Tag: winter

Simmered Kabocha

Simmered Kabocha

If you love winter squashes but have never tried kabocha, you’re in a for a treat. Sometimes called Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha is sweeter than pumpkin and even than butternut squash. When gently simmered, it becomes incredibly tender and makes a perfect side for nearly any read more



Tinola is Filipino comfort food and perfect for cooler weather. This hearty chicken soup features a gingery broth that is so warming and smells amazing! Each bowl contains a whole piece of chicken and tender chunks of green papaya; a scoop of steamed rice is read more

Plum Sauce Duck

Plum Sauce Duck

Why don’t we eat more duck? I’ve noticed that despite it being extremely popular on restaurant menus, including ours, Americans rarely cook it at home. There seems to be an intimidation factor, as if cooking duck should only be left to the professionals. Well, I’m here to tell you that if you can cook a chicken breast, you can cook a duck breast. And my Plum Sauce Duck is the perfect recipe to give you the confidence to start enjoying duck on a regular basis. Just 10 minutes prep plus 10 minutes cooking time gives you a perfectly bronzed and lusciously sauced duck breast.

plum sauce duck ingredients

Duck Fat

One of the main differences between duck breasts and chicken breasts is the fat. Specifically, ducks have a layer of fat between the meat and the skin. Scoring the skin allows some of the fat to melt out, leaving you with glorious crispy skin and leaner, but still rich tasting meat. Scoring just means making slashes through the skin and partly through the fat, being careful not to cut through the meat. First trim any excess fat:

scoring plum sauce duck

You will have a cross hatch pattern when you’re done. This not only helps to crisp up the skin, but it also makes for a nice presentation.

Plum Sauce (and marinade!)

Even though it’s poultry, duck meat tastes closer to red meat. It stands up beautifully to this sauce, which does double duty as a marinade. The sweet-tart flavor of plum wine is the perfect foil to the meaty richness. Plum wine is a Japanese liquor made from ume plums. (You can read more about this prized fruit here) I add hoisin sauce for complexity and body, and a little soy sauce for depth.

marinade plum sauce duck

chill plum sauce duck

Duck meat is dense and sturdy enough that a 24 hour marinade is ideal for maximum flavor. But if you didn’t start the day before, plan on at least 4 hours. I love an overnight marinade though because it gets most of your prep done ahead of time. Once I’m ready to cook, I drain off the marinade and start heating it while I cook the duck.

pan plum sauce duck

flip plum suace duck

reduce plum sauce wine

blend plum sauce duck

Now that the breasts are cooked, and the sauce is velvety smooth, it’s time to dig in to this Plum Sauce Duck.  I like to drizzle a little of the plum sauce on top, and serve with extra on the side for those that like things extra saucy.

Plum Sauce Duck is amazing served with:

However you enjoy it, I hope this recipe shows you how easy it is to make duck at home just like the pros! Try it and tell me what  you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below, and tagging us in your beautiful duck pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

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plum sauce duck recipe card

Plum Sauce Duck

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus marinating time)
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 4 duck breasts (approximately 2 pounds)
  • 2 umeboshi plums


  • 1 cup Plum wine
  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar


Marinate the duck:

  1. Trim the duck of any excess fat. 
  2. Score the duck by gently cutting on the diagonal through the skin and partially through the fat in even ¼ inch strokes (do not cut into the meat itself.) 
  3. Turn the duck 45 degrees and score again, so that you have a diamond or cross hatch pattern.
  4. Combine the plum wine, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. 
  5. Pour the sauce over the duck. Submerge the duck making sure that the breasts are well coated.
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.

Cook the Duck:

  1. Heat a large 12″ pan over medium heat for several minutes. Dry the duck on a paper towel and lay it skin side down and cook for 3 minutes. 
  2. Flip the duck and cook the other side for another 3 minutes. 
  3. Cover the pan with a lid, lower the heat to medium low, and cook for 2 minutes.  
  4. Take the pan off of the heat and let the duck sit, with the lid still covering it, while you make the sauce.

For the Sauce:

  1. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat for 6-8 minutes until it is thickened and reduced (you should have about 3/4 cup of sauce).
  2. Add the umeboshi plums and carefully blend with an immersion blender. (You can also do this in a standard blender with the pour center removed. Cover the opening with a kitchen towel and carefully blend on low.)
  3. Add the butter and swirl it around to melt it. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl. 

Slice and Serve:

  1. Cut the duck on an angle into thick ½ inch slices.
  2. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the sauce on the side.


*The recipe as written will yield medium well duck. If you prefer your duck less cooked, do not let it rest in the pan while you complete the sauce. Take the duck out of the pan after resting it in the pan for several minutes, and let it sit on the cutting board instead while you finish the sauce.

*Pro Tip- When blending the sauce in the pan, you can keep a damp kitchen towel draped over the blending stick and pan to catch any splashes of sauce that spray out. 

