Citizens, it has been far too long since your magnificent leader – the supreme majesty that is TFD – has posted a recipe for his favorite fowl: duck! To rectify this terrible oversight on my part, here is a magnificent and tender duck recipe originating from Chaozhou Province of the People’s Republic of China.
Teochew cuisine, also known as Chiuchow cuisine, Chaozhou cuisine or Chaoshan cuisine, originated from the Chaoshan region in the eastern part of China’s Guangdong Province, which includes the cities of Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang.
Teochew cuisine bears more similarities to that of Fujian cuisine, with which it shares some dishes. This may be due to the similarity of Chaoshan’s and Fujian’s culture and language and to their geographic proximity. However, Teochew cuisine is also influenced by Cantonese cuisine in its style and technique.
Teochew cuisine is well known for its seafood and vegetarian dishes. Its use of flavoring is much less heavy-handed than most other Chinese cuisines and depends much on the freshness and quality of the ingredients for taste and flavor.
As a delicate cuisine, oil is not often used in large quantities and there is a relatively heavy emphasis on poaching, steaming and braising, as well as the common Chinese method of stir-frying.
Teochew cuisine is also known for serving congee (糜; mí; or mue), in addition to steamed rice or noodles with meals. The Teochew mue is rather different from the Cantonese counterpart, being very watery with the rice sitting loosely at the bottom of the bowl, while the Cantonese dish is more a thin gruel.
Authentic Teochew restaurants serve very strong oolong tea called Tieguanyin in very tiny cups before and after the meal. Presented as gongfu tea, the tea has a thickly bittersweet taste, colloquially known as gam gam (甘甘; gān gān).
A condiment that is popular in Fujian and Taiwanese cuisine and commonly associated with cuisine of certain Teochew groups is shacha sauce (沙茶酱; 沙茶醬; shāchá jiàng). It is made from soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chilies, brill fish and dried shrimp. The paste has a savory and slightly spicy taste. As an ingredient, it has multiple uses: as a base for soups, as a rub for barbecued meats, as a seasoning for stir-fried dishes, or as a component for dipping sauces.
In addition to soy sauce (widely used in all Chinese cuisines), the Teochew diaspora in Southeast Asia use fish sauce in their cooking. It is used as a flavoring agent in soups and sometimes as a dipping sauce, as in Vietnamese spring rolls.
Teochew chefs often use a special stock called superior broth (上汤; 上湯; shàngtāng). This stock remains on the stove and is continuously replenished. Portrayed in popular media, some Hong Kong chefs allegedly use the same superior broth that is preserved for decades. This stock can as well be seen on Chaozhou TV’s cooking programx.
There is a notable feast in Teochew cuisine called jiat dot (食桌; shízhuō; “food table”). A myriad of dishes are often served, which include shark fin soup, bird’s nest soup, lobster, steamed fish, roasted suckling pig and braised goose.
Teochew chefs take pride in their skills of vegetable carving, and carved vegetables are used as garnishes on cold dishes and on the banquet table.
Teochew cuisine is also known for a late night meal known as meh siao (夜宵; yèxiāo) or daa laang (打冷; dǎléng) among the Cantonese. Teochew people enjoy eating out close to midnight in restaurants or at roadside food stalls. Some dai pai dong-like eateries stay open till dawn.
Unlike the typical menu selections of many other Chinese cuisines, Teochew restaurant menus often have a dessert section.
Many people of Chaoshan origin, also known as Teochiu or Teochew people, have settled in Hong Kong and places in Southeast Asia like Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand. Influences they bring can be noted in Singaporean cuisine and that of other settlements.
A large number of Teochew people have also settled in Taiwan, evident in Taiwanese cuisine. Other notable Teochew diaspora communities are in Vietnam and France. There is also a large diaspora of Teochew people (most were from Southeast Asia) in the United States – particularly in California. There is a Teochew Chinese Association in Paris called L’Amicale des Teochews en France.
Citizens, my version of this classic recipe is traditional and flavorful beyond measure – I know it will favor with you, your family and your guests!
Battle on – The Generalissimo