Lẩu Vịt (Duck Hot Pot)

Ingredients

1 duck about 5 lbs, fresh duck available at Costco

1/2 cup fish sauce 

about 1 lb taro

2 stalks lemongrass

2 pieces ginger root, about 2-inches piece

1 whole garlic

3 shallots, thinly sliced

 about 7 cups water 


for color and spicy oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 fresh red chili pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne or paprika powder

2 tablespoons annatto oil

or 

2 tablespoons cooking oil 


Condiments

assorted mushrooms

noodle

morning glory aka water spinach 

or

mustard greens


for ginger dipping sauce 

ginger, 1/2-inch piece

2 cloves of garlic

sugar

fish sauce

1/2 lime,  juiced 

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Directions


Preparing Duck

Rinse a duck under cold running water. No need to rub duck with ginger or alcohol to eliminate the gamy flavor. Pull away and discard any excess fat from the duck. Trim the excess skin near the bottom of the legs and around the edges. Chop duck into big chunks of about 2-inches.

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Preparing Lemongrass, Ginger, Shallots, and Garlic

Cut each stalk of lemongrass into 3 pieces, smashed.  Peel garlic and slightly smash each one to release the flavor.  Slice the shallots. 

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Preparing Taro

Cut taro into big chunks, set aside.

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Cooking Duck

In a large pot, saute oil, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, shallot until fragrant.

Add duck to the pot and cook until brown.

Add enough water to cover the duck and bring to a boil. Add fish sauce.

Simmer it for about 1 hour or until duck is soft. Skimming duck fat occasionally.  Add taro. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until taro is half way cooked. Taro breaks down and becomes gooey and thickens the  broth if it cooks for too long.

Taste and add more fish sauce if needed.  Toss in the spicy oil to add color and spice to the broth.

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Preparing Spicy Oil

In a sauce pan, cook garlic in oil on medium low heat until fragrant.   Turn of the heat, and take the pan off the heat then add cayenne (less spicy) or paprika powder (more spicy), and fresh red chili pepper. Mix well. Pour it into the duck pot. Chile peppers, cayenne and paprika are particularly sensitive to heat, and become bitter when burnt.

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Preparing Condiments

Wash and cut vegetables.

Cook your choice of noodle according to the directions. If you prefer sweet potato starch clear noodle, soak noodle in water until serving. Clear noodle cooks very quickly in hot pot.

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Preparing Dipping Sauce

Smash the garlic and ginger together using a mortar and pestle until smooth. Add sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice.  Mix well. 

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Presentation

Transfer duck, taro, and broth to an electric skillet. Place it on a table along with vegetables, mushrooms, noodle, and dipping sauce. When the broth is boiling, toss in vegetables and swirl your raw ingredients in the boiling broth until they are cooked. Using a slotted spoon to scoop out cooked ingredients without taking too much broth. Ladle it over your bowl of cooked noodle and eat with a side of ginger dipping sauce. 

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