Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chiu Chow Salted Duck & Pork Kidneys

I've been on the lookout for duck lately. This is much more difficult than it should be. Duck should be a common item in restaurants throughout our megalopolis. But alas this is not to be. The good news is that duck is available all over LA's Chinatown, both in markets and in restaurants, making it just a Metro ride (and a couple blocks walk) away. Yay!

Of the few places I've tried so far, the Chiu Chow Salted Duck at Kim Chuy is my favorite. It's pretty straightforward, with no frills. Let's call it rustic. A half duck chopped into big pieces served with steamed cabbage and carrots. The skin is cooked well, though I do wish it was just a little bit crispier. The meat is cooked well but is still moist. There's lots of bones, so be prepared to work for it. While I'm still looking for my transcendent duck, this will do for now.

This time I also got an order of pork kidneys. The good news is that they were cooked perfectly. Like much offal, poorly cooked kidneys can become inedible balls of rubber. Not here. Very tender. Also, the scallions were very nice, with a good amount of fresh ginger. Now the bad news. The kidneys had no flavor whatsoever. None. I'd say they tasted like clay, but at least clay tastes like dirt. I'm not sure how the chef did it, but he completely removed the taste of kidney, leaving only the, admittedly good, sauce to flavor the dish. Not inedible, but not so good if you're looking for kidneys.

So I'll be back for the duck, if not the kidneys. This lunch, along with steamed rice and hot tea, was about $14.


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