Keywords: umeboshi plum, duck, hoisin

Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs

Tis the season to treat yourself and loved ones to a special occasion meal. These Braised Short Ribs look so impressive and are so full of rich, wintry flavors-like oranges and a sweet hoisin sauce- that your guests will have no idea they took only read more



Chikuzen is Japanese comfort food: a warming braised chicken, loaded with veggies, that tastes like it simmered all day. It has a wintery feel thanks to the root vegetables and is traditionally served on New Year’s Day. But Chikuzen is equally good all year round. read more

Butterfly Pea Cocktails

Butterfly Pea Cocktails

Do you want to ring in the holiday season sipping on a gorgeous violet, citrusy cocktail? Silly question- of course you do! These Butterfly Pea Cocktails will turn heads at any holiday gathering you have. Watching it turn colors is mesmerizing! And it’s packed with fresh citrus (and vodka!) so what are you waiting for?

butterfly pea cocktail ingredients

Butterfly Pea Flower

Also known as bluebell, butterfly pea flowers bloom on climbing vines. The bright blue flowers are cultivated and dried to be used as a tea throughout South East Asia. It’s caffeine-free and loaded with anti-oxidants, which are credited with everything from clearer skin to thicker hair. Fair warning: it also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac. Combined with vodka that can make for one heck of a party…

blue butterfly tea cocktail


Brewed by itself, the tea is a stunning blue. The color changes when the ph balance of the tea is changed; adding something acidic turns the blue into varying shades of purple. That’s where all of the fresh citrus juice for my Butterfly Pea Cocktails comes in.


Making Butterfly Pea Cocktails

I decided to turn the butterfly pea flower tea into ice cubes. That would maximize the cool color effects, and let the citrus vodka flavor shine through. By itself, the tea doesn’t have a lot of flavor. Just a mild earthy undertone that pairs well with more assertive flavors.

steep butterfly pea cocktails

strain butterfly pea cocktails

The ice cubes need to freeze for at least 4 hours, until they are solid. I like to make it the day before. Be careful transferring them so you don’t get blue splotches all over your kitchen. Then it’s time to make the simple syrup. This can also be made ahead of time, so when you’re ready to serve, you just have to juice the citrus. As the name implies, the syrup couldn’t be easier to make. Just heat the sugar in water until it’s dissolved. I like to have a batch in the fridge because it’s so convenient for sweetening coffees and teas.

simple butterfly cocktails

Now it’s time to juice the citrus. I like a mix of limes, lemons, and grapefruit. But you can use whatever you prefer or have on hand.

juice butterfly pea cocktails

I like to make batch cocktails. When I have a houseful of guests, the last thing I want to do is make drinks one at a time. Add the juice, simple syrup and vodka in a pitcher, stir to combine, and voila! You have instant cocktails ready all party long.

pitcher butterfly pea cocktail

And now comes the fun part-the hypnotizing color changes that level up your party cocktail game! Pour the cocktail into festive glasses, and then add the butterfly pea flower ice. Make sure to do this in front of your guests so they can ooh and ahh. Look how cool the ice looks!

ice butterfly pea cocktail ice

melting butterfly pea cocktail

The cocktail will continue to change color as the ice melts.

ice cube butterfly pea cocktail

And there’s no reason you can’t let kids in on the fun! Serve them plain lemonade and add the butterfly pea flower ice. My two young nephews now fully expect purple lemonade every time they come over. I hope you have as much fun making and drinking! these Butterfly Pea Cocktail as we did, and I can’t wait to see your pictures. Tag us @funkasiankitchen, and don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below-we love hearing from you. Cheers!

cheers butterfly pea cocktails



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recipe card butterfly pea cocktail

Butterfly Pea Cocktail

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: beverage
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian




  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar


  • 1 cup vodka 
  • 2 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 grapefruit

Ice cubes:

  • ¼ cup (packed) butterfly pea flower tea
  • 2 cups water



  • Some lemon or lime wedges


Make the ice cubes:

  1. Put the water into a small pot and turn the heat to high. When the water just comes to a boil remove the pot from the heat and add the butterfly pea flowers. 
  2. Stir to combine and let steep for 4 minutes. Strain the tea through a mesh strainer and then pour the tea into an ice cube tray.
  3. Place the ice cube tray into the freezer and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or overnight.


Make the simple syrup:

  1. Add the sugar and water in a small pan and turn the heat to medium high.
  2. Stir the sugar and water together with a whisk or fork. As soon as the sugar melts completely and the liquid is clear, turn the heat off. This takes about 1 minute.
  3. Set aside to cool.

Juice the fruit:

  1. Wash the fruit and cut the lemons and limes in half and cut the grapefruit into 4 quarters.
  2. Juice the fruit into a container- you will yield about 1 ½ cups of juice.
  3. Pour the juice into a tall pitcher. Add the vodka and half of the cooled syrup.(You can pour it through a sieve first if you have some seeds)
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Take a little taste. Add more syrup to taste (I used all of the syrup as I like a sweeter drink).
  6. Place the pitcher in the fridge until ready to drink.
  7. When you are ready to serve, pour the cocktail into glasses, top with a couple ice cubes and watch the magic happen!


*You can make parts or even all of the cocktail a couple day ahead of time if you like.

Keywords: butterfly pea cocktail, butterfly pea flower tea, violet drinks, purple drinks, cocktails