Weekend Herald - Canvas
Duck and red cabbage spring rolls
Ready in 45 minutes Makes 12. DF · GF
4 duck breasts
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste 1 telegraph cucumber
¼ red cabbage
4 spring onions
12 round 22cm rice paper wrappers ¼ cup chopped roasted cashew nuts or peanuts
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
36 mint leaves
DIPPING SAUCE 1 cup mayonnaise ¼ cup hoisin sauce
Score duck skin deeply with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern and season both sides. Preheat a heavy-based frying pan and cook duck skin-side down over a medium heat until fat has rendered out, skin is crispy and the edges of the duck breast are just starting to change colour (10-12 minutes). Keep an eye on it and reduce heat if skin is becoming too brown.
Turn duck over, turn off heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes (the heat of the fat will be enough to finish cooking). Drain on paper towels. When cool, slice thinly.
While duck is cooling, prepare spring rolls. Halve cucumber lengthwise, scrape out and discard seeds, then cut into 12 batons about 10cm in length.
Shred cabbage and thinly slice spring onions. Slice avocado in half, then cut each half into 6 wedges.
Fill a large, shallow bowl with hot water. Wet a clean tea towel, squeeze out and spread on bench. Dunk a rice paper wrapper into the water for a couple of seconds, remove at once, shake off excess water and place on the damp tea towel. It will soften to a pliable texture. Sprinkle each rice paper wrapper with a few nuts and sesame seeds, 3 mint leaves, a cucumber baton, slices of duck, spring onion and an avocado wedge. Fold in sides of rice paper, then roll up tightly from the bottom edge to enclose the filling.
To make dipping sauce, combine mayonnaise and hoisin sauce in a small serving bowl. Thin with a little water if needed.
Cut each roll crosswise into thirds or halves and serve with dipping sauce on the side.
ANNABEL SAYS: Regardless of how you plan to serve duck breasts, this is the best way I know to cook them to that perfect medium-rare tenderness.