THAI DUCK SALAD

ARGUABLY OUR MOST EXCITING CULINARY DISCOVERY WHEN WE MOVED TO L.A. IN 1975 WAS THAI-VIETNAMESE FOOD, WHICH WAS VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT IN N.Y.C.  AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, DOWN THE HILL FROM US WAS THAI TOWN, WHERE IT WAS AND IS HARD TO DRIVE A BLOCK ALONG HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD BETWEEN WESTERN AND VERMONT WITHOUT PASSING AT LEAST ONE OF THESE JOINTS.  WE STILL FREQUENT SANAMLUANG NOODLE COMPANY ON THE CORNER OF HOLLYWOOD AND KINGSLEY, WHERE YOU CAN POP IN AFTER A MOVIE OR THEATRE AT 11PM FOR ROAST DUCK NOODLE SOUP AND FIND THE PLACE PACKED.  DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET IS SAPP COFFEE SHOP (ONE OF JONATHAN GOLD'S FAVORITES) AND A BLOCK SOUTH IS JITLADA, WHICH GOLD NAMED THE BEST THAI RESTAURANT IN THE UNITED STATES.  THAI-VIETNAMESE SOUPS AND NOODLE DISHES ARE FLAVORFUL AND FILLING.  CHILES ARE UBIQUITOUS, SO IF YOU LIKE SPICY FOOD, YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.  AMONG MY FAVORITES ARE THE SALADS; SOME WITH MEAT, SOME WITH CHICKEN OR SHRIMP, DUCK OR THAI SAUSAGE.  THE DRESSING IS MOSTLY LIME JUICE.  LAST WEEK, I HAD QUITE A BIT OF DUCK LEFT FROM A PREVIOUS DINNER, SO I DECIDED TO INCORPORATE IT IN A THAI SALAD.  I PERUSED A BUNCH OF RECIPES AND CAME UP WITH ONE OF MY OWN.  DEPENDING ON YOUR TOLERANCE FOR HEAT (THIS VERSION IS QUITE MILD) OR YOUR CHOICE OF PROTEIN, COMPOSE A RECIPE WHICH SUITS YOUR TASTES.  

 

 1 lb ROAST DUCK, CHICKEN, PORK, SHRIMP, OR RARE STEAK
 3 RIPE LIMES (NOTE: THE YELLOWER, THE RIPER)
 1 ORANGE
 1 GARLIC CLOVE
 1 1 INCH OF FRESH GINGER
 3 tbsp FISH SAUCE
 1 tbsp SOY SAUCE
 1 SMALL RED ONION
 ROMAINE OR LITTLE GEM LETTUCES
 FRESH CILANTRO, MINT AND BASIL
 4 RED SERRANO OR BIRD CHILES
 ½ lb RICE NOODLES
 FRIED SHALLOTS (AVAILABLE IN JARS AT ASIAN MARKETS

1

BRING A LARGE SAUCEPAN OF WATER TO A BOIL. SALT GENEROUSLY. ADD THE RICE NOODLES AND COOK AROUND 8 MINUTES OR UNTIL THEY ARE DONE. DRAIN IMMEDIATELY IN A COLANDER AND RUN COLD WATER OVER THEM.

USING A MICRO-PLANE OR BOX GRATER, GRATE THE ZEST FROM 2 LIMES AND THE ORANGE INTO YOUR SALAD BOWL.

SQUEEZE 3 LIMES AND THE ORANGE AND POUR JUICE IN THE BOWL.

PEEL ONION, SLICE LENGTHWISE IN HALF, THEN CUT INTO THIN HALF MOONS. ADD TO THE BOWL. SALT AND PEPPER.

ADD THE GRATED GARLIC CLOVE AND FRESH GINGER.

SLICE CHILES LENGTHWISE AND REMOVE THE SEEDS. CHOP ROUGHLY AND ADD TO THE BOWL.

ADD 3 TBSPS FISH SAUCE AND 1 TBSP SOY SAUCE.

WASH AND DRY THE LETTUCE. TEAR ROUGHLY AND ADD TO THE BOWL.

ADD THE NOODLES TO THE BOWL.

IF YOU'RE USING POULTRY, REMOVE MEAT FROM THE CARCASS, CUT INTO THICK SLICES. WITH STEAK OR PORK, SLICE INTO PIECES ACROSS THE GRAIN. ADD PROTEIN TO THE BOWL.

PLUCK THE LEAVES FROM THE HERBS. YOU SHOULD HAVE ABOUT 1 CUP EACH OF BASIL, CILANTRO AND MINT.

JUST BEFORE SERVING, ADD THE DUCK OR YOUR CHOICE OF PROTEIN, TOSS TO COAT THE GREENS, THE NOODLES AND MEAT WITH THE DRESSING AND SERVE.

SERVE WITH A BOWL OF FRIED SHALLOTS ON THE SIDE.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

 1 lb ROAST DUCK, CHICKEN, PORK, SHRIMP, OR RARE STEAK
 3 RIPE LIMES (NOTE: THE YELLOWER, THE RIPER)
 1 ORANGE
 1 GARLIC CLOVE
 1 1 INCH OF FRESH GINGER
 3 tbsp FISH SAUCE
 1 tbsp SOY SAUCE
 1 SMALL RED ONION
 ROMAINE OR LITTLE GEM LETTUCES
 FRESH CILANTRO, MINT AND BASIL
 4 RED SERRANO OR BIRD CHILES
 ½ lb RICE NOODLES
 FRIED SHALLOTS (AVAILABLE IN JARS AT ASIAN MARKETS

Directions

1

BRING A LARGE SAUCEPAN OF WATER TO A BOIL. SALT GENEROUSLY. ADD THE RICE NOODLES AND COOK AROUND 8 MINUTES OR UNTIL THEY ARE DONE. DRAIN IMMEDIATELY IN A COLANDER AND RUN COLD WATER OVER THEM.

USING A MICRO-PLANE OR BOX GRATER, GRATE THE ZEST FROM 2 LIMES AND THE ORANGE INTO YOUR SALAD BOWL.

SQUEEZE 3 LIMES AND THE ORANGE AND POUR JUICE IN THE BOWL.

PEEL ONION, SLICE LENGTHWISE IN HALF, THEN CUT INTO THIN HALF MOONS. ADD TO THE BOWL. SALT AND PEPPER.

ADD THE GRATED GARLIC CLOVE AND FRESH GINGER.

SLICE CHILES LENGTHWISE AND REMOVE THE SEEDS. CHOP ROUGHLY AND ADD TO THE BOWL.

ADD 3 TBSPS FISH SAUCE AND 1 TBSP SOY SAUCE.

WASH AND DRY THE LETTUCE. TEAR ROUGHLY AND ADD TO THE BOWL.

ADD THE NOODLES TO THE BOWL.

IF YOU'RE USING POULTRY, REMOVE MEAT FROM THE CARCASS, CUT INTO THICK SLICES. WITH STEAK OR PORK, SLICE INTO PIECES ACROSS THE GRAIN. ADD PROTEIN TO THE BOWL.

PLUCK THE LEAVES FROM THE HERBS. YOU SHOULD HAVE ABOUT 1 CUP EACH OF BASIL, CILANTRO AND MINT.

JUST BEFORE SERVING, ADD THE DUCK OR YOUR CHOICE OF PROTEIN, TOSS TO COAT THE GREENS, THE NOODLES AND MEAT WITH THE DRESSING AND SERVE.

SERVE WITH A BOWL OF FRIED SHALLOTS ON THE SIDE.

SERVES 4

THAI DUCK SALAD
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