I set out to make restaurant-style Chinese duck with pancakes but then realised I’d bought the wrong kind of wraps. Serendipity! The result was far more adventurous – as well as being a lot more fiddly – and the final parcels were like little see-through packages of deliciousness. Worth giving it a try.
For the duck
2 duck legs
2 tsp Chinese 5-Spice powder
A little salt
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp duck or goose fat
Chinese rice-paper wraps (I used Blue Dragon spring rolls wraps)
3 spring onions
Hoi sin sauce, to serve
Sweet chilli sauce, to serve
For the noodles
2 nests of thin egg noodles
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5cm piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese shaosing rice wine
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp sesame oil
1. Sprinkle the 5-spice powder over the duck legs and rub into the skin. Season with a little salt. Add the duck/goose fat and thyme to a slow cooker, then add the duck legs. Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours until the meat is very tender.
2. Transfer the legs to a roasting sheet and put in an oven, preheated to 180C/Gas 4. Cook for 15-20 mins until the skin is very crispy.
3. Remove from the oven and shred the meat and skin with two forks.
4. Peel and deseed the cucumber, then cut into a fine dice. Trim the spring onions and finely slice into rounds.
5. To prepare the rice paper wraps, add 1 litre of boiling water to a shallow saucepan then add one wrap at a time for around 10 seconds to soften.
6. Remove from the water and transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Add a little pile of shredded duck, cucumber and spring onion to the centre of each wrap.
7. Fold into a parcel.
8. Serve with hoi sin sauce and sweet chilli dip and sesame noodles, made by pre-boiling 2 nests of thin egg noddles, rinsed in cold water, then stir-fried with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine and cornflour, then finished by sprinkling with sesame oil.