Thai Red Curry Duck Wonton Appetizers (Kaeng Phed Ped Yang Geow Grob)
Makes 36 appetizers
Chinese Barbecued or Roast ducks are available at Chinese markets and for takeout from many Chinese restaurants. The only drawback is that these ducks are very fatty and take over an hour to bone out and remove the skin and fat. I prefer buying already cooked duck hindquarters or breast. In fact Costco carries hind quarters confit de canard and also Magret de canard (Smoked Duck Breast) and I will use either of these next time as it saves a lot f work. However, the advantage to using a whole duck is you can make lovely duck stock as well as rendering out duck fat for tasty additions to other dishes. I did crisp the skin and used it as a garnish, so perhaps if you have the time it is the nicest way to go.
1/2 cup minced scallion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive or peanut oil
1/4 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pair of fresh tender kaffir lime leaves slivered and minced
1 to 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
1 (3-pound) roast duck, meat cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 cups) or duck breast
1 large ripe firm mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 cup diced, 1/3 inch fresh pineapple
1/2 cup diced 1/3 inch, red bell pepper
36 (4-inch) square wonton wrappers* *
Olive oil spray
36 cilantro, small fresh sprigs
Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil or peanut oil oil, swirling wok to coat, and heat until it begins to smoke. Add minced scallion, ginger, and garlic and stir-fry until softened, about 2 minutes-dont burn.
Add red curry paste and stir-fry, breaking up lumps, 1 minute. Add duck and stir-fry 2 minutes. Transfer duck mixture to a large bowl and cool slightly. You can refrigerate and finish just before serving if desired. Then continue as below.
Add mango, pineapple, bell pepper, chopped cilantro, and a splash of fish sauce to taste to duck mixture.
Wash chives; reserve 48 pieces 3 - 4" long, pat dry. Rinse cilantro sprigs in a sieve to remove sand, and pat dry. Reserve for assembly just before serving.
Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
Trim won tons by 1/3 IE cut off 1 on two sides. Your won tons should now be 3 X 3 which is perfect for eating out of hand. Place them on a tin foil covered cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil. Then lightly spray the cut won tons.
Bake won tons for a couple of minutes. When the won tons begin to lightly brown turn them over with tongs on the cookie sheet. Bake for a few seconds longer until lightly golden, do NOT over bake or they will be bitter. Remove from oven and place on racks or a plate to cool to room temperature for easy handling.
Put a crisp wonton wrapper on a plate and top with 2 tablespoons duck mixture. Garnish with criss-crossed chives on top of the duck meat mixture, and place a cilantro sprig on top
Notes: Duck mixture can be prepared 4 or 5 hours ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
Wontons can be baked 1 hour ahead and kept at room temperature.
For a first course stack these 3 wontons high ending with duck micxture for an impressive first course. This recipe eill serve 8 as a first course tower presentation. You can drizzle the plate with a coconut milk, mirin, and lemongrass or cilantro reduction. I suggest using the wonderfl herbs in a tube from Australia as they are pureed and perfect for this reduction drizzle.