Duck gizzards are slow cooked with ginger, garlic, soy sauce until they're tender and savory. Star anise and cloves makes it extra delicious. We eat this with rice ^_^
Braised Duck Gizzards
We love duck. We love braised meats. So yes, we love braised duck gizzards!
Gizzards, livers, tendon and tripe (all the offal parts!) made less frequent appearances but were far from rare. They just required more work to prep and clean and not everyone was up for that ^_^
So we ordered them all the time at restaurants. The textures, the slippery, the snappy, the chewy, and how they soaked up all the braising liquids. So ono! Offal is highly underrated.
I didn't learn to cook offal until I lived alone post-college. Buying an entire duck to cook dinner for "just one person" felt daunting at 22. But committing to a pound of gizzards? Can do! Braising a small one pound serving of gizzards felt far more approachable than trying to braise an entire duck for myself.
That's how we have this dish! It's just gizzards, cleaned and cooked over low heat in a braising liquid made primarily of soy sauce and chicken broth (or water). It's seasoned with star anise and cloves. Don't forget fresh ginger and garlic. Serve it over rice, as we do nearly all the recipes on Onolicious ^_^
What is Duck Gizzard?
Duck gizzards is a small organ found in the digestive tract of the duck. This organ exists specifically to help the duck grind up and digest hard foods. Each gizzard is about the size of two marbles. They are firm, muscular, and bouncy. They have very little fat.
Bonus: duck gizzards also have a ton of protein and potassium! (For the longest time, bananas were the only potassium-rich food item I could think of...and then I discovered duck gizzards.)
You can find duck gizzards at most butcher shops. It's commonly available in Chinatown. If you visit a regular supermarket or a non-Asian butcher, they might not have gizzards visible in the case, but you should still ask because they likely have some in the back.
How to Clean Duck Gizzards
The recipe is easy, but before you start cooking you must clean the gizzards. Cleaning the gizzards is a very important step. Do not skip it. Here's how:
Place the duck gizzards in a bowl (I use a small metal mixing bowl), and rinse the gizzards a few times with water. Fill the bowl with water until the gizzards are covered. Let it sit for an hour. This sitting period will help loosen the outer membrane layer of the gizzards.
After the hour is up, drain the water and gently pull off and discard the membrane from each gizzard. The membrane is a very thin white/clear outer layer that should pull off fairly easily. It won't slide off itself, but you shouldn't have to struggle to pull it off.
Sprinkle salt over the gizzards and use your hands to mix it well. Let it sit for 15 minutes. This step helps remove impurities and offal-y notes from the gizzards. Rinse the gizzards a few more times with water, until the water runs clear. Set aside until ready to use.
The Braising Liquid
All the flavor in this recipe comes from the braising liquid. You make it by first sautéing together:
- Sliced ginger
- Smashed garlic
Once the ginger and garlic is slightly golden and very fragrant, add:
Then add the duck gizzards. Cook for a minute, then add the liquid. The two liquid ingredients are:
And that's it! The gizzards are cooked over low heat in this aromatic liquid for an hour. We cook until they're super tender and have absorbed all the flavor and spices. The liquid is cooked down until it becomes saucy and glazes the gizzards. So so so good over rice.
Tips and Questions
You can make this recipe without star anise and cloves. It will be delicious but less complex.
The "core" of the braising liquid is water (or chicken broth), soy sauce, ginger, and garlic - these four ingredients are absolutely necessary.
Star anise and cloves add extra flavor, spice, and depth...but don't let not having these two ingredients stop you from making the dish.
P.S. Braising liquid is very open to adaptation. As long as you have the four "core" ingredients, feel free to change and add spices. Think bay leaves, whole peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, etc.
I like these gizzards with a bowl of rice and some steamed or sautéed vegetables on the side. Spinach, gai lan, bok choy, etc. Keep the vegetable part super simple and barely seasoned (I like to spoon some of the reduced gizzard "sauce" over the vegetables ^_^)
Gizzard leftovers make for a great next day lunch. Put a rice into your bowl, add several pieces of gizzards on top. Steam it for 5-7 minutes. The gizzards get even more tender and some of the sauce soaks into the rice. Top with green onions and white pepper.
Duck Gizzard Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- First, clean the duck gizzards. Place the gizzards in a bowl, and rinse a few times with water. Then cover the gizzards with water and let sit for 1 hour. Drain the water and gently pull off the membranes (it’s a very thin white/clear layer). Sprinkle salt and cornstarch on the gizzards and mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the gizzards a few more times with water (until the water runs clear). Set aside.
- Now we cook the duck gizzards! Heat oil in a small pot, add the ginger and garlic and saute for 2 minutes over medium heat, just until fragrant.
- Add the star anise and cloves. Stir and cook for another minute.
- Add the duck gizzards and cook for another minute.
- Add the soy sauce and the water (or chicken broth). Bring to a boil.
- Then turn the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour until the braising liquid reduces to a thick sauce and glazes the gizzards. Remove from and spoon into a serving bowl.
- Top gizzards with green onions and white pepper (optional). Eat with rice ^_^