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. sarabel says:

    Oh my gosh! I love duck… this looks like the duck I had at Raymond’s market! I am from Singapore who’s now working in the U.S. and yes, I can’t find anywhere that you would get a whole duck for US$5! Ok, maybe a fresh one from the market? Haha. I have been experimenting on different dishes while being away from home and it’s been so fun. I can’t wait to get a full kitchen of my own… right now, just have to make do with recipes and ingredient “substitution” guides from google. =) So glad I stumbled upon your website – lots of food I like.

  2. ariel lee says:

    ok, Pat

    I’m going to leave another comment to try for the cookbook, ‘kiasu’ ;-þ

    I got one question, how come so many Teochew recipes compiled, how about the rest?
    Like Foochow, Hakka, Cantonese etc… it because the rest doesn’t cook as much as Teocher, I’m curious about this since very young…or just no one document/ compiled the rest from their grandma, maybe.

  3. Audrey says:

    Stumbled on your website,what a gem. Thanks for the awesome photgraphy and fabulous recipes

  4. Jenny says:

    Hi Pat,

    I have visited your site many times and this is the first time I am writing a comment. I understand there are few types of duck. “Chai ark”, 1/2 “chai ark” and “huan ark”. So which type is best to use for this recipe. Is there any diff? I would like to win the cookbook.


  5. Jas says:

    My grandma is hokkien..wld you happen to hv the recipe for Plum sauce duck? She is too old to remember now.

    What’s peppercorns? Our hokkien Lo Ack opt d peppercorns & lemon grass and add 5 spice poweder instead..

  6. Pingback:Teochew Braised Duck (Lo Ack/滷鸭) | Easy Asian Recipes at … Search Engine

  7. I just recently joined Rasa Malaysia and have cooked several dishes featured. Am always looking for your postings. This braised duck looks delicious. Where do you get normally get fresh ducks? Thks.


  8. Winnie says:

    “Lo Ack” hmmm. How I missed it! Will definitely try out the recipe. Thanks

  9. Frank Mosher says:

    Having Peking Duck for Christmas, but, this recipe will probably motivate me to purchase the cited cookbook-But, the lime sauce? 8 Tablespoons of lime juice, no sweetner, one would have to have a cast iron stomach to eat that – no???

  10. Frank Mosher says:

    Having Peking Duck for Christmas, but, this recipe will probably motivate me to purchase the cited cookbook-But, the lime sauce? 8 Tablespoons of lime juice, no sweetner, one would have to have a cast iron stomach to eat that – no??? uess I don’t wn the cookboor, but that was not my purpose. Great site!!

  11. Vivian says:

    This looks fantastic! Thanks so much!

  12. Jennifer says:

    That looks delicious! I definitely have got to try to make it!

  13. Celena says:

    Lo Ack…yummmmmy! Love your site, beautiful pictures and great recipes. :-)

  14. psychomom says:

    is the book going to be available at the bookstores? would love to get a copy!!!

  15. gourmetbride says:

    Oh I love braised duck. Not very many people make it at home these days. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had any so this definitely comes in handy.

  16. tien says:

    ooh..I love this!

  17. slammie says:

    Now I’m totally wanting duck! Thanks! LOL!

  18. Jamina says:

    I would love to win that book!

  19. Cathy says:

    Duck is one of my favorite foods ever… I grew up eating Peking roast duck, yum! There is something about the crispy skin, thin layer of fat, and juicy, tender meat that makes the duck irresistible!!

  20. Beautiful, beautiful photo! And awesome giveaway. I actually don’t have this cookbook in my collection. It would be awesome to win a copy of it.

  21. Marietta says:

    Love your recipes and great pictures. Will try it for Christmas. Winning the book would be an added bonus.

  22. Linda says:

    I just discovered your site a couple weeks ago and am enjoying it very much! Thanks!

  23. Grace says:

    Lovely cookbook!

  24. Pauline says:

    Love to have a copy of your book to my collection because it remind me to my late grandmother who was a Nyonya too. I missed her nyonya cooking like Ayam Buah Kaluak for over 20 years because we cant buy any buah kaluak in Sarawak.Some of her recipies past to my mother but she is 70 years old now and cannot remember the ingredient very well.
    But with your recipes, my family love my cooking.

  25. Jody Gong says:

    I never knew my asian grandmothers, but love to cook mainly old school Chinese foods, learn through taste and sight and my parents and all my wonderful cookbooks.

