Friday, November 6, 2015

Braised Duck with Sea Cucumber (海参鸭)

It all started last week when I helped my parents run some errands. At the end of it, my dad "rewarded" me with 3 humongous sea cucumbers and asked me to go home and cook it. I was like "What? Wait...., I don't, I don't know how." But he was already happily packing it with ice packs and reciting the recipe as if I am a memory sponge. Okay...I did catch some of the key steps. What recipe? One of my dad's all time favourite. It is yet another traditional Hokkien dish which I should have taken up long ago. None other then Braised Duck with Sea Cucumber (海参鸭) of course. 
Such a heart warming dish that brings back so much fond memories of my childhood. I don't get to have this often at home when I was young, since sea cucumber is considered a luxury ingredient, then and now, especially good ones. And seems like we only get to enjoy this dish on special occasions or when my dad buys really good sea cucumbers.

I am glad that my first attempt turned out quite well. In fact I am very please that my family did finish most of it at one go. And of course, I am glad I used my Le Creuset Buffet Casserole to cook this dish. Again this cast iron pot did a great job retaining the heat and cooking all the ingredients evenly. I reckon I only used 3/4 of the time or less to cook this  dish using this buffet casserole verse using a normal pot. And that Cool Mint colour is so lovely can!

Ingredients for Braised Duck with Sea Cucumber (海参鸭)

1/2 duck (~500g), washed and chopped into smaller pieces
2 medium sea cucumber (~400g), soaked till fully hydrated, and cut into chunks (mine was all frozen,I have no choice but to take the whole thing for the photo :P)
5-6 slices of ginger
5-6 dried shitakke mushroom, soaked
3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tsp all spice powder 
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp day soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
600 ml water + 1 chicken seasoning cube OR 600 ml chicken stock
(Note that I add the chicken stock into two separate portions to the dish while cooking, 300 ml each round)

1 tsp corn flour with 1 tbsp water (Thickening mixture)

  • In a mixing bowl, place the rinsed and chopped half duck into it. Then add in all the ingredients for the marinate. Toss well to coat the duck meat with all marinate. Note that I use this awesome brand from Penang, super fragrant, but you can use any brand you fancy of course.

  • Cover and leave the duck to marinate for a good 1 hour before use. Chill in the fridge.
  • After an hour, heat the buffet casserole over the stove at medium low fire. Add a tbsp of cooking oil follow by the smashed garlic and ginger slices. Cook till aromatic.

  • Next, add in the shitakke mushroom and cook for a minute. Finally, add in the marinated duck meat to the casserole.

  • Cook for a few minutes and add in the ingredients for seasoning and note that only 300 ml of the chicken stock is added. Toss it to coat the duck meat. Lastly, add the sea cucumbers in.

  • Toss and cook awhile and bring to a boil. Lower the fire to a simmer and cover the casserole. Let cook for approximately an hour and checking occasionally, making sure the dish doesn't dry out. Add the remaining 300 ml of the chicken stock along the way as you cook the dish. The duck meat should be tender and almost falling off the bone, the sea cucumbers should be soft and yet still thick-jellish like.

I know...the pot looks like a mess. But trust me, it is still speckless after I washed it up. The special enamel coating on the pot protects it from heavy braising and stewing. And yet the dishes always turn out so beautifully cooked. So awesome isn't it !? 

A delicious authentic meal is much easier to prep then you can imagine! Family totally approve this, especially that my small kid was loving the soft gelatinise sea cucumbers. 

Oh so yum. :9 I can just eat this! But the duck meat is equally awesome of course. And I am already planning how should I cook the rest of the sea cucumbers I have left.

If you are interested to purchase this lovely Le Creuset Cool Mint Buffet Casserole, do hop over to here to check it out. Else, remember to drop by the cookware section when you go shopping in town next time.

Hope you will try out this dish. Perhaps during the next family gathering? Go ahead and impress all the elder folks with it haha!

Till the next time, happy cooking everyone!


Angie's Recipes said...

How nutritious and delicious!!

Agnes CF Lee said...

Never cook sea cucumber before but now I got some ideas to cook it if I happened to have some...your cast iron pot is very useful..from stove to serving on the table right away..

Anonymous said...


I tried out your receipe but somehow my stock does not decrease, end up i only use 300ml of the stock.
Please advice is it because of the pot that i use? Thanks

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Angie,

Hahaha, any form of protein is nutritious to the body. But this one is a old tradition dish, must learn and cook for the kids. :)

Hi Agnes,
Yes yes, I love my Le Creuset! It is really quite versatile I have to say. :) Thank you and hope you will be able yo try it some day!

Hi Anonymous,

I guess I did leave the pot open at some part of the braising period to reduce the liquid to a gravy. Do note that you can try to adjust as you go, need not follow too strictly. That is how we adapt and learn new things. :) But thanks for trying out my recipe!