April 27, 2018

Duck Buns

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Here’s the love child of a lunch sandwich and a dim sum bun. I live a short stroll away from Chinatown now, so I picked up an inspirational barbecued duck and a giant bag of steaming buns. The result is an homage to chef David Chang’s awesome steamed Chinese buns with pork belly and cucumber. I stripped the duck, setting aside excess fat and all but the crispiest skin, and ended up with about 4 cups of meat. Don’t reheat duck (or any fowl). It gets rubbery. I used the duck at room temperature. If refrigerated, use it as is or let it sit on the counter while the buns steam. If you can’t find fresh buns, go for the frozen ones. To enjoy these one or a few at a time, use these proportions: 1 bun, 2 tbsp duck, 1 tsp hoisin sauce, ¼ oz (10 g) prepared cucumber, 1 to 2 tsp onion.

1 large cucumber, halved, seeded, sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt
1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar
1 Chinese barbecue duck, meat and some crispy skin stripped off bone, shredded (about 4 cups/1 L)
plain Chinese steaming buns (each about 2-3/4 in/7 cm long, 1-3/4 in/4 cm tall)
About 7 tbsp (110 mL) hoisin sauce
5 green onions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced, or 1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced red onion
Sriracha sauce to taste

In medium bowl, stir together cucumber, sugar, salt and vinegar. Let sit at least 15 minutes. Drain and use immediately. Or refrigerate overnight, then drain.

Fill wok with few inches of water. Cover and bring to boil on high heat. Add steamer insert and buns, working in batches. Reduce heat to medium-low and steam 15 minutes or according to package directions.

Meanwhile, chop duck coarsely and place in medium bowl. Add hoisin. Stir together with fork to coat evenly.

Using small serrated knife, cut each bun three-quarters through. Place duck mixture on bottom half of buns. Top with cucumber slices and onions. Dot with sriracha.

Makes 22.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial