I posted this recipe years ago under a different name, 'Super Yummy Soy Sauce Duck'. Since I now prefer to use duck breasts because they are all meat and easier to cook than a whole duck, and I like to serve the the duck slices in spring roll wraps, I'm giving the dish a different name.
This is a super easy dish to cook but it will impress your guests because they'll think it's otherwise. You need 4 ingredients only: the duck, cooking oil, sugar and light soy sauce. If you are serving the breasts with springroll wraps, and you should, or any other wraps, then pick up a cuke on the way out of the market. If you are really adventurous, make your own popiah wraps. I tried making the wraps but made a mess with the batter. It's another recipe to conquer, and when I do, I want to throw a popiah party. House Of Annie has an excellent post that shows you how to make the wraps, here.
When choosing the duck breasts, look and feel for the larger, solid breasts (now, now) that are evenly thick from one end to the other. I was told that galangal (aka blue ginger, laos) can be used in place of ordinary ginger, for a stronger flavor. This is the perfect dish to impress anyone but best of all, it's easy to do.
Ginger Soy Sauce Duck
3 duck breasts, about 245 gm each
4 to 5 thin slices of fresh ginger (or galangal)
40 gm sugar
60 ml light soy sauce (Lee Kum Kee Premium is good)
100 ml water
1 T cooking oil
popiah wrap n cucumber strips
1. Put the oil, sugar and ginger in a cold wok or medium-sized pot. Switch on the heat to medium and stir the mixture until the sugar has melted and turned a golden color. Don't caramelize the sugar too much or the sauce'll be bitter.
2. Wipe the duck breasts dry with paper towels, place them skin-side down into the sugar-oil mixture and let the skin sear and brown. When the skin is golden and brown, reduce the heat to low to render more of the fat out. This will take a while. Do not let the sauce burn.
The sauce doesn't cover the breasts.
3. Add the soy sauce and water (the breasts will not be covered by the water), cover and let simmer 20 minutes, then turn over and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove the cover, turn breasts skin-side down again and increase the fire to medium for the last 15 minutes to reduce the sauce. If the sauce is not thickened after 45 minutes of cooking, take the breasts out and increase the fire to high to reduce the sauce until it is thickened but not too thick. Pour the sauce into a bowl and when cool, put the bowl into the freezer to get the oil to solidify at the top so that it can be easily removed. Leave the sauce at room temp until serving time. This dish doesn't have to be served piping hot so you can make it hours ahead but keep it well-covered so that it doesn't dry out.
4. Slice the duck breasts thinly and serve with popiah wraps, cucumber strips and the sauce.