(PHOTO BY CALVIN NG)
While roast goose is a traditional dish on Christmas menus around the world, Chiu Chow marinated goose has been the signature dish of Chan Kan Kee since 1948 – and it hasn’t changed since, with a unique recipe that’s a family secret passed down through the generations. Since 2010, Eliza Chan and her elder sister, Rebecca, are part of the third generation to run the restaurant. Here, they unveil some of the secrets of this delicious dish
What’s the story behind this dish?
Chan Kan Kee’s signature dish, Chiu Chow marinated goose, was created in 1948. Back in the 1940s, my grandfather was selling marinated goose in a village in Chiu Chow in Guangdong Province. Our family then migrated to Hong Kong and continued selling our Chiu Chow marinated goose on “Chiu Chow Lane” – today’s Heung Hing Lane in Sheung Wan – where there were a lot of hawker stalls like ours.
Can you share any of the secrets of your family’s recipe?
For one, we use galangal instead of regular Chinese ginger. In addition, Chan Kan Kee’s lushui [stock for marinating] was started in 1948 by my grandfather. Over all these 72 years, the same lushui has been repeatedly used to marinate the geese. The lushui has been re-boiled every day to maintain the quality of the sauce. All the flavour of the geese has been concentrated in this 72-year-old lushui and that’s what really makes Chan Kan Kee marinated goose special.
How do you select the goose for this dish?
We use goose from Chiu Chow, namely the flathead goose (平頭鵝). We think the texture of the flathead goose meat is softer and easier to be marinated.
Does the goose need to be of a specific size or weight?
We usually use geese that weigh around 6kg, as we find the meat is just right for slicing. It’s not fat and is very soft.
Is it easy to make this dish at home?
I’ve tried it at home before. However, the pot was too small for one whole goose, so I cut the goose into parts. It was nice – but of course, whole goose is more delicious.
(PHOTO BY CALVIN NG)
Chiu Chow Marinated Goose
For the lushui (stock)
1.5kg pork belly (if making new lushui)
19g Sichuan pepper
10 pieces star anise
75g cinnamon/cassia sticks
300ml light soy sauce
75ml dark soy sauce
300g crystal/rock sugar
8 slices galangal
75ml Kaoliang liquor/baijiu
The whole process takes around 1.5 hours. After cleaning the goose, hang it up to dry. Wash the pork belly (if you’re making new lushui), Sichuan pepper, star anise, cinnamon/cassia sticks, galangal, leeks and garlic. Chop the leeks into small pieces of approximately 5 inches. Lightly smash the galangal. Heat a little bit of oil in a wok. Put the aforementioned ingredients in, and fry them for a bit. After that, add the water, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
Bring the stock to a boil, then pour it into a stock pot. Boil on low heat for 30 minutes to retain its quality; high heat will make the sauce overly concentrated and it will be too salty.
Add the meat (goose, duck, or pork) that you’d like to marinate into the stock. If you’re using a smaller pot at home, chop the goose or duck into smaller pieces (i.e. divide it into 4 portions). Marinate it for around 1 hour. During the early stages, lift the goose up from the sauce from time to time to make sure each part is evenly and completely marinated.
Before the marinating is complete, add the Kaoliang liquor/baijiu and the crystal/rock sugar into the stock.
Tip: Marinate the pork belly (1.5kg) if you’re starting a brand-new lushui (stock). This way, the fat and meat flavour enriches the stock. The same lushui can be re-boiled for repeat use – and you don’t need to add water into the lushui if you reuse it.
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