How Momofuku Makes Their Famous Roast Duck Ssam — Prime Time


– Brent’s Tuesday night dinner series that he does every week (laughing) ‘Stuffing Things Inside Other Things’ is what he likes to call it. – We’re here at Ssäm Bar to try their exclusive duck ssam. – Ooh, yeah we are! We only sell a few duck
out of the shop per week, but these guys are taking
it a whole new level with the way they’re using
every part of the animal – [Brent] So this duck is dried for a week after it’s already been
stuffed with sausage then it’s roasted, then it’s deboned and then it’s served with lettuce. What more do you want? – What they’re doing here is
something completely different we’re gonna learn a lot,
you’re gonna learn a lot, let’s go deeper on duck. So we are here at Momofuku
Ssäm Bar, with Matt, who is the Director of Culinary Operations and Max, who is the
Executive Chef of Ssam Bar. – So today we’re gonna
be kind of going through our whole rotisserie duck, it’s something we do,
just giant pieces of meat in weird different ways. – It’s a pretty iconic dish so we’re pretty excited to try it. – We’re gonna bring Eugenio in, Eugenio has worked for
Ssäm Bar since it opened. He’s the one who really, you know, does these ducks every single day. So these are Long Island Peking ducks. You know, one of the reasons
that we only really offer this, whole, limited, as a
pre-reservation at dinner, is because there’s only
so many we can make and they also age for at
least seven days to 14 days. – I think uh, we got the same duck guy. – Yeah? – [Ben] Yeah, I think we
got the same duck guy. – Traditionally, when you
break a duck, cut here. – [Ben] Right, yeah. – But because we’re gonna be
stuffing this with sausage, what’s really important
is we need extra skin and if we’re not cutting it
and leaving on that extra skin, you’re gonna have exposed sausage – It’s all gonna fall out everywhere. – And it’s all gonna fall out, it’s not gonna look nice so this is really the
most important part of it. – [Ben] That is some beautiful cutting. There’s a lot of
specificity to these cuts. – We’re gonna blanch them, really lightly, usually about 10, 15
seconds, then shock them. This is gonna help firm up the skin, get the skin sort of really dry, taught, and it’s just, it’s not gonna cook, it’s just gonna get
the fat a little loose. – [Ben] You can already,
you can see the difference. – [Matt] Yeah, you just see-
– [Ben] It’s immediate. – So now that the ducks have
blanched, made the glaze, we’re actually gonna
bring ’em back over here and then we’ll start stuffing. (upbeat jazz music) – [Ben] How many of these
do you sell a night? – We pretty much always cap
it at about three or four. We just don’t have the space to age, ’cause then at that point if
we’re just trying to sell them, they’re not gonna age as long and they’re not gonna be
the best product possible and that’s just not what we’re gonna do. So you guys wanna take a hand at it? – How harshly are you gonna judge us on this sausage stuffing? The last thing I wanna
do is (beep) up a duck. – Let’s try one of these bad boys! – Get in, get in there! (laughing) – Oops! – Just kinda, kinda wanna
make sure you get it close to an even amount all the way to the back. – They’re pretty even, Matt. – It’s pretty even. (laughter)
It’s pretty even. – For April Fools, we did a
large format called a ‘boducken’ so it’s a noodle bar fried chicken stuffed inside of a duck, stuffed inside of a Momo Ssäm, and Dave thought it was so funny that he posted on Instagram and a lot of people thought it was serious so then there were people
lining up at the door (laughing) to get this ‘boducken’. – [Ben] Oh man! – So then, basically, these
guys, once they’re glazed, they’re gonna go into the
fridge for at least a week then a week later, they’ll look like this. – [Brent] There you go. – So, shrunken down, a little bit tighter, definitely a little bit
darker, pretty firm. – Right, yeah. (upbeat fun music) – No pressure Max, no pressure. – We try and slice it pretty thin and also why we don’t cook
it, like rare, medium-rare, why it’s a little bit more medium is just ’cause it’s like if you, if you try eating it in a wrap and you’re not using a fork and knife it’s just kind of too chewy and you want it to just
be able to separate, eat it nice and easy. – The rendering of the duck fat is like, is a process kind of unto itself, is that?
