I think I could almost live on salads, especially Thai salads. This spicy Salad with Duck and Caramelized Pineapple is fresh, vibrant and with so many flavors on one plate there is no reason your taste buds could every be bored. Duck has a lovely meaty richness and a little goes along way… especially if you are serving the crispy skin as well. Duck also lends itself to sweeter flavors and goes perfect with the caramelized flavor of pineapple.
You can skip grilling the pineapple if you like, but I love how grilling intensify the sweetness of the fruit. Again, this is another asian salad that should have a lively spicy kick and you can also play around with the sour, sweet, salty flavors too. As an alternative use grilled chicken fillets in place of the duck. Perfect for serving at lunch, evening dinner or, increase the quantities of the recipe and serve at your next Asian dinner party.
Thai Salad with Duck and Caramelized Pineapple
2 x 180g duck breast fillets
3 fresh pineapple rings
1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 small cucumber, deseeded and cut into small batons
2 tablespoons of chopped spring onions
1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves roughly torn
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1 to 2 teaspoons coconut sugar (or use brown or white sugar)
2 to 4 red small red chill, finely sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves, rib removed and finely sliced
1 lemon grass stalk, finely sliced
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
How to make:
First make the dressing, add the fish sauce, lime juice and coconut sugar into a small bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add the chilli, kaffir leaves, lemon grass and garlic. Stir and set aside.
Score the skin of the duck breast diagonally with a sharp knife every half-inch, but not cutting into the flesh. Season the skin with a sprinkle of sea salt. Place the duck breast skin-side down in a cold non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook until the skin is browned and has crisped, this will take about 5 to 8 minutes. Turn the duck over and continue to cook for about another 3 to 4 minutes until done. Transfer to a cutting board and leave to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing thinly with a sharp knife.
While cooking the duck, preheat the grill to high. Lightly sprinkle the pineapple rings with brown or white sugar or, brush with a little honey. Place under the grill for about 3 minutes each side until caramelized. When cool, cut pineapple rings into wedges.
Place the sliced duck, pineapple, red onion, cucumber, spring onions and mint into a medium bowl. Pour over the dressing and gently toss all the ingredients together. Divide onto plates and serve immediately.
Tip: As the fat from the skin of the duck is released, tilt the pan and remove the liquid fat with a spoon and place into a heatproof container. Cover and store in the fridge and use when next making roast potatoes. Will keep for a couple of months.