Stay in the ‘Mix’ with star-studded dishesA La Carte
February 25, 2018
Story By: Phoebe Neel | Photos by: FILE PHOTOS
Certain restaurants have their stars. Even if the chef has constructed a menu full of variation and solid winners, restaurants still have their standouts — the dishes that bring customers clamoring to the doors to be satisfied by nothing else.
For Asian Mix, its stars include Roast Duck ($12.50 for half, $25 for whole) and Honey-roasted Barbecue Pork ($12 per pound).
“We only make a limited amount of each,” says owner Daniel Leung. “If you’re coming in the afternoon, you really should call early and reserve your portions of each.”
Both dishes are painstakingly prepared and require quality ingredients, which is why these items cannot be made on the spot. “If they sell out, they sell out,” Leung says.
But customers understand all of this, as extraordinary dishes include extraordinary preparation.
For the barbecue pork, which is prepared in a traditional Hong Kong-style, the chefs only use the pork shoulder. They slice off the fat and use the center section of the meat, cutting it into precise slices. Then, the meat is marinated in a house sauce overnight. The pork is roasted for an hour, until the slices are the ideal crispiness. Then, the chefs slather the meat with honey while it’s still hot, in order to lock in the juices and add a sweet sheen to the meat.
Preparing Asian Mix’s Roast Duck is even more time-consuming, and takes a full 24 hours. The chefs always buy 5-pound ducks from the same farm and purveyor.
“While we marinate the pork from the outside in, we marinate the duck from the inside out,” says Leung.
The marinade is closed inside the cavity of the duck, while the skin is cleaned and rubbed with a mixture of vinegar and sugar. The chefs hang the duck in the refrigerator for an entire day. A half an hour before roasting, a strong fan is used to blow all moisture from the duck’s skin.
“The skin must be dry in order to achieve uniform coloration and even cooking,” explains Leung.
If this all sounds like something you’d rather leave to the professionals, you’re not alone. Luckily, Asian Mix times the dishes to come straight out of the oven at 10:30 a.m., and again in the afternoon for optimal freshness.