Bebek Betutu, Smoked duck

Written by on June 13, 2012 in Bali Culinary with 0 Comments

Bebek Betutu, Smoked duck


Bebek Betutu – Smoked duck

This is Bali’s most famous dish. Traditionally this delicious duck dish would be cooked for three days in the ground (that is why it has to be ordered in advance in restaurants), but as this may be a bit impractical in the West, here is a recipe for cooking it in the oven. Chicken can also be used.

For 4 – 6 people

175-250g / 6-8 oz curly kale or spinach, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes, squeezed dry and shredded
1 duck -1.75-2 kg / 3½-4 lbs

For the paste

5 shallots or 2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5 fresh red chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 candlenuts or macadamia nuts, chopped (optional)
2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed
2 cloves, roughly crushed
2 green cardamom pods, roughly crushed
2.5 cm / 1 in piece of cinnamon stick, roughly crushed
¼ tsp ground or grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground white pepper, plus extra to taste
1 cm / ½ in piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
5 cm / 2 in piece of fresh lemongrass, outer leaves removed, centre chopped
1 tsp dried shrimp paste
3 tbsp tamarind water (see below) or limejuice
2 tbsp each of groundnut oil and water
1 tsp salt, plus extra to taste


1. Put all the paste ingredients into a blender and blend until as smooth as possible. Transfer the paste mixture to a pan and simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste and then transfer the paste to a glass bowl and leave to cool.
2. Mix half the cold paste with the shredded kale or spinach. Rub the remaining paste over the duck, inside and out. Stuff the shredded greens into the duck. Loosely wrap the duck in 2 or 3 layers of foil, folding the foil over the top to seal.
3. Put the duck in a roasting pan and place in the centre of the oven preheated to 160C / 325F / Gas Mark 3. Cook for 2 hours, then reduce the oven temperature to 120C / 250F / Gas Mark 1/2 and cook for a further 3 to 4 hours.
4. Unwrap the duck and transfer to a large dish. Spoon off and discard the oil from the cooking juices. For the sauce, pour the juices into a pan, add the stuffing from the duck and heat through.
5. Carve the duck: it will be very tender so the meat will come off the bones very easily, and then transfer the meat to the heated serving platter.
6. Serve the duck immediately with the sauce poured over it or served separately in a bowl – with rice.

Tamarind Water


1. Place a block of tamarind pulp in a large bowl. Add enough hand-hot water to cover, and then squeeze the pulp between your fingers until it has separated from the seeds and the water is brown.
2. Pour the mixture into a sieve set over a pan. Strain off the liquid. Mashing the pulp against the sides of the sieve. Bring the liquid in the pan to the bowl, and then simmer for ten minutes. Leave to cool.
3. Spoon one tablespoon of liquid into each section of an ice-cube tray, then freeze.
4. Remove the cubes from the tray and store in freezer bags. Use one cube for each tablespoon of tamarind water.

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