INGREDIENTS (Serves four)
For the duck 4 duck breasts
1tbs five-spice powder
For the vegetables 4 cloves of garlic, peeled, halved and de-germed
400g semi-skimmed milk
Groundnut or grapeseed oil
4 baby pak choi, trimmed and halved
100g light soy sauce
2 red Thai chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
10g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
50g frozen peas, defrosted
50g frozen soya beans, defrosted
2 spring onions, finely sliced
To finish and serve 1 spring onion, cut into strips and put into iced water
Puffed wild rice
METHOD Score the skin of the duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern with a very sharp knife, and dust both sides with the five-spice powder and salt.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and, when very hot, place the duck breasts in the pan skin-side down. Allow the fat to render out. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip over and cook for 1 minute. Flip again back to the skin side and cook for 3 minutes, then flip over for 1 minute. Repeat this process two more times, then remove the duck from the pan and allow to rest for 7 minutes.
Blanch the garlic in 100g milk four times, using a fresh 100g milk each time. Finely chop the garlic and set aside.
To cook the vegetables, heat some oil in a clean frying pan over a medium heat and add the pak choi. Cook until there is colour on one side (approximately 2-3 minutes), then flip over and colour the other side. Add the mirin and cook until the liquid has almost disappeared, flipping the pak choi to coat it. Make sure the pak choi is thoroughly cooked, adding a little water to the pan if not.
In the meantime, combine the garlic with the soy sauce, chillies and ginger in a bowl. Add the peas, soya beans and spring onions to the pak choi in the pan, but remove from the heat immediately. Coat everything in the soy mixture.
To serve, divide the vegetables between four plates. Slice the duck breasts diagonally and place the slices on top of the vegetables. Garnish with the drained and dried spring onion strips and, if you like, sprinkle with puffed wild rice.
From Heston Blumenthal at Home