and cut it into 16 even pieces. Dust your board and rolling pin with a little bit of flour and then roll each piece of pastry into a square.
YOU CAN MAKE TWO DIFFERENT SHAPES FOR YOUR PUFFS:
- Triangles: put 2 tsp of the duck filling in the middle of each square, brush the edges of pastry with a little egg, then fold the pastry squares in half, pressing to seal so you have a triangle shape.
- Half-moon: using a 9-10cm round cutter stamp out a circle from each pastry square. Put 2 tsp of the duck filling in the middle of each circle, brush the edges of pastry with a little egg, then fold the pastry circles in half, pressing to seal so you have a half-moon shape
Transfer the puffs to a lightly greased baking sheet and brush with more egg. Bake at Gas mark 3/325°F/170°C for 15-20 mins until golden (I turned up the oven to Gas mark 7/425°F/220°C for the last few minutes to make them golden brown).
- If you need to re-roll your puff pastry, stack the trimmings on top of each other to keep the layers.
- Freezing: Can be frozen for up to 1 month. Cook for 5 mins longer from frozen.
You might also be interested in: Hoi-sin Pork