Japan 2024

 My apologies, this post is a little late, but it is worth the wait...

As the racing takes to the cherry blossom clad lands of Sumo wrestlers and tea drinkers, Heidi chose to make gyoza and found a recipe for either chicken or pork fillings. But I was having none of it - instead I insisted that this was cause for an upgrade - to duck! 

(When Tally was in Year 2 and the class were asked to draw what they want to be when they grow up, she was adamant of her intention to be a fairy and so depicted herself. In the same way, what could be more aspirational than for young chickens to become a delicious duck.)

A return trip to the Asian supermarket in Newport was necessary. After hunting high and low we found dumpling wrappers and a few extras.

Roasted duck legs are shredded and combined with hoisin, ginger, garlic and spring onions, snuggling together in soft coats of delicate dough. We gave it a go to both boil and fry - either is fine my me, but the fried variants are extremely hot for longer than I bear to wait.

Once again Heidi took the lead and the result was every bit the delight we had hoped for. This season of savory snacks is turning out some good ones.

Roasted duck legs shredded (the crispy skin must be eaten immediately)

Mix with saucy bits

Frying (I didn't manage to get any photos of boiling some, but I'm sure you can imagine)

Served boiled - kinda droopy
Or fried - kinda burny-the-mouth


2 Duck legs
2 spring onions
2 garlic cloves
Hoisin sauce
Dark soy sauce
1 pack of frozen dumpling wrappers - or you could take Siân's ludicrous suggestion, and make them from scratch.

  1. Roast the duck legs according to the packet instructions. Make sure to score the skin well, add salt and pepper, and perch the legs over the roasting dish to allow the fat to drip off. And then for some reason don't remove the fat off, but rather repeatedly attempt to put the liquid fat back onto the duck legs by basting as many times as you can be bothered.
  2. Remove from the oven and rest. Try to avoid eating it all at this point. Shred and finely chop the meat.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients (except the wraps) in a bowl to form a thin sauce and add it to the duck to make a sticky concoction. We had roughly twice as much sauce as we needed, but just used the rest as dipping sauce at the end.
  4. Fold a teaspoon of filling into a wrapper and fold it into a stegosaurus shape (technical term) 
  5. For the boiled variant, follow the instructions on the wrap packaging.
  6. For the fried variant, you guessed it, follow the instructions on the packaging.
  7. Eat with chopsticks, but avoid:
    1. dropping it
    2. burning your mouth
    3. too much chilli dip
    4. eating far too many and absolutely ruining your appetite for dinner an hour later.


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