Total Calories: 259
1. Blanch, toast and sliver almonds.
2. Wipe duck inside and out with a damp cloth. Combine soy sauce, salt and sugar and rub over duck skin. Pour remainder into duck cavity, swishing it around to coat the interior. Drain off excess and discard.
3. Put duck in a deep heatproof bowl. Cut celery in 3 or 4 pieces trim off scallion roots and arrange over duck. Steam 2 hours by the bowl-in-a-pot method (see HOW-TO, _Steaming).
4. Drain duck, reserving liquid for stock. Let bird cool slightly then bone, leaving skin and original shape intact (see HOW-TO, _Duck: To bone). Transfer duck to a large flat plate or cutting board.
5. With both hands, press down on duck, flattening it to a 3/4-inch thickness. Then sprinkle generously on both sides with cornstarch. Return bird to heatproof bowl and steam 30 minutes more. Let cool, then cut in quarters.
6. Heat oil to boiling. Add duck, one quarter at a time, and deep-fry until golden. Drain on paper toweling. Let cool slightly then cut bird in 1 1/2-inch squares, each with some skin. Keep warm.
7. In a saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, catsup, hot sauce and remaining soy sauce and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring. Meanwhile blend remaining cornstarch and cold water to a paste, then stir in to thicken.
8. Shred lettuce and arrange on a serving platter with duck squares on top. Pour sauce over and serve, garnished with toasted almonds.
NOTE: This dish is also known as War Shu Opp.
The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook. ©1994 by Gloria Bley Miller.