– Yeah. – Unlike any other animal really, like you really have to focus in on it. – We’ve got like a good render, but we still have a little fat. Which is like, the
difference that we want. I’m just gonna season
this rice with the sauce. This is honestly probably the best part. When people get down to
it, they’re like oh (beep). – That rice.
– That, that’s what I want. Rice, duck fat, shallots- – [Ben] All the crispy bits. – Skin, sausage and then
we’ll also save all the fat that’s in the pan and
use it for something. Pretty much nothing is gonna go to waste. As the meat sort of um, sits on top of it, all the juice, any juices or
anything are going into it it’s food but it’s also function. – It’s like they thought
about all of this stuff. – I was about to say, it’s like you guys like locked yourselves
in a cabin with like, (beep) 20 joints and
a couple cases up here and you’re just like, think
through every aspect of this. – No one’s leaving until we
use every part of this duck! (laughing) Holy (beep)! – [Ben] I’m glad I ate a
small dinner and no breakfast. – [Brent] What the (beep), man? – [Ben] I don’t think
I could send this back. (laughs) So you guys have had this a lot, I kinda wanna see how you
guys put together a plate. – I’ll usually take a piece of the, a piece of the bread. I like to do lettuce on top ’cause it kinda like acts as a, like a defense from
getting the bread soggy it keeps everything together. You know, take maybe a slice or two, gotta get in and get some rice. – Gotta get the rice.
– Right. – Kimchi because it adds, like a little bit of texture to it. I do a lot, honestly, I add a lot to it. I do a little of the barbecue because it adds like a little bit of heat and then I like hoisin for the sweetness so I feel like this is like, I’ve got, I’ve got texture,
I’ve got spice, I’ve got acid and then I’ll just kinda roll it up. – Okay, I’m ready! Just to call out the, the breast looks amazing with the sausage it’s like homogenous
and it’s just gorgeous. You can see the crispy
skin on the outside. – [Matt] There you go, that’s a bite. – Holy (beep) yeah, holy (beep) I could eat this whole thing. This is amazing, okay fine. This is like, yeah, the one thing you need is like a, you’re gonna need a lot of napkins. – I think what’s so awesome too is it really shows the
versatility of a duck because when, you know, a
customer comes in the butcher shop and wants a whole duck, they’re like, well what do I do with it? You’re like (beep), dude! You should’ve been
reading a book for a week (laughter) before you came in to get this because like, your brain’s gonna explode once you understand that
you’re gonna be able to feed your family from
this duck over the next week. Like, you have so much fat, you can do, you can stretch it so far that like just the breast is like the nice little treat at the end and using the rest of it, you know, really pays homage to using
the whole animal, so cool! – There’s inspiration from
a lot of different cultures and ideas and techniques and you draw these different lines but when you eat this dish, you don’t necessarily think of one cuisine or ethnicity or tradition but at the same time it’s familiar. It’s something that’s unique but at the same time comforting. And that’s really something we try and do with a lot of our food, with this it’s like is it Peking duck? Is it, you know, kind
of like this stuffed, you know, french sausage? Is it fried rice? It’s all sort of these different things but it’s still, it makes a connect, like, anyone will feel connected to this without needing to know what it is. – Right, well, you’re
(beep) nailing it (laughs). – Thank you guys so much, this is such an amazing dish. Really, really happy to be able to try it and especially learn about it. – For more Prime Time episodes, click here. – Do you want it, do you
want it, do you want it? – I’m gonna pull some
noodles, this is just dough. Nothing special about it, so what I’m doing is
kind of pulling on it, at the same time.

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