OMG we actually have summer in Seattle. At least for a couple of days. With all the unhealthy recipes I throw up on this blog, let’s do a salad. A nice, healthy salad. Or not. This salad is one of the most delicious salads I’ve ever eaten, but it’s not exactly going to be a 2-point Weight Watchers poster child. That said, I can confirm the recipe is authentic to the version you order at the restaurant whose name I can never pronounce. The recipe calls for you to spice and roast your own duck, but I find it equally delicious (if not better) to shlep down to the International District and buy a chinese roast duck. If you remove the skin carefully, you can still render it down to make it crispy following the instructions below.
I did this salad for a barbecue, so we didn't do the individual tostada assembly. Instead, I tossed the ingredients together with fried tortilla strips and fried wonton strips. If you fry fresh tortilla strips yourself, it tastes better and doesn't look quite as ghetto as if you dump in a bag of Doritos. Just sayin'...
Asian Pear and Duck Tostada
Recipe adapted from Beverly Gannon of Maui’s Hali'imaile General Store
1 (5 pound) duck
1 tablespoon duck spice mix
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Ginger - Chile Cream Dressing
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Sriracha (Thai garlic-chile paste)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 pound mixed baby salad greens
1/2 cup peeled and finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion, white part only
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons macadamia nut pieces, toasted
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 Asian pears, halved, cored, and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup wonton chips
To prepare the duck, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the skin of the duck all over with the point of a very sharp knife. Rub the duck with the spice mixture. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for another 40 minutes, until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced. Transfer the duck to a platter, reserving the duck fat in the pan.
When the duck cools, remove the skin and the meat and julienne both. Place the skin in a small sauté pan. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved duck drippings and sauté slowly over low heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the fat is rendered from the skin and the skin is crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap the tortillas aluminum foil and place in the oven for 6 minutes, until hot.
To prepare the dressing, place all the ingredients except the canola oil in a blender. Blend for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the canola oil. If the dressing is too thick, add a small amount of water to thin it to desired consistency.
To prepare the salad, in a large bowl, mix the greens, carrot, green onions, cranberries, and macadamia nuts. Drizzle with 3/4 cup of the dressing and toss to coat.
To assemble the dish, place a tortilla in the center of each plate. Brush with the hoisin sauce. Fan the pear slices on the tortillas. Divide the dressed greens among the tortillas and mound in the center. Divide the duck meat among the salads. Top with the wonton strips and duck skin crackings and serve.