Congratulations to everyone who has given Veganuary 2018 a go! It’s been almost a month and we’re sure you’re missing some of our favourite dishes, but don’t give up yet! We’ve got a vegan take on a classic takeaway favourite for you to enjoy as a special treat for the last weekend in Veganuary.
Everyone loves duck pancakes when you go out for a chinese meal and with a few little tricks, it’s super simple to make a vegan version of this dish. You can also use this ‘duck’ in a warm salad or as a stuffing with some vermicelli noodles in a spring roll. You can buy canned gluten mock duck from a Chinese supermarket, and sometimes they have a frozen version too. The key is to empty the contents of the can into a sieve/strainer and rinse well with warm water, using your hand to rub off any excess brine and squeeze out the water.
280-g/10-oz. can gluten mock duck, well rinsed
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce (see below or use readymade)
6 spring onions/scallions, trimmed
10 Chinese-style pancakes, frozen
2 tablespoons plum sauce (optional)
To make the hoisin sauce
4 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons black bean paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste or powder
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
½ teaspoon Chinese five spice
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon Sriracha (or use a pinch of chilli/chili powder)
baking sheet, oiled steamer basket
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas 4.
To make the hoisin sauce, place all the ingredients into a small pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 4–5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and glossy. Cool and pour into sterilized jars, where it will keep for several months in the fridge.
Ensure the mock duck is well rinsed, and then shred it into smaller pieces and strips using your hands. Add 2 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce and mix well with your hands.
Layer the pieces onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes, turning halfway through. Cook until the edges are crispy but not burnt.
To prepare the vegetables, use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice the spring onions/scallions in half, then slice each piece lengthways, trying to maintain the shape. Then slice each piece lengthways again, several times, to create spring onion/scallion strips.
Slice the cucumber lengthways and, using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds. Slice each half across the middle, to create four pieces, then cut each piece into thin strips.
Place the steamer basket over a small pan that allows it to sit atop the pan without falling to the bottom. Add about 5 cm/2 inches of water to the pan and bring it to the boil. Add all of the pancakes to the steamer and place it on the pan. Cook the pancakes for about 10–15 minutes until all the pancakes are softened and warm. If you don’t have a steamer, you can also place the pancakes, still wrapped, in the microwave for 20 seconds.
To serve, add the remaining hoisin and the plum sauce (if using) into two little pots, alongside the shredded vegetables, steamed pancakes and crispy mock duck. To fill the pancake, spread either hoisin or plum sauce onto the pancake, add a couple of pinches of shredded vegetables and a spoonful of mock duck. Wrap, roll and eat immediately.
This recipe is from My Vegan Travels by Jackie Kearney, photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small