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Goose fat fried rice. Photo: Jonathan Wong

How to make goose fat fried rice, an indulgent dish that uses up roast goose trimmings and leftovers

  • Make the most of every last morsel of roast goose by using up the fat and scraps
  • You can substitute leftover roast duck for the goose, if you prefer

I first tasted goose fat fried rice at a small restaurant in North Point, a working-class Hong Kong neighbourhood. I’m sure they created this delicious dish as a way to deal with the trimmings from the goose they serve – the small scraps they cut off before serving the half or quarter goose. When buying roast goose, serve the meat for one meal, and save the leftovers to make goose fat fried rice. Be sure to simmer any leftover goose bones in water, to make a flavourful stock.

Goose Fat Fried Rice

I love the way thrifty cooks use up ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away. In this case, it’s the layer of fat under the skin of the roast goose. If you have more fat and skin than needed for this recipe, cut it up and render out the liquid fat, as instructed in steps four and five. Pour any excess liquid fat into a small container, then refrigerate it (it will harden in the fridge) and use it instead of oil for vegetables or other stir-fried dishes. Excess fried fat and skin can be eaten on its own, like crackling, refrigerated for future dishes (you’ll need to recrisp the pieces by stir-frying) or you can add even more of it to this recipe (within reason).

When you buy roast goose, make sure you get some of the flavourful sauce/drippings (not to be mistaken for the plum sauce often served with goose). This should be given to you as a matter of course, but occasionally you’ll need to ask. If you prefer, make this dish with roast duck.

Goose fat fried rice – the ingredients ready to be cooked, prepared by Susan Jung, Hong Kong. 03MAY21 SCMP / Jonathan Wong

I use fresh peas, taken from sugar peas (not snow peas, which are flatter). These peas, which the Spanish call guisante lágrima (tear peas, because of their small size) and sell for high prices, are sweet. But the yield is low – 400 grams of snow peas gives only about 60 grams of podded peas. It takes less than half an hour to remove the peas from the pod, but it’s understandable if you prefer to use frozen peas, preferably petits pois. If you do use fresh peas and don’t want to waste the edible pods, simmer them with other vegetable scraps – onion, carrot peel, leek tops, mushroom trimmings – for a light vegan broth.

If you can’t find king mushrooms, substitute button mushrooms.

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400 grams snow peas (or 60 grams frozen peas, thawed)
60 grams goose fat, taken from under the skin of a Chinese roast goose
60 grams roast goose skin
100 grams roast goose meat
100 grams king mushrooms
60 grams iceberg lettuce
2 spring onions
400 grams cold cooked rice
50ml roast goose sauce/drippings
½ tsp finely ground white pepper
Fine sea salt, as necessary

1 If using fresh peas, remove them from the pods.

2 Cut the mushrooms into halves or quarters, depending on the size, then cut them into 1cm pieces.

3 Cut the iceberg lettuce into strips about 5mm wide and 2.5cm long. Slice the spring onions into 5mm pieces.

Separate the goose fat and skin from the goose meat. Photo: Jonathan Wong

4 Cut the goose fat into 1cm cubes, the goose skin into strips about 5mm wide, and the goose meat into 5mm cubes.

Cook the goose fat and skin to render out the liquid fat. Photo: Jonathan Wong
The fat and skin after it’s been fried. Photo: Jonathan Wong

5 Heat an unoiled wok over a medium-high heat. When the wok is hot, add the goose fat and skin. Stir-fry almost constantly until the pieces of fat are golden brown, and the liquid fat has rendered out. Remove the solid pieces of fat and skin, putting them in a bowl, and leaving as much liquid fat as possible in the wok. You will have at least 60 grams of liquid fat.

6 Pour most of the liquid fat into a small bowl, leaving behind about 20ml. Place the wok over a high flame.

7 When the wok is very hot, add the mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt, and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring almost constantly.

8 Add the peas and the goose meat, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds or until the ingredients are hot. Scoop the ingredients out of the wok, putting them with the fried fat and skin.

Start stir-frying the rice until it’s hot, then add some of the goose drippings. Photo: Jonathan Wong

9 Place the wok back over a high flame and add about 30ml of the liquid fat. When the oil is hot, add the rice. Use the wok spatula to press the clumps of rice against the sides of the wok to break them into individual grains.

10 Pour the goose sauce/drippings over the rice and sprinkle with white pepper. Stir-fry until the seasonings are mixed in and the rice is hot. Taste the rice and add some salt, if necessary.

Stir-fry the goose meat with the mushrooms and peas before taking them out of the wok. Photo: Jonathan Wong

11 Return the mushrooms, peas, goose meat, skin and fried goose fat to the wok, and stir-fry until thoroughly combined.

Mix in the shredded lettuce and stir until it wilts. Photo: Jonathan Wong

12 Add the lettuce and spring onion and stir-fry briefly, just until the lettuce is wilted.

13 Scoop the ingredients out of the wok into a dish and serve immediately. Serves two as a light meal, or three to four as a side dish.