With the coming of spring, the birds are on the lay again. I was privileged enough to come by a dozen free-range duck eggs this week, my beloved father gave them to me. I’ve not used duck eggs before, and was wondering what I should do with them. After market today, I made duck stock with a fresh carcass and one I had in the freezer. The idea for this dish came together as I pulled the lovely meat from the bones. I picked up some lovely fresh shitake mushrooms from Noel, of Li Sun Exotic Mushrooms, at the farmers’ market this morning. They match so beautifully with duck. I had some Soba noodles in the cupboard, and some lovely spring onions in the fridge from Choku Bai Jo. I made up a teriyaki sauce from scratch and infused it with a star anise, another perfect pair for duck. Some spinach, sautéed with ginger and garlic would provide the perfect greenery; and a soft boiled egg perched on top, then cracked open by the diner provides the finishing touch, with the warm creamy yolk spilling through the noodles. It worked perfectly. Try it yourself. Use some left over duck, and bought teriyaki sauce if you need to, but if you can, try it from scratch like this, I had a few different pans on the go, it was a couple of things to pull together, but I was told it was well worth the effort.
|2||cups||cooked duck meat|
|1||cup||fresh shitake mushrooms|
|2||tablespoons||macadamia or peanut oil, for frying|
Prepare all the ingredients before turning on the stove. Pull apart the duck meat till shredded into long thin pieces. Thinly slice the shitake mushrooms. Remove any wilted green tips of the spring onions and then slice (both the green and white parts), at an angle into pieces 3-4cm long. Keep the white part of the onion separate to the green. Wash the spinach and cut the stalks into pieces 3-4cm pieces. Peel the garlic and ginger and then slice thinly.
To prepare the teryiaki sauce, combine the stock, soy sauce, ginger powder, garlic powder, honey and brown sugar in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer till reduced by half. Dissolve the corn flour in a tablespoon of water. Add the cornflour mix to the saucepan, stirring to combine well, and cook till thickened. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the star anise. Set aside.
Cook the soba noodles according to packet directions and drain. Set aside.
To boil the duck eggs, take a strong pin or sewing needle and gently drill a small hole in the ‘flat’ end of the eggs. This will allow the air pocket to escape slowly during cooking, without cracking the egg. Bring a saucepan of water to a rapid boil. For medium sized duck eggs, set a time for 5 minutes and 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower the eggs into the boiling water. When the timer goes off, turn the heat off, empty the hot water and fill the saucepan with cold water to bring the eggs down to a temperature for you to handle them.
Heat half the cooking oil in a medium sized frying pan. Add the sliced garlic and ginger, cook till fragrant and add the spinach. Sautee gently till cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. When the pan is hot, add the white pieces of spring onion, after a minute add the sliced mushrooms. Ensuring the pan is hot enough, when the mushrooms begin to colour add the duck meat and noodles. Remove the star anise from the teriyaki sauce and add the sauce and green spring onion to the noodles. Stir to thoroughly combine. Test to make sure the noodles are hot.
To serve, working quickly, place a ring of spinach on each plate, then a quarter of the noodle mix. If you turn the tongs as you place the noodles on the plate, they will be pulled into an attractive circle. Peel the soft boiled eggs and place one in the middle of each pile of noodles. Serve immediately.