“Yeah, well you don’t know quack about duck!” Roast Duck & Brown Rice Congee.


I¬†could have been a Marx Brother with lines like that ūüėČ

Duck Soup.
A classic film and also this weeks dish.
Duck and corn congee to be precise.

Mrs. Teasdale: Oh, your Excellency!

Rufus T. Firefly: You’re not so bad yourself.

Congee, for the uninitiated, is a simple soupy porridge affair of rice cooked in broth or water, using the rice to thicken the soup as it breaks down.
As for its origins, I can’t say. Certainly Asia.
Everywhere from China to Indonesia has its own version. Almost certainly a peasant dish created to feed the many with limited resources, but now appearing in all forms on menus everywhere.
This is a 24/7 dish, great for anytime of day. You’ll even find it on trendy breakfast menus, with a trendier 63*egg on top.Duck8A Chinese chef that I trained with years ago (hi Jimmy Lew) always talked about congee being more than just the broth, that it becomes a meal with its condiments and accompaniments. Vegetables, spices, pickles, greens, sauces, nuts and seeds. That’s what makes congee exciting.
I agree. This is our version.
Rinse the rice well and drain . Strip the flesh and skin off the duck. Rinse the bones. Place the rice along with the garlic, ginger, bones, corn, corn cob and liquid (we added a little rice wine and a bay leaf as an after thought) in a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Turn it down to a low simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking.Duck10 Remove the bones, cob and bay leaf. Discard. The rice should be breaking down and thickening the broth. Season to taste and serve with these extras. Alternatively, substitute duck with left over roast anything. Or seafood. Shitake mushrooms and tofu will satisfy vegan and vegetarian alike.Duck8*Our soup condiments included chopped duck made crispy in a pan. Chopped coriander, spring onions and sugar snap peas for freshness, toasted sesame and fried shallots for crunch. Lemon, soy, chilli and hoi sin for flavour. Eggs are a popular addition as well. Boiled, fried or poached. Or to give the soup a dash of creamy elegance, fold a couple of yolks through the pot just before serving. Transformation.Duck1

*Ambassador Trentino: I didn’t come here to be insulted!

Rufus T. Firefly: That’s what you think!”

With a good base congee and lots of sides you can really tailor this to everyone’s needs, making it great for a shared family meal. Kid had hoi-sin, I like chilli sauce. Not salty enough for you? Add a little soy. You get the idea. We used a slow cooker on high and it was done in around four hours. Apparently some rice cookers have a congee setting so you can set and forget, all day or overnight. But the stove is quicker. On that note, white rice is quicker again and more commonly used. We just happen to be a brown rice house.

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

What Kid Did


Well. What DIDN’T kid do? There was rice to be washed, corn sheathed, sugar snaps topped and tailed.


Herbs and spring onions to wash and pick. Sesame seeds to toast on the stove. Duck to pick off the bones and bones to wash. Jiu-jitsu to get to, homework to finish, bags un-packed after the long weekend away.

Duck7A discussion came up somewhere on social media this week about kids using knives at home. The big knives. I’m probably a little paranoid about it, having seen adults commit some pretty heinous assaults on themselves (me included) at work. So I’m in no hurry to go down that path. When she’s ready I think we’ll know and frankly, I’m in no hurry. She’s 10 and so far¬†¬†a small knife for¬†topping some beans is fine.


¬†“Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you: he really is an idiot.”

Duck11At that same restaurant where I trained with Jimmy Lew I also worked for a time with Kid’s uncle Pete (way before Kid had even been thought about.) Sometimes on a slow Sunday night we’d roll our chef pants up and waddle around the kitchen pretending to hold cigars, singing ‘Groucho, Groucho, Groucho Marx!’
It still cracks us up 20 years later.

“Either this post is dead or my watch has stopped.”


The Kong – Foo Sing ! (can you say no?)

‘Opportunity is always ahead if you look and think’

School is back (grade 5 this year, for the love of god man) and Kid is also back at Ju-Jitsu. My own little blue belt!
I spent the day surf ski-ing and handing out flyers for a friend (we are in election mode here in Queensland, go Kirsten!)
The tennis is on too (soo good) and yesterday I worked on the public holiday ūüė¶

So we’re a little starved for time later on, this doesn’t mean we can’t eat well.

‘An investment in enthusiasm might start to pay off’

I had a little forethought yesterday  to pick up a piece of pork belly in China town along with a couple of other bits. At the supermarket I found these.


(Not actually KFS brand but I was reminded of the late nineties either way)
And some Peking style pancakes.

‘You’ll be sharing great news with the people you love’

Chinese Style Pork Belly Pancakes.
Pork belly – a bit over a kilo will feed four. It will shrink in size. If you’re really time – starved you can normally buy or order a piece of roasted pork or duck even from some Asian grocers and butchers.
2 star anise
A knob of ginger
Chinese peking pancakes – bought ones
500gm Green beans
1 tablespoon Sesame seeds,
Spring onion,
1 red capsicum
1 Lebanese cucumber
Hoi sin sauce – mix 3 parts to 1 part water


‘Trust your intuition’

Heat your oven to 200*c. Put a decent sized pot of water on to boil.
Score the skin of the pork with a sharp knife (spend time to do it well, it makes life easier later) then rub some salt on it. Place it the fridge for 30 mins.
Plunge it into the boiling water, turn down to simmer for 5 mins.
Remove and drain on paper towel.
Run olive oil and salt into the skin. Crumble the star anise and slice the ginger over the top. Place on a baking tray in the oven for 30 mins, baste with the pan juices then return to the oven with temp down to 140*c for a further 3 hours, basting occasionally.

KFS2In the meantime, collect Kid from school, talk amongst yourselves, go to Ju – jitsu etc.
Blanch the beans and refresh. Toast the sesame seeds. Pick the coriander. Mix together and squeeze some lime in. Cut some cucumber batons.
All jobs that can be done during the roasting.
Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for a good 30 mins  before serving.

‘Negotiations go smoothly and will have a favourable outcome’

When you’re ready to eat, warm the pancakes in the oven for a few minutes (or microwave.)
Slice the pork thin and serve with the bean salad, cucumber and capsicum batons, pancakes and  hoi Рsin on the side.


‘Your greatest fortune is the large number of friends you have’
What Kid Did

KFP6Picked the beans, toasted the sesame, picked the coriander, made the bean salad, arranged the table.
KFS5 And made some ginger iced – tea to have with dinner.
Iced Ginger Tea.
50 gm fresh ginger – peeled and grated
1 teaspoon raw sugar
Hot water
Sparkling mineral water ( optional )

Boil the kettle and put all of the ingredients in a jug. Pour in enough boiling water to just cover. Let stand for 15 mins then strain and pour over ice and lemon pieces.
Top up with sparkling mineral water or just tap water.

As well as getting our fortunes from a box, before dinner Kid and I wrote our own fortunes to each other to open after dinner. These¬†are they¬†–

‘You will soon find you will have more friends than ever’ K

‘Take your time and no-one can take it from you’ C

That was a fun thing to do.
We ate most of this actually, because it was super yummy and we are sometimes pigs.
You might need some rice to bulk it out or one less dinner guest.

Cookie etiquette

It is said the entire cookie should be consumed  before reading the fortune in order for it to come true.

‘You should be able to make money and hold onto it’


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We All Eat And It Would Be A Sad Waste Of Opportunity To Eat Badly~~ Anna Thomas

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