In Asian cuisine, when duck dishes are mentioned, people usually think of roasted duck. A new dish made from duck, which resembles roasted duck at first glance, has appeared in Saigon in the past few years. This is pepper grilled duck.
Asian cuisine, Saigon, pepper grilled duck, Tran Gia restaurant
For many people, pepper grilled duck is a strange familiar dish. Even though some people have heard of pepper grilled duck, the dish is still not ubiquitous in Saigon and Vietnam as a whole. This is because the dish requires more sophisticated techniques to be made than that of other duck dishes.
According to an experienced cook, the duck to be cooked must be a home-raised duck weighing three to four kilograms because after being cooked, the duck would shrink to 2.6-2.8 kilograms, enough for four to six people.
After feather is removed, the cook will apply spices to the skin of the duck. The three indispensable spices are black pepper, green pepper, and chilies. It normally takes three to four hours for the spices to soak into the duck meat before it can be roasted. Some cooks grill the duck directly above coal so that it can be thoroughly cooked from the skin to the bones. If the duck is grilled on an electronic oven, the time for it to be well done will be equivalent to that on coal.
On the outside, every pepper grilled duck has bronze glazed skin. However, whether the duck tastes good or not depends on the crisp and fatty skin and the pepper sauce. Every cook has a different way to prepare the sauce, but in general, the sauce needs to have a good aura and a combination of saltiness and sweetness in flavor, together with some crunchy mushrooms.
The dish is usually served with bun, bread, or noodle. It can also be eaten with cucumber to reduce the fatty taste. Specifically for Tran Gia restaurant, customers are served with papaya and pickles. The vegetables balance out the protein and fat in the meat. The pepper grilled duck is more flavorful and less oleaginous than roasted duck.
There are currently few restaurants serving pepper grilled duck in Saigon. Tran Gia restaurant, an online food service, offers free delivery for customers who live in HCMC’s District 11, and charges delivery fees of VND20,000-VND50,000 on those in other areas. The price of one pepper grilled duck is VND340,000, and half a duck is VND170,000.
For customers who want to experience this delicious dish, the service can be found through the Facebook page: Tran Gia Quan, or contacted through the number: 0168.7666.858.