When I think of Peking Duck I immediately start thinking of the the crispy skin complimented by the crunchy cucumber and the sweet and tangy Hoisin sauce. Up until today we had yet to marry the cucumber and the Hoisin. What we did was use a channel knife to score baby cucumbers and then we brushed the incisions with Hoisin sauce. After that, we vacuum sealed the cucumber to compress it and hopefully draw in the flavors of the sauce. Since we did not peel the entire vegetable, the seasoning would not have a chance to overpower the cucumbers delicate flavors.
Instead of pairing the Hoisin-infused cucumber with duck, we went for a decadent bit of lamb belly which had been marinated with a Chermoula spice rub and then braised. We used our griddle to sear the outside of the belly for a crispy texture reminiscent of the Peking duck skin, which still left the interior moist and tender. The lamb and cucumber needed a slight bridge to bring them together. A spoonful of Hoisin flavored yogurt acted as a creamy medium to unite these two star ingredients. A final grating of dried banana, to round things out, completed the dish. Inspired by a Chinese classic, this dish is something memorable and delicious all by itself.