I know. It's been WAY too long since my last blog post. Trust me, it's not because I haven't been cooking — I've been cooking, eating, feeding others, and all-around feasting, business as usual. I just haven't had the time or inspiration to write very much the last couple months (I blame it on summer brain). But now that the temperatures are starting to cool (sort of, not really), I'm going to rededicate myself to both cooking and writing, my two greatest loves.
Out of the dozens of dishes I've made since my last blog entry, I decided to post this one because it was truly me on a plate: simple to make, big on flavor, slightly improvised, and Asiafied. The key here is slow-cooking the duck so the meat is tender and easily pulls apart, just like pulled pork.
To make the broth for slow-braising the duck, I used coconut milk, lime, red curry, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and chili powder. As the duck cooked, my kitchen was filled with the tantalizing aroma of a Thai curry and I almost forgot I was making tacos.
When the duck is finished cooking, I used some of the braising broth and whisked it with Gochujang to make a really tangy, delicious taco sauce. Of course, I saved the remainder of the broth and will repurpose it for something else, so stay tuned.
Along with the duck, I just added a simple watercress and Asian pear kimchi that I had made for another dish the night before. One of my favorite things about cooking is repurposing, improvising, and making spin-offs of dishes — that's why it's important to always use versatile ingredients and stick to a flavor profile you know and love.
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1 tablespoon red curry
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 6-to-8-oz. duck breasts
4-6 corn tortillas
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the kimchi:
1 Asian pear, diced (skin on or off)
2 cups of watercress, stems trimmed
1 garlic clove, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, minced
2 scallions (light and dark parts), chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Korean chili powder
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper.
- Add coconut milk, lime juice, and spices to a small pot and bring to a boil. Add duck breasts and turn down heat. Let simmer for 4 to 5 hours.
- Add all ingredients for the kimchi in a large mixing bowl and combine well. Store away until duck is ready. Can be made ahead of time.
- When duck is ready, take out of the braising liquid and pull apart with a fork.
- Combine 2 to 3 tablespoons of the braising liquid with 1 to 2 tablespoons gochujang and mix well until a consistent sauce forms.
- To assemble, lay duck down on the tortilla first, top with the kimchi, and drizzle with the coconut-lime-gochujang sauce. You can also heat up the tortillas over the stove's open flame for a few seconds before assembling, if you'd like. (I prefer it warm and a bit charred.)