Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Indonesian Grilled Duck in Coconut Water and Spices - Bebek Kalasan

I've learnt a very important shopping lesson - the hard way:

That's right! Bold, italic, all caps!

I've always wanted to cook the perfect duck. Thus, I was always looking out for good duck deals, and I thought I saw one at Park'nShop's frozen meat section. US premium frozen duckling, ready to cook, and the price label said HK$24.90!!!

WOW! I had to look at the price label a few times! Normally, ducks at local frozen meat shops are sold at HK$39.90, I couldn't believe it! I just had to have it! I don't care if I couldn't find any ways to cook it, for HK$24.90, I could afford a failure, or so I thought.

I have a bad habit of not paying attention to prices at supermarket check outs (very bad habit) and hardly ever even look at the receipt. I knew I was buying quite a few items, but I was shocked by the total amount I had to pay. Wayyy more than what I expected. I checked the receipt, and found out that the duck costs me more than HK$120! Uh oh! They must have overcharged me, or displayed the wrong label. I was gonna go back to the cashier and ask. SC saved me from embarrassment by pointing out that the duck was sold at HK$24.90 PER 100 GRAMS, not for HK$24.90 for one whole duck!

Sigh...then and there, I felt burdened. HK$120 dramatically exceeded what I normally spend for meat, except for special occasions where I would buy pricey steaks. For HK$120, there's no way I could fail the duck. I'd better cook the duck's ass off and make sure it turned out bloody delicious....or so I hoped.

Indonesian Grilled Duck in Coconut Water and Spices - Bebek Kalasan

How the heck I should cook the duck? SC repeatedly reminded me (not gently) that I should NOT fail the duck. *Pressure pressure pressure*

I shouldn't cook the duck Chinese roast style, because you can get a Chinese style perfectly roasted duck here for just HK$88 (sobbing violently)...there's no way I could master that, in my home kitchen, at my first try. No. Freaking. Way.

So I was thinking...something Indonesian, something I haven't tried and I've missed for a long time. Bingo! Kalasan style!
- half a duck (I used the legs and wings only, I wanted to try the other half in another style - making the most of it)
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 6 cloves of shallot, peeled
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- coconut water (not coconut milk, it's the juice that comes out of the coconut) from 1-2 coconut (about 2 cups)
- 1 piece of palm sugar, dissolved in a bit of hot water
- salt, white pepper, olive oil

If you have a food processor, pulse garlic and shallot until fine. If not, use mortar and pestle, or simply finely chop them. Saute garlic and shallot in olive oil, add duck, add coconut water, add lemongrass, palm sugar syrup and season with salt and pepper. Add more hot water if you can't cover most parts of the duck. Cook until the juice is reduced and duck meat's tender. I used a pressure cooker and cooked the duck for 20 minutes. Once done, you can let it marinate or immediately grill/deep fry to brown the skin.

If you wanna grill it (like I did, as I hate hate HATE deep frying), preheat oven to 220C. Place duck in a non stick baking pan and add a bit of the juices to keep the duck moist. Grill until golden brown.

If you wanna deep fry it, drain the duck, pat dry and deep fry until golden brown.

You can also brown the duck skin before cooking in coconut water, simply season with salt and pepper. After cooking, simply throw into oven for a few minutes to crisp the skin.

Fragrant, flavorful, with a subtle sweetness to it. Taste great with rice, especially with a killer chilli paste. This recipe can also be done with chicken. I used fresh coconut water, but if you can find the canned/boxed version, give it a go.

What did I do with the other half of the duck?
I didn't do a duck sashimi, that's for sure.
Stay tuned to find out ^_^


Ravenous Couple said...

OMG...what a shock to see that hefty price tag!! Looks like you handled the pressure MARVELOUSLY! that would be $17 US which is still pretty pricy.. in chinatown LA, we can get fresh ducks for around $12-13.

Lidia Sianturi said...

yum...yum...atos ora?

Tuty said...


Does the skin become crispy? I can't eat duck anymore :-(
I loved the Peking duck in HK.

Deep frying the duck definitely cause a clear and present danger :-) Explosion almost guaranteed.

daphne said...

wooh..tricky supermarkets! BUT hey, that looooks delicious.can't wait to see epi 2 of duck!

tigerfish said...

Do I think to be pressured before I make this dish? Someone pressure me, pleaseee......?

eliza said...

bebeknya dateng dari US? pinter idemu bikin bebek kalasan Rit, pasti enak dimakan sama sambel yg pedes :)

Wandering Chopsticks said...

That looks soooo soooo goooood! I was thinking the boiling in coconut water and deep-frying afterward reminded me of Indonesian fried chicken. What do you do with the water afterward? I hope you don't throw it away?

Little Corner of Mine said...

It looks delectable! Now I am hungry for some duck.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Round 1 of Rita vs Duck goes to Rita! Looks superdelicious!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

@RC yes, i was shaken to the core T_T

@lidia...ora atos soale wes tak presto hehe

@tuty the skin turned golden brown delicious after grilling. HK peking duck? ga ada matinya! deep frying? i hateeee, make sure to cover and pat as dry as you can

@daphne it was my own oversight..."the /100grams" was kinda covered and i didn't look at it carefully enough

@tigerfish now i am sending pressure to you...pressureeee presureeee

@eliza iya dari US, bener2 deh...jauh banget terbangnya hehehe

@WC you're right! it would've been such a waste to dump the sauce right? i used it to marinate and grill...chicken drumsticks! ^_^ hehehe

@LCOM gogogo...hope ducks there not as expensive as this one...

@JS HAHAHA heavyweight boxing championship? LOL! you cracked me up!

Indonesia-Eats said...

Rita, send the duck off to Boissevain, please! ASAP. :)

Pam said...

I would have completely freaked out paying that much for something.

It's like when I buy expensive fabric, I am so terrified I am going to mess up.

But, wow, that duck is gorgeous!

Jacktels Kochbuch said...

Since tastes extremely good. Compliment