Indonesian cuisine was influenced by traders from India, the Middle East, China, and, later, Spain and Portugal. The Dutch, who colonized many of the 6,000 islands that make up Indonesia, adapted the buffet eating style of the native peoples, into the famous rijstaffel (or rice table). Sambals and tempeh, an adaptation of tofu, also originated in Indonesia.
In another recipe (for Gulai Itik), I described a traditional way of cooking a duck. This is my adaptation of it. Cooking the duck breast this way will give you a nice crisp skin and very tender, slightly pink slices of duck. Slice the meat after cooking, and serve straight away with some green salad or cooked green beans. This duck is equally good with rice, pasta, or potatoes. The marinade can be reheated with 112 ml / 4 fl oz / 1/2 cup of water and served as a sauce.
For 4 people
4 duck breasts
The paste as for Gulai Itik
Simmer the paste for 6-8 minutes, stirring often, then leave it to get cold in a glass bowl.
Make two incisions in the skin of each duck breast. When the paste is cold, marinate the breasts in it, mixing them well so that every duck breast is well coated with the marinade. Leave to stand in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
When you are ready to eat, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F / Gas Mark 6. Drain off the marinade, and place the duck breasts, skin upper-most, on a rack in a baking tray. Half-fill the tray with hot water and roast for 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately as suggested above.
If you are going to grill the duck, whether under electricity or gas, set the grill to maximum heat. Grill on the meat side first for 20 minutes, then turn the breasts over and continue grilling until the skins are almost charred. Serve straight away.
Indonesian Regional Cooking
By Sri Owen
St. Martin's Press, 1995
288 Pages, with 50 line illustrations
Reprinted with permission
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This page modified January 2007
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