Recipe by Mary the Disturbed Stick Woman
What’s Shanghaied Duck Ddeok? Well, everybody knows what a duck is. Ddeok, or more properly ddeok guk ddeok, is a Korean foodstuff whose name is translated as “rice cake”, and they’re not like the crunchy rice cakes that you put peanut butter on or whatever. They’re more like a thick, short, wide noodle made out of rice flour, with an oval shape about 2 ½ inches long. They’re also found in Chinese cuisine, but I don’t know their name in Chinese. They are sold in cellophane bags and in their dry form, they look a little like something’s toenails. Depending on how long they’ve been soaked and cooked, their texture is somewhere between a sort of rubbery, very al dente pasta, and a more conventional pasta texture. They are one of the world’s top ten oddly compelling foodstuffs. As for the “Shanghaied” part, Shanghai duck is a way to cook a whole or quartered duck in a brown soy-based sauce with scallions. Rather than starting from scratch, I decided to “Shanghai” some duck leftovers, adapting a Shanghai duck recipe to allow for the fact that I was using cooked and not raw duck, and add some ddeok. Voila – Shanghaied Duck Ddeok. This recipe assumes that you are starting with a roast duck, and you don’t need an entire one – I used leftovers and it just came out fine; the only thing that changes is the duck density. If you cook your own, roast it plain or using a recipe with appropriate spices (I used the Spicy Laquered[sic] Duck recipe), not using some other set of spices that won’t work with the Chinese spices of the Shanghai sauce.
- 3⁄4 cup light soy sauce
- 3⁄4 cup dark soy sauce
- 3 cups water
- 8 scallions, chopped in 1 1/2 lengths, white parts and 2/3 of the green
- 1 slice gingerroot
- 1 star anise, broken in pieces
- 1 peking duck
- 1⁄2 lb chinese or korean white rice cake (ddeok guk ddeok)
Directions See How It's Made
- Place the ddeok in a bowl or container and cover with plenty of water. Soak for 24 hours or more.
- Cut the skin and meat off the duck carcass. Chop into small pieces, discarding excess fat, and set aside. Break up the bones, taking care not to create any small splintery pieces.
- Place the soy sauces, water, duck bones, star anise and ginger root in a large skillet. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the liquid to remove all bones, ginger, and bits of star anise.
- Add the ddeok and continue simmering for 20-30 minutes or until ddeok are softened to an al dente texture. Add water as needed to keep the sauce from reducing too much and scorching.
- Add the duck and scallion, reserving the greenest parts of the scallion for later. Continue simmering 5-10 more minutes or until sauce is reduced to a more gravy-like consistency. Add the green scallion parts and cook for another minute (at most!). Remove from heat and serve immediately.