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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Duck loaf

Recently, I had the pleasure and privilege to help organize Battle Peking Duck for the Eating Our Words blog over at the Houston Press. Of course, after two sumptuous meals of whole duck, debate over which one is better or worse came down to minutiae and personal preference.

Then again, there are other ways of preparing duck. The much beloved Fufu Cafe opened a new outpost called Fufu Restaurant, and carries menu items distinct from the parent. In the past, I tried their sea cucumber and tendon clay pot, this time, I decided to order crispy duck with taro. Listed alongside Peking Duck (yes, Fufu offers their version of that same festive dish), it sits like a poor unnoticed cousin to the belle of the ball.

What arrived resembled a small loaf cake rather than a roasted poultry. But it was a remarkable dish: a deboned duck was cooked skin side down to ensure crispness, and then the flesh side is thickly coated with mashed taro, and the whole thing deep fried, resulting in this multi textural affair. Frying mashed taro produces this feathery light crust enveloping a fluffy and slightly sweet starch that matches the rich duck quite well. The whole thing is brought together by the thick (I think too much cornstarch, though) savory mushroom and stock based sauce. The combination really does work.

Crispy duck with taro, at Fufu Restaurant, Bellaire near Beltway 8. Approximately $12.


  1. Nice post! I need to hit that place and Friend's Kitchen again

  2. There must be something about the duck and taro combination. I've had taro and duck stewed in beer at Brother Kitchen (maybe Restaurant) in Metropole Center, same shopping center as Don Cafe and Givral's. I imagine it'd be perfect in winter, though it was still delicious in the middle of August-- like Chinese meat and potatoes. It's a Taiwanese restaurant, so follow the scent of stinky tofu to find it!

  3. Sounds different - I need to check that out.