In today’s weekly fridge forage, I’m confronted with a piece of duck breast I roasted the other day that needs to be eaten today. There’s an open jar of hoisin sauce that gets me leaning toward a makeshift Peking duck situation. Mandarin pancakes are essential, but I’ve never made them before, so I rely on Woks of Life for a recipe. Flour, salt, boiling water, and oil. That’s it. The key is in the technique of sandwiching two discs of dough together to roll them, then cooking them as one pancake and peeling them apart afterward to get them paper thin. It’s pretty cool and they’re really fun to make! I’m surprised by easy they are, and impressed by how much better they are when you make them yourself.
Next, let’s go digging in the vegetable drawer for random bits to add to our meal. Today I find a half head of napa cabbage, a half dozen brussels sprouts, a slightly wrinkled red bell pepper, half a carrot, and a single lonely scallion. Living in a household of two, I’m always looking for ways to keep bits like these from going to waste. If I reconstitute some dry shiitake mushrooms with some rice wine and scramble some eggs, I think I can fake a decent Moo Shu. A stir fry traditionally made with pork, cabbage, wood ear mushrooms, and lily flower, some recipes I’ve seen for Moo Shu also incorporated less traditional carrots, peppers, leeks, celery or tofu. One recipe omitted the cabbage altogether, so I figure as long as I have pancakes and hoisin I’m still on track.
Since the duck is already cooked, it just needs to be sliced into thin strips and marinated with some soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine. Next stir fry the firmer vegetables – today that’s carrots, peppers, and shiitakes – with a little minced garlic. Once they soften, add the cabbage and Brussels sprouts, and a splash of rice wine to steam and wilt them. Then add the duck, warming them through in the finished vegetables with some hoisin sauce and scrambled egg. Lastly add the scallions and a few drops of sesame oil. Now all we need to do is smear a little hoisin mixed with leftover cranberry sauce (why not?) on a freshly made pancake, fill with vegetables and duck, wrap it all up, and voila! Moo Shu Duck.