Purr Fumé

"....... the smell of napalm in the morning..." When it comes to smelling, err, smoke, I favour the smell of my mum's smoked haddock fishcakes over napalm. I've eaten a gazillion variations of them all over the world but hers have never been bettered. Will post her recipe soon.
I'm a keen smoker. I started experimenting when I had my cooking school in France. Recipe below was my first attempt. Chefs and producers are smoking everything now, even water. Have a play, but give the cane toads a miss..trust me.
Tea smoked duck - 2 scored duck breasts, half a cup of kosher/ sea salt, 2 star anise, zest of an unwaxed lemon, 8 sechuan peppercorns- bruised, half a cup of sugar, mix. Marinate and turn semi-frequently in the salt for 3 hours. Rinse off and pat dry.
Segment 2 blood oranges, scooping up the juice and squeeze 2 more, finely slice a fist size red onion. Rinse 3 endive, white. Break into a bowl.
 Blood OJ in pot, reduce to 100 mls, add 50 mls of walnut vinegar and 80mls of walnut oil, salt and pepper. Whip.
Wok or frying pan with lid, aluminium foil the bottom, 50 grams gunpowder tea, 50 grams sugar, broken cinnamon stick on top, another layer of foil. Lid on, whoop up to hot.
When smoking, add the duck breasts skin side up, give them 5-8 minutes, the colour of the fat shows how smoky they are, go for golden, less is more.
Pan fry skin down, 3 minutes, hot. Turn over, cook until still nice n pink in the middle on a medium heat. Stop. Rest. Inhale.
Assemble the salad, finely slice the duck breasts and dress.
Drink- smoked food can be slightly tricky to match with wine. I like a nice floral Alsatian Gerwurztraminer, flashes of night jasmine and bonfires. A hoppy real ale can work and you can't beat a cup of builder's tea with a smoked bacon sarnie.
One of the best and most ethical producers of smoked salmon I've come across is Donald Smith and his family. He is stonkingly passionate about his salmon, sourcing, smoking and sustainability. He does some pretty fierce bacon as well.
Love food X


  1. Suddenly the lamb korma I am eating while reading this seems somewhat ... mmm ... pedestrian, though still yummy!

    I never knew you could "drink-marinade-smoke" food? I always thought "smoking" was about laying the "thing" on a grill and setting some exotic concoction of herbs and spices/whatnot underneath and watch the smoke arise?

    You're a revelation, luvvie!

  2. this reads spectacular, I have to give this a go. It reminds me a bit of Paper Chicken in malaysia which had also green tea smoke in it.

    Thank you for this great recipe,

    G x


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