Teochew Braised Duck (Lo Ack/滷鸭)
December 09th, 2009 216 Comments

Teochew Braised Duck (Lo Ack/滷鸭)

What an honor to have another cookbook author gracing the cover of Rasa Malaysia…introducing Pat Tanumihardja of “The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook“—a gorgeous and beautifully written cookbook released in Oct 2009 with food photography by Lara Ferroni. A couple of years ago, Pat invited me to share my family’s recipes in her book, especially recipes from my late grandmother who was a Nyonya. While I was overwhelmed by the opportunity, I turned it down on the mere reason that I’d like to “save” the recipes for my future cookbook project, when it comes along. “The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook” is easily one of my favorite cookbooks this season, so please welcome Pat and check out her Teochew braised duck or Lo Ack/滷鸭 guest post below.

When I was growing up in Singapore, my mother would sometimes bring home a whole or half duck—succulent, slick with soy sauce, and very tasty—from the nearby hawker center to supplement our dinner. My siblings and I would dig in heartily, devouring every part of the bird. And we, a family of dark meat lovers, always came away with satisfied grins on our faces, as unlike with a whole chicken, no one had to contend with white meat. Even though mum is a fabulous cook, I remember wishing that she would be too busy to cook more often.

Since moving to the U.S., I had long stored these memories away. Not because I don’t like duck anymore but here in the U.S., things are just different. There is no uncle at the hawker stall just around the corner to proffer his best bird, nor does it cost only $5 for a whole cooked duck. You’d be hard pressed to even find a single duck breast for that amount of money! I do enjoy duck when I eat out at restaurants but I’d never cooked duck at home believing its preparation best relegated to French chefs and duck die-hards.

This all changed when I was doing research for my cookbook The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook, Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens. I happened on a gem of a recipe from my good friend’s mom who is Singaporean. Redolent with Chinese and Southeast Asian flavors, and best of all, oh-so-easy, this recipe was already a winner in my books before I tasted it.

And when I tested it in my kitchen, I was head-over-heels in love.

While this braised duck recipe doesn’t have the exact DNA of the duck of my childhood memories, it comes close enough. I have long learned that as an immigrant, you have to adapt and shift your expectations whether it pertains to your palate or life in general. With that said, I hope you enjoy it too.

Click Page 2 for the Teochew Braised Duck (Lo Ack/滷鸭) Recipe
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216 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Laurie L says:

    This book (and recipe) look amazing!! I’m definitely going to check it out, and would also love the opportunity to win it. :)

  2. Pingback:Teochew Braised Duck (Lo Ack/滷鸭) | Easy Asian Recipes at … Eating

  3. Brian Lew says:

    This book looks really good and that LoAck recipe makes me very hungry :))
    Of course all your recipes do hehe


  4. Jongdae Lee says:

    I have been a fan of yours recently and trying to cook your recipes everyday. Love to have the book on hand. Thanks!

  5. Great idea for a book. Would love to add it to my collection.

  6. This cook book is precious with many traditional Asian recipes and stunning photos! Would love to win a copy !

  7. Kiran says:

    Being a Malaysian myself, and residing in US, I can relate to the sentiments of cooking Malaysian/homemade dishes here, across the seas. Looks yummy!

  8. Annie says:

    Bee! How timely. Did you know that I just made a lor ark using a blogger’s recipe but I wasn’t satisfied with it. The ingredients are almost the same and the cooking method is almost the same but somehow the duck wasn’t very tender. I’m wondering if it’s because I used a frozen duck or whether I didn’t cook it long enough. Oh well…I will have to try again. Maybe I’ll give this recipe a shot!

    Also, I sooo want this cookbook. Do you ship to Kuching?

    • Pat says:

      Hi Annie,

      Using fresh versus frozen duck does make a huge difference. Try this recipe with a fresh bird and see how it turns out. Good luck!


  9. Adrienne says:

    Being American-born and raised, I have to admit I didn’t always like Asian food as a child, nor could I always embrace my Asian roots. This cookbook is a great way to celebrate not only our Asian origins, but also to pay homage to the Asian-American experience.

    Best Wishes,

  10. Beatrice K says:

    This book looks incredibly interesting, I would love to win this book!

  11. Janice says:

    for such great dish, I thought the ingredients would be very exotic and impossible to make here in the UK. But I’m amazed at how simple and easy-to-find the ingredients are. I will surely make it if I have the time

  12. wow, this looks like this will replace my current favorite preparation of duck (tea smoked), I’ll just have to wait and see, now, if I could only get my hands on some good duck around here…

    • Pat says:

      Hi Javier,
      I’m not sure where you live but I’ve actually had good luck find fresh duck at Asian markets. There are also mail order sources but may be a little pricey.


  13. Fantastic post, as usual. I love duck, and Teochew braised duck is definitely a favourite. Thank you for sharing the recipe. The book is a brilliant concept, and I cannot wait to try out the recipes.

  14. charmaine ferrara says:

    This looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  15. Keri says:

    Wonderful! Thank you for the opportunity!

  16. Val.C says:

    This dish brings back memories of eating Teochew food in Ipoh. The Teochew Braised Duck was one of the dishes that we always ordered. I would love to win the The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook to try out the rest of the recipes in there.

  17. Linda says:

    Ah! Looks really delicious! Goes best with white rice with just some sauce on it :)

  18. Kearns says:

    Mmmmm Duck. Never had this style, is the skin crispy?

    • Pat says:

      Hi Kearns,
      The grandmother who gave me this recipe doesn’t crisp the skin but if you’d like to try it, you can stick it in the oven for a few minutes. Cheers, Pat

  19. Tuty says:

    This cookbook is beautifully written. I get very sentimental about the story behind each dish. Hopefully, I am the lucky winner :-)

  20. annie says:

    I’m drooling!!

