Tag Archives: duck fat

Recipe: Steamed Korean Sweet Squash Stuffed w/ Smoked Duck Breast

steamed korean squash w/ smoked duckYou may have read in a previous post that I love duck. My husband loves duck. Our children love duck. It’s like the bacon of poultry. Only better. This recipe is inspired by a dish we tried out at an amazing duck shabu-shabu restaurant here in Seoul–we couldn’t eat enough of it. We don’t often eat Korean sweet squash, or kabocha, because, well, it’s a bit too sweet for our tastes, but as the oh-so-delicious and savory duck fat soaks into the squash, it cuts some of the sweetness and turns it into perfection! Yes, I know I’m being dramatic, but really… It’s that good!

This dish would be appropriate as an appetizer or as a dish served at a cocktail party. Korean sweet squash is relatively small, so (sadly) you can only stuff a limited amount of duck breast into the squash.

Also, smoked duck is very easily found in most grocery stores and marts in Korea, so this recipe is simple to prepare if you live in Korea. However, acquiring smoked duck breast is more challenging in the States. You would either need a smoker to prepare your own duck, or smoked duck can be purchased from online retailers like Nueske’s or D’Artagnan.

Steamed Korean Sweet Squash Stuffed with Smoked Duck

Paleo / Whole30

approx. 1/4 lb of smoked duck breast, sliced
one small onion, sliced
3-4 green onions, diced
one Korean sweet squash

1. Combine the duck breast, onion and green onions in a mixing bowl and set aside.

smoked duck breast 1

2. With a sharp knife, very carefully cut into the top of the squash to create a removable lid. Removing the top can be a bit challenging since the seeds and fibers in the center of the squash hold onto the “lid.” This takes a bit of strength–I usually call my husband in to give me a hand!

korean sweet squash3. Scoop out all the seeds and fibers from the center of the squash with a spoon.

korean sweet squash deseeded

4. Turn the squash over and cut 3-4 slits into the bottom of the squash to allow liquid to drain out as it cooks.

5. Stuff the squash with the duck/onion mixture.

duck stuffed korean sweet squash

6. Replace the lid and steam for 45 minutes or until squash is tender.

7. Very carefully remove the squash from the steamer–it will be VERY HOT! Place on a plate or serving dish and slice into 12 pieces.

steamed korean squash w/ smoked duck





Recipe: Perfect Pan-Fried Tilapia

perfect pan-fried tilapia

My family loves seafood in all forms–fried, baked, steamed, raw. Shrimp, fish, mussels, clams, squid, octopus. You name it. They’ll eat it. Excitement abounds from my little foodie children when I tell them we’re having fish for dinner, so imagine my delight when tonight’s dinner elicited not only squeals of delight before dinner, but sounds of nom nom nom and second and third helpings during dinner!

This dish calls for duck fat, but if you don’t have duck fat, olive oil or coconut oil are great alternatives. However, a word about duck fat. I love it. It’s amazing. Imagine your favorite foods. Yummy… Now imagine them cooked in duck fat. Oh my... Yes, it’s that good. Acquiring duck fat isn’t the easiest thing. It’s not sold in stores, so you have to drain it out of the duck yourself. Luckily, in Korea, duck is abundant and relatively inexpensive. Pick up a pack of smoked duck breast at your local mart and just collect the drippings as you grill it. (I collect the duck fat in a ceramic bowl then strain it with a small strainer as I pour it into a jar.) One duck breast will give you about a cup of duck fat. In the U.S., your best bet is to go to your local Asian grocery story. Whole ducks can be found in the frozen section for far less than you’d pay at a specialty grocery store. Roasting a whole duck and collecting the drippings will give you about 1.5 to 2 cups of fat. Double yum! If you’ve never roasted a duck before, then here’s an excellent tutorial from someone who may possible love duck fat even more than I do! 😉

Perfect Pan-Fried Tilapia Recipe


1 large bag of tilapia fillets (defrosted) – a large bag typically contains 11-12 individually sealed fillets. For my family, I cooked the entire bag and we only had 2 fillets left for my husband to take to for lunch!
2 eggs
2 cups of almond meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp tarragon
approx. 4 tbsp of duck fat

1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and set aside.

2. In another bowl, thoroughly combine almond meal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and tarragon.

3. Add about 1 tbsp of duck fat to skillet over medium heat.

4. Dredge tilapia fillets in egg, then thoroughly coat with almond meal mixture. Place on the skillet and do not move the fillets until you’re ready to flip them–approx. 4 minutes. This insures a nice, crispy coating. Flip the fillets, add a small amount of duck fat to the skillet (approx. 1/2 tbsp) and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until cooked through.

5. Enjoy!

Obviously, with 11 fillets to cook, I have to repeat the cooking process a couple more times since skillets only get so big… But so worth it! I served this with steamed broccoli. Huge hit with my kiddos, and my husband said this was by far the best tilapia he’s ever had so give it a try!