The French Baker founder and CEO Johnlu Koa said that his decision to use local ingredients for his bakeries and restaurants was inspired by Trade Secretary Mon Lopez and GoNegosyo.
I appreciate many of these ingredients that have come my way through Johnlu.
One day he brought an ice chest full of the Maharlika brand of Peking duck from Davao (whole and in assorted cuts) for us to experiment with.
We roasted a whole duck with honey brown, port, cherry and orange barbecue sauces; made duck confit with mushroom truffle risotto; a warm duck salad with strawberry dressing; and duck adobo with duck liver sauce.
It was a delightful experience. The duck was not too fat; its meat had a clean taste, slightly gamy, tender yet firm to the bite, the leg particularly delicious.
Vic Lao, CEO of Maharlika Agro Marine Ventures, says that the quality of duck meat is determined by genetics. Maharlika’s ducks are free from antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones, as well as Halal-certified.
After Japan started placing orders, Lao is upbeat that the Philippines stands a good chance to enter the duck market globally.
He believes that developing the duck industry can help provide local employment.
One of Maharlika’s products is roast duck. To prepare it, simply thaw the duck and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15-30 minutes or until skin is crisp. You may also use a turbo oven.
My first taste of Maharlika duck was memorable, thanks to my dear friend Sally San Jose (of Chippens Restaurant Davao) who cooked a delectable pato tim.
A version by chef Darwin Lao of Maharlika is worth trying.
1.2-1.5 kg whole duck
¼ c cooking oil
2 tbsp onion
2 tbsp garlic
1 c leeks
2 tbsp ginger sliced
½ c oyster sauce
¼ c soy sauce
¼ c dark soy sauce
¼ c sugar
6-8 pcs shiitake mushrooms, dried and soaked in warm water
6 pcs star anise
2 liters water
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish with bok choy and sliced carrots.
Rub duck with 2-3 tbsp soy sauce and marinate for 1 hour inside fridge.
Heat oil and sear duck until nicely colored. Remove from oil.
Combine all liquid ingredients. Add sugar and salt. Mix until dissolved.
Put the duck in a large wok and pour liquid mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients except carrots and bok choy.
Cook over medium heat. Once it boils, lower the heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.
Turn the duck over and cook for another 30 minutes or until fork-tender.
Add carrots, and then the bok choy.
Add some water to prevent the liquid from drying up.
Maharlika supplies duck meat to restaurants around the country. It also sells balut and salted eggs. (Tel. 09177134475)
Duck dishes will also be available soon at all Lartizan and French Baker outlets.
For a copy of my new cooking class schedule, contact 09175543700 or 09082372346