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. Charmaine says:

    Your recipes make asian cuisine so simple yet delicious! I tried your cashew chicken recipe today for a Christmas potluck (you are so right about how baking soda tenderizes meat!), and people couldn’t stop raving about it! I referred them to your website, and I must thank you for sharing your unique insights, as it made tonight’s meal so wonderfully delicious for all of us!

  2. Leny says:

    Wow…this dish looks beautiful. Love both of you websites, Im a big fan.

  3. Diane P. says:

    This type of sauce (soy sauce, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, star anise) is my favorite for duck, pork, hard-boiled eggs!

  4. Stephanie says:

    I would love to have this cookbook!

  5. Marie says:

    Are there more Teochew recipes in there? I am Teochew, and would love to know which dishes I eat at home are actually authentic! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  6. rowena says:

    Wow! I came here with the intention of entering the contest but now I’ve got a recipe idea to try for this weekend! That chili-lime sauce sounds great!

  7. Ann says:

    Thanks for offering this book giveaway. Also hoping you will share a ban chiang kuih recipe one of these days.

  8. Jacqueline says:

    I would love to make this recipe for my grandma. Our family is teochew but I was never able to pick up the language. I hope making this for her will make up for it!

  9. Jeanette says:

    I love braised duck, can’t wait to try this receipe. It’s really good with braised peanuts and porridge.

  10. Cathy says:

    OMG I love this recipe with fresh & fluffy jasmin rice. I am learning to cook and the details of the ingredients help me tremendously. I will definitely use this recipe again till I master it. Thank you Rasa for the recipe. Keep up the good work and continue blogging.

  11. christina says:

    Yummy – Duck has always been a favorite Christmas meal for my family. Will definitely be trying this one out!

  12. amy says:

    i want dis book! :) and bee,thanks for all the recipes including the nyonya food.i really,really love it :)

  13. Jane says:

    The Grandmother’s cookbook looks awesome even just by looking at the front cover. I am sure the recipes inside are just as mouth-watering as well. My family loves Lor Ark and also the dark gravy from cooking it…the kids love to mix it with their rice…so appetizing.
    Thanks for sharing the Lor Ark recipe, will try it out soon. Hope I will be lucky to have the cookbook as well. Cheers!

  14. I’ve travelled through and around a myriad of blogs and websites this evening, but have spent most time at yours. Thank you for providing such delicious recipes. I’d very much like to win a copy of The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook. I am totally addicted to Asian cuisine (of all kinds) and am daily expanding my repertoire. just recently made a delicious stir fry duck with pomegranate molasses, fresh pomegranate and walnuts – delicious. Would love the opportunity to glean tips from some fabulous Asian grandmas! x


    sorry guys i ‘m winning this book.

  16. Wow the duck looks great! About the dark soy sauce, is it caramel sauce or the less viscous, saltier one?

  17. Beaulotus says:

    I love lor ack. Used to eat it with orh peng (yam rice). I saw duck today at the supermarket and was thinking of roasting it as usual. Why didn’t I think of braising it?

    Thanks for the idea!

  18. Jenny says:

    Omg thanks plenty for this recipe! I’m Teochew myself and have been wanting to learn how to make this for awhile now. Thanks again :)

  19. cindyandnic says:

    thanks for your amazing recipe.My husband love it so much til he can finish half of the duck by himself.thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe..

  20. Ming says:

    This dish is certainly going to bring back memories of my grandma :-) Thank you!

  21. Melanie says:

    Lor ark is definitely one of my favourite dishes to go with teochew mueh.
    Well, with so many recipes to venture, I think I can barely catch up until I pension from my work and go into full swing cooking.
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.

  22. Kat says:

    Thank you for all your great recipes and this great opportunity! Thanks!

  23. Charlynne says:

    What a lovely book! Makes me miss my grandmother, who was a fabulous cook.

  24. Leng says:

    I’ve recently found your wonderful website!:) I love your recipes, they make me wish I’m home!:) I would love to win this cookbook!

  25. Julie Konno says:

    This is a beautiful book! I have checked it out from the library and would love to have a copy for myself to share with my kids. Inspiring recipes and lovely stories of all the Grandmothers & Aunties. AND it brought me to this wonderful blog!