  26. Lisa says:

    This recipe seems doable :) I have never tried to cook a duck… but after reading through the steps, I feel that I can do this.
    It’s hard for me to find fresh galangal.. do you think I can use a frozen or powder one?

  27. sheri says:

    I would love to have a copy of this cookbook! As a 4th generation Chinese American, it would be a treasure to have authentic recipes that my great-great-grandmother (& others’) might have made!

  28. Allen Chia says:

    Ms Low,

    If you want to find out the best Teochew Lo Ack, try it in Pulau Ketam. A Teochew populated island. Where you find the authentic teochew ack. really succulent and sumptuous. I had eaten hundreds of birds of teochew ack everywhere but Pulau Ketam home cook is still the best of best.

  29. Tummywise says:

    oh yummm… duck dishes are so under-rated!

  30. JY says:

    Where can I buy duck in the US?

    I wanna win the cookbook!

  31. Heather says:

    Oooh, count me as being interested in a copy!

  32. Maninas says:

    Hello! I’d love a copy of the cookbook. It is exactly the style of book I adore. Fingers crossed!

  33. Christina says:

    Just love your website ! i am malaysian currently residing in the Netherlands, will definitely try some of your Nonya recipes and I love Nonya food.

  34. catherine soo says:

    i love to collect recipes,especially those looks so mouth-watering one. pray hard to win this cookbook,please……

  35. Adrian says:

    Would love to try the recipes from the book.

  36. Lwong says:

    This looks like an excellent cookbook will definitely check it out. Btw I had recently came back from Penang and had the chow kuey teow you had recommended at Lorong Selamat. IT was the BEST! Thanks for the recommendation.

  37. Iris McClead says:

    This recipe sounds delicious. Grandmas are awesome! I would love to win this cookbook!

  38. Marie says:

    Never had braised duck, but reading this recipe got my mouth watering!

  39. K says:

    The duck looks amazing!! I didn’t realize how similar Teochew is to Hokkien. We pronounce the word for ‘duck’ the same.

  40. mei says:

    Teow Chew Lor sure is a singanature dish of the Teow Chews. This recipe brings back memories of the Teow Chew duck prepared at special occasions by the landlady I rented a room from when I was working out of town.
    Like the Teow Chew duck recipe, I am sure the Asian grandmother’s cookbook will bring back lots of fond memories and an eagerness to try our favourite recipes. For those who do not cook, I am sure the recipes are temptingly delicious enough to make you want to hunt for the places who serve these dishes.

  41. Sharon Mah says:

    I’ve watched my grandmother cook my whole life and have tried to record all the little tricks, tips and hints that made her food taste so good. I love how this recipe originally used a rice bowl as a measure, as my grandmother (and now myself) would use a Chinese teacup or the cradle of her thumb as a measurement.

    This cookbook filled with home recipes from the kitchens of Asian grandmothers is a wonderful idea. I would love be included in a chance to win a copy.

  42. BB says:

    I love Teochiew cuisine. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  43. Anna says:

    Love your website! Great book also. I briefly skimmed at the bookstore.

  44. Lina C. says:

    What a great way to celebrate family traditions via The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook!

  45. Kel says:

    Hmm…. Grandmother’s cookbook, sounds so interesting & full of yummy dishes!

  46. WinnieK says:

    I’ve been following both food blogs and would love to win the cookbook! =)

  47. wayne wong says:

    This is absolutely perfect for this time of the year–I’m hoping to entice a niece whose culinary skills are famed in our family to bring your Teochew Braised Duck to life for Christmas potluck. One or two of your fans asked if this would work for chicken—with minor tweaks to ingredients and timing, it’s more than doable: an early Ken Hom cookbook had an almost identical recipe for Soy Sauce chicken. Exposing my ignorance here, I’d like to know what galangal is as I don’t recall it in Ken’s recipe. As it’s to be smashed, I’m guessing it’s a form of ginger root. At any rate, Pat, thanks for the great piece!

  48. Karin Gallagher says:

    I’m not Asian but considering the fact that my favorite foods in the world all fall under the category headers listed at the top of this Web site, I probably should have been born so.

    Would LOVE to add this book to my cookbook library. Aloha.

  49. TimothyC says:

    AHH. Looks so yummy. I want the cookbook!!

  50. Swee San says:

    wow thanks for sharing.. i’ve never cooked duck before T__T

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