Asian street food has been cast in the spotlight a number of times in recent years. And when it comes to its duck dishes, it can be quite a strange sight for people in other parts of the world.

There are many who associate roast duck with luxury. The same can also be said of Asia’s own Peking duck. And yet, the presence of duck in areas like Vietnamese street food cuisine present a paradox.

Here we see several ducks, whole roasted over spits. Here, you see poultry associated with extravagance now made available to the masses. The food and the recipes don’t appear high-end, or complex.

There is a lot you can learn here if you are a home cook just raring to try these out at home. Because as nice as a classy roast duck dinner can be, it’s also fun to demystify duck meat as an ingredient and try something simpler.

Tip #1: A Key, Non-Duck Ingredient

One thing you may notice in great street food recipes is that they do have one part that does look tricky. Oftentimes, this may be a secret house sauce or dip. On the other hand, this is the part where you can really get creative without necessarily adding too many steps to the process.

So, find something that will make a difference in the way the meat will taste. It can be a blend of spices or sauces. It could be a stuffing of aromatic herbs. In any case, focus on that one aspect that you can work on that will make a huge difference!

Tip #2: Thorough Cooking Method

This isn’t just any tip. This is something that goes back to the very important basics of cooking. There is nothing as terrible as raw food. This is not just a matter of taste but of your personal health and safety.

One impressive thing about street cooks is that they pay very close attention to this and make sure their cooking methods result in food that is well-cooked and heated. As far as duck dishes go, this is obviously done by very hot grills, followed by dedicated hand roasting or frying (depending on the dish).

Tip #3: Preparation and Time Management

Lastly, another thing you might notice in street food videos is that they really organise the whole process all the way up to the night before. For example, you might have seen ducks already skewered, marinated and cut for the oven.

Some chefs may have their secret in the way they keep their meat fresh and preserved overnight. Others may dedicate one day to prepare enough for the rest of the week. Likewise, learn to exercise your time management skills the same way!

Duck meat may seem like an intimidating ingredient to cook. But thanks to the work of Asia’s awesome street cooks, you can pick up a lot of ideas that can really simplify it all.

Julia Billyard

Author Julia Billyard

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