  26. Gastro888 says:

    I love this duck with a nice bowl of noodle soup. YUM! :)

  27. Celina says:

    It’s often said the last part to be assimilated is the pantry of the immigrants. However, who can say the “Asian American Kitchen” is not part of American heritage?

    With all the food cultures and recipes the immigrants bring them to America, America is one of the best place to explore and experiment all different cuisine. Growing up in a small corner of Asia, I was thrilled to “discover” so many ingredients of Asian origins I had never come across before coming to the States.

    I believe this book is trying to sum up this experience.

    • Pat says:

      Hi Celina,
      I’m with you there. I grew up in Singapore to Indonesian parents and was exposed to various ingredients and cuisines but it wasn’t until coming to the U.S. that I actually learned about ingredients and cuisine from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, etc. Here’s to exploring the thread/web that connects our Asian culture and heritage!

  28. Alinna says:

    duck — YUM. would love to win a copy of the book! this sounds awesome!

  29. MNR_T says:

    Mmmm, this looks so delicious. Cookbook caught my eye at the library — want to try every single thing in it!!! Great variety!!

  30. James Walker says:

    What a great website, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  31. Charles Lee says:

    Wow the duck looks awesome! Very different from the crispy duck that I’m used to seeing in Chinatown.

  32. johnny says:

    Ive been looking for a recipe like this! especially since I cant find this style of duck in Rochester. Looks like I’m going to have to add another book to my buy list.

  33. Jay says:

    I had only had duck prepared like the French, in orange sauce. So I just figured I didn’t like duck at all. Until I fell in love with my now American born Chinese wife. I now know for a fact I love duck! Our son who is almost 4 also loves the skin! I made points with my wife’s Po-Po for asking her to teach me how to cook some thing, any thing she wanted to share. When I show up for a Joong party (the Chinese tamale) around the Autumn Moon festival. Her mother announces than Jay can wrap them by hand because he learned from her mother proudly! All the old ladies turned to see how I did.LOL Now I wrap and my sweet heart ties them.

  34. Alison says:

    I can’t wait to try this :) I always have success with the recipes you post! Thanks again!

  35. Khatiya says:

    Oh this chicken looks amazingly delicious! I have to give this recipe a try. :)

  36. alison says:

    p.s. I’d Love to win this book! I’ve been looking for a good Chinese cookbook recently and this sounds perfect. Thanks so much for offering this chance!!!

  37. tiptup says:

    recipes from asian grandmothers. would love to have that!

  38. Raquelita says:

    What a great recipe! And what a fantastic giveaway – thank you! I’ve been eyeing her cookbook for a while now and would love to get my hands on all those yummy recipes!

  39. danri absher says:

    love the duck recipe and will try to cook it soon but i like to add fresh ginger and a little bit of sugar in my dipping can substitute the to white vinegar if cannot find fresh lime juice

  40. Lee Fielder says:

    Thanks for your comments on the cookbook. Saw it on Amazon and now will buy it, if I don’t win. Thanks also, for all the recipes you share. I’ve made several, all successful and all outstanding!

  41. Nic says:

    This recipe sounds delicious! Duck is positively one of my favorite foods. :) Thanks for spotlighting this wonderful dish.

  42. jasmine says:

    i’ve been following her blog for a while and am well excited to see this in print!

  43. Alta says:

    Oh my, this sounds wonderful! I can imagine how succulent it is! I love duck – I don’t cook it often enough!

  44. amanda zimmer says:

    I will have to try this duck recipe, looks amazing!

    Good luck to all on the cookbook!

  45. Beki says:

    Thank you for saving grandma’s recipes. We are losing too many of them along with their history.

  46. Danielle says:

    Good cooking shows emotions and tells a story. We’ll certainly learn those of the Asian Grandmothers when we taste their dishes. :]

  47. Edward.lai says:

    I really enjoyed the recipes, esp those from Malyasia and Singspore. As an ex-Pat I do wish we have better resturants that serve the qualify M’sai and S’pore food.

    Keep up the good work

  48. Kim says:

    Love and thanks for all the wonderful recipes. Hope to win the cookbook! Merry Christmas to all.

  49. Loh Sook Peng says:

    Thank you for all the Grandmothers and Mothers in the world. Without them, the world would a bland and boring place. We might end up eating instant noodles everyday if not for them.

  50. sam says:

    looks good, as does the cook book.

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