Tuesday 18 September 2012

Braised Duck Wings In Master Stock 滷水鴨翼

My obsession with wings continues (at this rate I'm going to rename my blog: 'Eat Wings Love Wings'). First, a post on chicken wings, and now one on duck wings, specifically, braised duck wings in master stock (lou sui aap yik 滷水鴨翼).

I love this dish, as the master stock (lou sui 滷水), made with soy, star anise, cinnamon, citrus peel and heaps of other stuff, is absorbed by the duck wings as they slowly braise. Making master stock is best left to the professionals, which is my way of saying that this isn't a recipe post (come on now, you didn't really expect two recipe posts in a row?).

Dishes cooked with master stock are collectively known as lou mei 滷味, and this technique originated in the Chiu Chow (Teochew) area in Guangdong province. However, lou mei spread to other parts of southern China, which is why it can often be found in Cantonese restaurants around the world.

The most famous lou mei dish is braised goose in master stock, but for some frustrating reason Chinese goose dishes aren't available in blighty. As such, Cantonese restaurants in the UK tend to sell lou mei as a mixture, but I just order the braised duck wings because I'm a bad Chinese (please don't judge me, but entrails and gizzards aren't my thing).

The duck wings in the photo are from one of my favourite Chinatown haunts, Hung's, but you can find them in many Cantonese restaurants, usually the ones that sell Cantonese BBQ (siu mei 燒味). So the next time you find yourself in Chinatown, order a bag of duck wings to take home with you. You won’t regret it.


  1. I've been waiting for this ever since I saw that photo on instagram!

  2. I love entrails and gizzards btw, totally judging you.

  3. I also love entrails and gizzards so I am also judging you! Nothing beats a plate of deep fried pork intestines though I prefer dipping it into S&S sauce as opposed to hoi sin sauce.

    That looks pretty good. I didn't realise that they had that at Hungs. How much was that portion? I might have to go try it out.

  4. Walked past there at lunch time and couldn't see it on the menu outside. Am I being stupid, or is it off menu?

  5. Shu Han - I'm going to the bad-Chinese 'naughty step' as I type...

    Thebao - I think it was £7.50 (it's priced the same as if you were buying a portion of mixed lou mei). If my memory serves me correctly, they're slightly cheaper at the Lisle St branch of YOung Cheng.

    Dan - Not sure if they're on the menu. You should be able to see them through the window in a tray underneath the hanging ducks. Alternatively, just ask the waiter/waitress if they have any.

    1. I went in and asked, the guy looked at me in a rather confused manner and after repeating myself a couple of times asked the chef. he searched in a box of meat bits then shook his head. i was looking forward to that too, but at least i could fall back on the mixed roast meat with noodles

    2. Dan - that's a shame. Perhaps you might get more joy at the weekend.

  6. Have to admit that I actually was expecting this to be a recipe post :) I didn't know that 滷味 was so commonly available ready-made though — thank you!

    For people who want to try making their own 滷水, Sunflower has a recipe. Part of the process involves making caramel, and for this I've found David Lebovitz's ten tips for making caramel and pictorial guide to making the perfect caramel very useful.

  7. I'm sure my mum said that goose is bad for me (too much heat), but reading this wants me to go out and eat wings. Salty goodness!

  8. Sounds so good! If you are into wings you should try Momofuku's chicken wing recipe. It's a long recipe and takes a long time to prepare but is not actually that complicated - very tasty but a bit salty for me personally. I like Buffalo wings .

  9. Kake - as always, thanks for the tips and links!

    alifelessdigital - a little bit of everything won't kill you.

    Explody Full - I have the Momofuku cookbook so will track it down if it's in that. Thanks!