  21. Kikiree says:

    This is a wonderful recipe! I have been wanting to try my hands on making a duck. Thanks so much for posting it. I am definitely highly interested in winning this cook book. Keep up the good job! :)

  22. Mary says:

    This looks so good–will have to try for my next dinner party. Thanks!

  23. Eric says:

    I’d love to get a copy of the book.

  24. CJ says:

    Oh man this duck looks good. Could really use the cookbook since I’m trying to learn how to cook. :D

  25. amvdamian says:

    This reminds me of my one and only time in KL and the duck we had for dinner.

    There used to be this restaurant in KL, about one or two blocks from Bintang Warisan Hotel, which serves really good Malaysian-Chinese food. I could not remember the name of the restaurant since it was ten years ago since I was there. Anyway, some of their specialties include steamed freshwater goby – Hongkong style and this braised duck.

    The duck was stewed slowly, I was told, in a clay pot for hours until the meat is so tender it falls off the bones. The sauce was brown, thick, gelatinous and really flavorful. It was sweet, a bit tangy and had a hint of star anise and cinnamon. Servers would come to the table with scissors to cut up the duck for easier serving (much like the Koreans would with their noodles). The bones are so “tender” that those cheap kitchen scissors are able to cut through it.

    I remember most of the servers were Indonesians. Our host was Malaysian and he kept complaining that he had a hard time communicating with them. So I’m not really sure if the dish was Malaysian, Indonesian or even Thai since the Thais also have what they call “pet palo” or braised duck (don’t know if I got the name right). Anyway, I’ll definitely try this recipe for nostalgic and culinary reasons. The front-page photo is really making my mouth water.

  26. tigerfish says:

    We tend to get Braised Goose rather than Braised Duck in the Teochew restaurants back in Singapore.

  27. Elissa says:

    Wow – it would make my Christmas to win this beautiful book and try out all the Asian recipes on my friends and family with Asian cuisine being my favourite.

  28. Jim Washburn says:

    Thanks! Duck recipes are always welcome, and this one sounds delicious.

  29. Katie says:

    Your recipes look amazing! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful recipes!
    –Katie :)

  30. Sarah says:

    I would LOVE a copy of that book!

    My paternal ancestors come from Teochew, and I was privileged to be able to visit there a couple of Spring Festivals ago. I honestly think some of the BEST food comes out of that area!

    Thanks for a great recipe, I’m drooling even though I just ate :-)

  31. eve says:

    This would be a great addition to my collection – none of which are Asian even though I am!

  32. Karen Pasqual says:

    Looks very yummy. Brings back memories of buying Lor Ack and hard boiled eggs and eating it with steamed rice. Thank you very much for the recipe.

  33. Shamini Somasundram says:

    Grandmother recipes are always the best, full-proof & no short-cuts. Reminds me of my grandmother & what I learned in her kitchen. What a great idea to compile their recipes!

  34. karen says:


  35. betty q. says:

    would this recipe work well with chicken,too? I am curently watching my cholesterol but I will definitely cook this using duck for my family and my in-laws this holiday season. THANK you sooo much for the recipe and would love to enter your give-away!

    • Pat says:

      Hi Betty,
      I haven’t tried it with chicken but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just pay attention to cooking times because chicken has both white and dark meat. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  36. Jess says:

    This looks fabulous! I’ve never had duck before.

  37. Fei says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

    The cook book looks fantastic! :)

  38. sheri says:

    Hi! Just found your site, and would love to win this cookbook! Thanks!

  39. fei says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

    And the cook book looks fantastic! :)

  40. lindsay says:

    I’m with you on the dark meat! Luckily I was the only one in my family growing up who felt this way, so I never got stuck with the white meat and never had to fight for the dark. Would love a copy of the book for more recipes like this!

  41. michelle says:

    this would be an amazing book to have!

  42. sandra says:

    i would love to win this!

  43. May says:

    I used to eat lor ark /duck rice every night for dinner when I was working in Singapore. I must have done that for over a period of 3 years. Anyhow, the stall owner decided that she needed to spend more time with her family/husband, so she closed the stall down. I was very very disappointed. I would love to try out the recipe, as soon as I can find a shop that sells proper duck not the fatty sort.

  44. David says:

    Ahh,yes braised duck to perfection and a great recipe indeed. I smiled when you mentioned “Uncle at the nearby hawker to give you the best duck.” This brought back the fondest memories of shopping at the market in it’s purest form while in Southeast Asia. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Pat says:

      Hi David,
      I had lots of “uncles” and “aunties” who knew me very well at the hawker center near my house when I was growing up (Chomp Chomp in Serangoon Gardens if anyone knows it).

  45. Ellie says:

    Wow. Easiest duck recipe I’ve ever seen and it looks awesome.

  46. I’ve wanted to get a copy of this book since I first heard about it! Fingers are crossed. =)

  47. Yvonne says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  48. ariel lee says:

    hehehehehe…..cheeky me……i’m asian alrite, malaysian to be specific but not good at cooking, only good at oggling anything related to food. always read blog quietly until i see this freebie, cannot tahan so must leave a comment to try my luck in getting it.

    happy blogging, rasa malaysia. keep up the good work, hope one day i have a blog that is as good as yours, maybe can link-link. ;-) cheers!

  49. T says:

    Wow, this recipe looks pretty straightforward! I think I need to find a duck and try this!

  50. Jackie says:

    i’m crossing my fingers for this one! i have my own asian grandmother who makes amazing food, but unfortunately none of her recipes are translated into English for me.

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