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Bebek Goreng: Fried Duck with Indonesian Herbs

Delve into the culinary delights of Indonesia and you’ll discover a treasure trove of flavors, textures, and aromas. Among these gems is Bebek Goreng, a traditional dish of fried duck steeped in a medley of Indonesian herbs. Each bite is a celebration of the country’s culinary heritage, offering a taste of the rich biodiversity that graces the Indonesian archipelago. Tender, juicy meat encased in a crispy, golden skin, Bebek Goreng is a testament to the Indonesians’ mastery of balancing flavors and textures. It’s not just food – it’s a cultural experience, a gastronomic journey through the heart and soul of Indonesia.

Bebek Goreng: Fried Duck with Indonesian Herbs


  • 1 whole duck
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 litres of water
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • For the spice paste:
    • 6 shallots
    • 6 cloves of garlic
    • 4 red chillies
    • 4 bird’s eye chillies
    • 2 inches of turmeric
    • 2 inches of galangal
    • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
    • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns

Cooking Steps

  • Blend all the ingredients for the spice paste until they form a smooth paste.
  • Rub the duck with the spice paste, ensuring that it’s evenly coated.
  • In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, and salt.
  • Add the spiced duck to the pot and simmer for about 2 hours or until the duck is tender.
  • Once the duck is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it dry.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a pan and fry the duck until it’s golden brown and crispy.
  • Drain the fried duck on paper towels and serve hot with steamed rice and sambal, if desired.

In conclusion, Bebek Goreng is a culinary masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of Indonesian cuisine. It’s a dish that requires patience and meticulousness, but the result is undeniably worth it. When preparing Bebek Goreng, always opt for fresh ingredients. Fresh herbs and spices, for instance, lend a much more vibrant flavor than their dried or pre-packaged counterparts. Similarly, choosing a fresh, high-quality duck can significantly enhance the taste of the dish. Patience is also key when cooking Bebek Goreng. Slow-cooking the duck not only makes it tender, but also allows the flavors from the herbs and spices to fully penetrate the meat. So take your time, enjoy the process, and let every bite transport you to the enchanting land of Indonesia.

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