Ducks are often seen, comically Herded in single file, along the water channels between the rice paddies throughout the country. The substantial Chinese population in Indonesia is particularly fond of duck and the delicious ingredients in this recipe give it an oriental flavour.
2.5 kg (5 1/2 lb) duck
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in 350 ml (12 fl oz) 1 1/2 cups warm water for 15 minutes
1 onion, sliced
5 cm (2 in) fresh root ginger, sliced and cut in matchsticks
200 g (7 oz) baby sweetcorn
1/2 bunch spring onions, white bulbs left whole, green tops sliced
15 - 30 ml (1 - 2 tbsp) cornflour, mixed to a paste with 60 ml (4 tbsp) water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
boiled rice, to serve
1. Cut the duck along the breast, open it up and cut along each side of the backbone. Use the backbone, wings and giblets to make a stock, to use later in the recipe. Any trimmings of fat can be rendered in a frying pan, to use later in the recipe. Cut each leg and each breast in half. Place in a bowl, rub with the sugar and then pour over the soy sauce and garlic.
2. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Trim and discard the stalks.
3. Fry the onion and ginger in the duck fat, in a frying pan, until they give off a good aroma. Push to one side. Lift the duck pieces out of the soy sauce and fry them until browned. Add the mushrooms and reserved liquid.
4. Add 600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups of I the duck stock or water to the browned duck pieces. Season, cover and cook over a gentle heat for about 1 hour, until the duck is tender.
5. Add the sweetcorn and the white part of the spring onions and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cornflour paste. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Cook for 1 minute until glossy. Serve, scattered with the spring onion tops, with boiled rice.
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