January 2022

Szechuan prawns and duck    


1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt flakes
4 king prawns, shell­on, legs and antenna trimmed, intestinal tract removed 1⁄2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 duck breast, trimmed

Vegetable oil, for frying


2 tablespoons light soy
2 tablespoons dark soy
3 tablespoons dark vinegar
1⁄4 cup shao xing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2­3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4­6 dried long red chillies
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 slices ginger, peeled and crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
3 long red chillies, deseeded and halved

Pickled vegetables

1⁄4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1⁄2 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 dried chilli
4 cloves
1 Lebanese cucumber, ribbons
1 small carrot, peeled, ribbons 
100g daikon, peeled, ribbons
1 spring onion, cut into 3cm lengths

Orange sauce

4 cloves
1 star anise
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Zest and juice of 2 oranges 


Preparation: 10 minutes Cooking: 45 minues

1. Place the Szechuan peppercorns and salt in a small frying pan, place over a medium heat and dry roast for 1­2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar, and using the pestle pound to a powder.

2. Place the prawns into a bowl and coat with some of the Szechuan salt, chilli flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Place the duck breast into a separate bowl and coat with the remaining Szechuan salt.

3. Quarter­fill a saucepan with water, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Place a bamboo steamer on over the simmering water, place duck breast in the steamer and cover with steamer lid. Steam for 8 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Heat oil in a wok to 180°C then deep fry the duck breast for 30 seconds to 1 minute until skin is crisp. Rest for 10 minutes and slice.

4. For prawns, combine the soy, vinegar, shao xing wine and brown sugar in a jug or bowl. Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Pour in oil and fry dried chillies until black. Remove chillies to a plate and set aside. Add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, onion and chillies, stir­fry until fragrant. Pour in the sauce, cook, stirring until sauce thickens then add prawns and stir until cooked.

5. For pickled vegetables, pour rice wine vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, star anise, dried chilli and cloves into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat, cook, stirring until sugar has dissolved, set aside to cool. Place cucumber, carrot, daikon and spring onion in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and set aside. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over vegetables.

6. For orange sauce, combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, simmer until syrupy. Strain before serving.

7. To serve, you can serve prawns and duck either separately or together. Spoon the orange sauce over the duck. Place pickled vegetables onto plate.