I've been trying hard to find my little spot in the kitchen here in Taiwan, at my parents' place. Both my mom and my dad own the kitchen. Mom is in charge of daily meals, while my dad helps out with purchasing, preparation, making sauces, and blending fresh juice for the family.
Whenever I suggest cooking something for them, the idea always goes vetoed instantly. First, there is already tons of homemade food in the house. Second, they dislike my food. Yes, how sad is that?! Or should I just make myself feel better and blame that my mom and dad are the pickiest parent in the world!?
However, my mom finally agreed probably because her daughter was nagging everyday about trying and cooking some Taiwanese ingredients. Reluctantly and unable to find ear plugs, my mom gave in and took me to a local market, YES!
Taiwanese duck blood and chives spicy stew -
1 big block of duck blood (about 1 big palmful)
1 small bundle of chives (about 15 stems)
1 small pickled cabbage 酸菜
5 red chili pepper
5 garlic cloves
Some corn starch
Some boiled water
2 slices of ginger
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of black bean soy sauce 黑豆醬油
1 tablespoon of rice cooking wine 米酒
1 teaspoon of Chinese chili sauce
1 small pinch of granulated sugar
Some olive oil
Some cilantro (for garnish)
Some sesame oil (final touch)
I got a big palmful of freshly made duck blood and pickled cabbage from a traditional market in Taiwan -
Upper left are the duck blood chunks and the pale green ball shaped things on the left are the pickled cabbages.
Add a small spoonful of salt into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Gently add in the duck blood and the pickled cabbage. Bring to a boil again then carefully scoop out both ingredients.
Pat dries the pickled cabbage and chop into thin strips. Gently chop the duck blood into big bite size chunks and soak in drinking water while preparing other ingredients. Make sure to soak in some kind of liquid otherwise the duck blood will dry out soon. You can also prepare the duck blood one day in advance and soak them in Asian spicy hot pot soup overnight.
Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Peel and slice the ginger root. Discard the stems from fresh chilies and finely chop the remaining. Rinse and pat dry the chives, remove the very bottom stems and chop into about 2 inches strips.
Drizzle some olive oil to the pan, about 2 tablespoons or just enough to evenly coat the bottom. Turn to high heat. Wait till the oil turns slightly hot, add in the chives and give it a quick stir, about 30 minutes. Transfer onto a plate for later use.
Drizzle another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a big pan and turn to medium high heat. Add in the ginger slices along with one small pinch of salt. Cook till the edges of the ginger turns slightly brown, pick them out and add in the chilies, pickled cabbage, and garlic slices instead. Lower the heat a little bit if needed to prevent garlic slices from burning.
Cook for about 30 seconds, remember to stir constantly. Add in the seasonings - soy sauce, Chinese chili sauce, rice cooking wine, sugar, and black bean soy sauce. Give everything a quick stir.
Pour in one cup of hot water, mix a week bit. Carefully transfer the duck blood chunks into the mixture. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to keep it simmer. About 6 to 8 minutes. Lastly, add in the chives.
I actually keep the whole thing simmer for another 3 minutes till the sauce has been reduced by 1/3, but that way the chives will turn dark and some might think the dish will not be as pretty in presentation. If you want to keep the chives in vibrant green color, just add them last minute along with a quick stir then off the heat right away.
Last step, mix some corn starch with water, slowly pour them into the pan and stir the mixture at the same time to prevent lumping. Once the sauce thickens, pour onto a deep plate and drizzle some sesame oil, garnish with cilantro.
My first time cooking duck blood, not bad at all (despite my parents still think there're lots more rooms for improvements). Picky, picky.