This is a style of smoking that hails from China’s Sichuan (formerly Szechuan) region, which is known for its hot, spicy cuisine. Serious Chinese food geeks may be familiar with Zhangcha duck—a tea-smoked Sichuan delicacy that’s tough to make but impressive as hell to anyone who’s never had it before. This is the recipe Mark Masker used for his experiment. Read the entire article on the Burn! Blog here.
One 2 to 2 1/2-pound duck
1 1/2 tablespoons Sichuan pepper*
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons rice wine
1/2 cup black tea leaves (preferably Oolong)
First you want to clean the duck and open a slit about 3 ½ inches long at the back of it so you can remove the guts. Then, mix everything but the duck and the tea. Marinate the duck in that concoction in the fridge for several hours. Place the duck into boiling water to tighten the hide. This ensures that your duck will have a crispy skin after you're done cooking it. While that's going on, you should start preheating enough vegetable oil or peanut oil in a separate pan to deep-fry the duck later on. Drain the water from the duck, and move it over to your heated wok. The tea sits in the bottom of the wok while you smoke the duck in it for 10-15 minutes. After that, steam the duck for 10 more minutes. Think you're done? Not quite. Let the duck cool off, then deep-fry it in the oil until the skin is crisp. It goes great with rice, veggies, and Chinese dumplings.