Chef Hiro Sone of Terra in Napa Valley and Ame in San Francisco is fascinated by matcha, a fine powdered green tea that can give foods like soba noodles and ice cream a grassy, floral, slightly bitter taste. Sone says he's keen on matcha because "it has the quality of an herb, but it also has umami (the fifth taste), which means it really adds a depth of flavor and a mysterious, delicious accent to a dish." He's been mixing matcha with salt to make a seasoning for chicken, fish and steak and whisking it into vinaigrettes, as in the dressing for the lush duck salad here.
More Main Course Salads
4 duck legs (about 1 pound each)
1/2 cup mushroom soy sauce (see Note)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sake
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 star anise pod, broken
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon powdered green tea (matcha), plus more for dusting
1 Asian pear or Bosc pear, cored and cut into thin wedges
3 cups mizuna or mesclun greens (3 ounces)
1 cup finely shredded napa cabbage
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. Put the duck legs in a medium enameled cast-iron casserole. Add both soy sauces, the black vinegar, sake, sugar, onion, star anise, ginger and garlic. Add enough water to just cover and bring to a boil. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Braise the duck for 1 1/2 hours, or until it is very tender. Remove the duck legs from the liquid and let cool. Discard the duck skin and braising liquid. Pull the meat from the bones in large shreds.
In a medium bowl, whisk the rice vinegar with the canola oil and the 1/4 teaspoon of powered green tea. Season with salt. Add the Asian pear, mizuna and cabbage and toss. Transfer the salad to plates and top with the shredded duck. Sprinkle with green tea powder and serve.
Mushroom soy sauce is dark soy sauce flavored with straw mushrooms. Look for it in Asian markets.
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