Sadly, the most popular dish in British Chinese restaurants
is ‘Crispy Duck’. Because of its perceived ‘exotic’ nature,
most customers in restaurants and take-aways are even
more removed from the reality of modern duck meat production
than many consumers in supermarkets. Whilst some duck
for the restaurant trade is imported from abroad, most
of it comes from the same factory farms that supply the
main supermarkets in the UK. That means these animals,
which have evolved to live and thrive in water, are denied any opportunity
to follow that most basic behavioural need and spend
their entire short lives on excrement-soaked litter in
industrial sheds instead of swimming, diving and feeding
in fresh, running water.
However, duck sales are down - and we are determined
to keep them on a downward spiral! Try out Viva!'s new
cruelty-free Chinese alternative below.
Crispy Duck-friendly Pancakes
The Chinese have a long and honourable tradition of
vegetarianism, partly because of Buddhism. Monks
weren’t supposed to eat meat because it inflamed
their desires (oo-er missis), so traditional recipes
were recreated using meat substitutes made from special
mushrooms, tofu or seitan – made from wheat gluten.
This very sociable dish uses mock duck or plain seitan,
available from Chinese supermarkets or health stores
absolutely delicious and has fooled a few meat eaters that
we know! And of course, no animal has to suffer.
PS. Seitan is pronounced ‘Satan’!
- 1 dstsp soya sauce (use a good quality sauce such as
Kikkoman or Sanchi, available from good supermarkets,
health stores or delis)
- 2 tbsp oil (sesame or rapeseed are good if you can
afford them – otherwise ordinary vegetable oil
will do. Just don’t use olive oil!)
- 250g/8oz mock duck or seitan – sliced finely
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, sliced into thin slivers
- 6 mushrooms, sliced
- 12-20 rice pancakes (depending on how hungry you
are!) Available from good supermarkets or Chinese stores.
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 cucumber, sliced into short lengths
- 6 spring onion, sliced into lengths
- 6 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 lime, quartered
Check cooking instructions on rice pancakes and prepare
- Assemble 5 small bowls, one medium bowl and 4
- Place one ingredient in each small bowl:
spring onions; cucumber; sesame seeds; hoisin sauce;
- Fry onion and red pepper for 2-3
minutes in hot oil. Use a wok or large frying pan.
- Add mock duck/seitan and fry until it looks golden
and quite crispy.
- Add mushrooms and cook for a
minute or two until golden
- Add soya sauce then
remove from heat.
- Place mock duck mixture in medium
- The rice pancakes should be hot at this point.
- Place all the bowls on the table. Give each person
Each person spreads a pancake with a
dab of hoisin sauce, tops it with a spoonful of mock
duck mix, then adds some cucumber, spring onions and
sesame seeds. Squeeze a little lime juice on the top
and roll up the pancake – and eat!
- Repeat until all the mix has gone.
Still hungry for more? Check out the links below for
more cruelty-free Chinese treats!
The Bitter Truth behind one
of Britain’s favourite
sector – Viva!’s in-depth investigation
Viva!’s cruelty-free Chinese recipes!
Ducks out of water - home page