Sliced duck breast and scallion with Ponzu sauce

japanese cake

Sliced duck breast with Ponzu sauce 鴨とネギのおろしポン酢 (Mark’s book p145)

Japanese consider scallion or “negi” 葱 and duck or “kamo” 鴨 to be the ultimate culinary combination. The Japanese expression “Kamo ga negi o shotte kuru” 鴨が葱を背負ってくる or a short form, “Kamo-negi” 鴨葱 literally means “A duck flies in with bundles of scallion on its back”, which describes the situation in which “A perfect victim falls into your hands willingly and carrying a present to boot”. I had to make a small deviation from the original recipe since I did not have a “Tokyo” scallion or naga-negi 長ネギ (You could get one at a Japanese grocery store) and I did not want to use leeks as the substitute as suggested.

I cook the duck breast in my usual way. I clean the duck and score the skin in a cross hatch pattern (rather than simply piercing the skin as indicated in the recipe since this will allow more complete and easy rendering of the fat), salt and pepper, cook it in a dry frying pan, the skin side down, on a medium-low flame. I cook it for 6-7 minutes until the skin is brown and crispy. During the cooking, I remove excess fat using paper towels. I turn over the duck and place it in a preheated (400F) oven for 6 minutes. While it is hot, I marinade it in a Ponzu sauce (Mark’s book p145 but I used a commercial one from the bottle) for several hours. Meanwhile I brown the white parts of scallion (as many as you need but I used 6) in a frying pan on a medium flame with a small amount of oil (5-6 minutes), cut them into pieces a few inches long. I thinly slice the green parts of the scallion on a bias as a garnish as seen above.

I remove the duck breast from the marinade and slice it rather thin and drape the slices over three segments of the scallion and top them with grated daikon, yuzu-kosho 柚子胡椒 (Mark’s book p145 but I used a commercial one from the tube) and garnish with sliced scallion (green parts). We thought that yuzu-kosho was a bit too spicy to our taste but the combination of scallion and duck is great and the grated daikon was also nice cutting through the richness of the duck. We like this dish very much.

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