Monday, August 19, 2013

Lor Ark / Braised Duck in Dark Soya Sauce

I realise I have a penchant for chinese braised dishes, especially those that use a lot of dark soya sauce. I used to like (I still do) eating rice covered in thick gravy from braised duck or braised belly pork during my childhood days. You know, I dun need a lot of meat, just a lot of gravy on my rice, and throw in 1 or 2 braised eggs and I will be content. Haha I dunno why, but the older I get, it seems the more I reminisce about the foods that I used to eat when I was a child, haha.

Again this is one of my backlogs. 3 weeks ago on 3 August, I had to get rid of the frozen duck that has been sitting and occupying "rent" and precious "office prime space" in my freezer for the past 2 months. I thought of doing Lucky Duck ala Peking Crispy Duck again, but alas I started too late, it was already 2.30pm and I still need to thaw the frozen ducky in my microwave, which will take 45 min for a Miss/Mr Lucky who weighed 1.9 kilo. I did a quick check on my peking duck recipe, oh no, it would take 1 hour of marinating and 3 hours of roasting before it can be served on the dining table, not forgetting I still need 45 min of thawing in the microwave. By then, the clock would have struck 7, and my hubby would be yelling at me if my 2 kids are not already washed and tucked in bed.

Then I happened to see this fried duck recipe from my humongous pile of recipes (which I keep in various formats all over my house : books, magazines, cut out hard copies, soft copies on thumbdrives, browser bookmarks, pinterest, FB links etc).

Fried Duck to the rescue!

Actually calling it Fried Duck or "Char Ark" in Hokkien is misleading, it should really be called Braised / Stewed Duck or "Lor Ark" instead. "Lor Ark" is a typical Hokkien dish (I am talking about Singaporean Hokkiens, not sure about Malaysian Hokkiens) that I remember my paternal grandma and later my mama used to whip up. But they used duck wings or duck drumsticks, in my case I used a whole duck which when fully cut up didn't render much meat. Wish I had a 2.5 kg fresh duck instead of a 1.9 kg frozen duck!

I am not gonna rave about how delicious this dish was, one (wo)man's favorite may turn out to be another (wo)man's poison! But if you are a Singaporean Chinese (or Malaysian Chinese for that matter), especially one who is living overseas and yearning for home-cooked food all the time, I am quite sure you will like this dish! :)

Here is the recipe link from Straits Times So Shiok website, too lazy to type it out now in my blog, but I followed it to the T and only added dried shitake mushrooms and a few hard-boiled eggs. Gimme some time and I will do it when time permits...


  1. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comAugust 20, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    This is really yummy. I would usually mix the gravy with rice and it's so flavourful :)

  2. I LOVE lor ark! As far as I know, the ones in Malaysia, or rather in my hometown, Kuching, Loh Ark is a Teochew dish, as the recipe calls for "ngo hiang hoon" (5-spiced powder), which is typically, teochew :-) Teochew or Hokkien, I love this dish and it tastes even better the next day.... Will try this recipe. Was it not too oily?

    1. Hi Nasifriet,

      Came back from your hols?

      Well, I think Lor Ark is also Teochew, since i often see Teochew Braised Duck/Lor Ark in hawker centres and coffee shops. But it is also a traditional dish in Hokkien cuisine, well the 2 dialect groups don't live too far apart in Southern China, do they?

      This is pretty oily, I only put 2-3 tbsp cooking oil to fry the chopped garlic and ginger, the major of the oil came from duck fat! You would have to skim off the oil if you are health-conscious. My duck was pretty skinny at only 1.9 kilo, but it was all fat and no meat! Next time I will throw in a couple of chicken drumsticks since there was too little meat and too much gravy even after adding cornstarch.

      For the ginger, I didn't mince it like the garlic, just slice it into bite sizes, so that I can pick the pieces aside for the kids. I didn't have tau kee, but I added 8 shitake mushrooms and 4 hard-boiled eggs. For the potatoes, I added them after 40 min, to allow at least 20 min to cook them soft. :)

  3. Yes, I thought so too, abt the oily bit, because ducks are quite fatty. Did you you get your duck frozen? I've not had duck since my last trip home in 2008, and I'm so craving for one. Your Lucky peking duck looked good, but Loh ark is still one of my favourite ways of consuming duck meat :-D

    1. Yes, I got my frozen duck from a chinese supermart in Wijnegem, it cost less than 8 euro for nearly 2 kilo! You can buy it from Antwerp Chinatown too. Fresh duck breast is too expensive, I just saw in Colruyt today, one piece of duck breast weighing probably less than 500g cost about 12 euro. Gosh!

  4. Bee,
    Your Loh Ark, looks so appetizing!
    Me too love my steamed rice with lots of braised duck gravy and braised eggs.
    Simply fabulous !


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