In its execution, the hay-smoked duck at Brush is emblematic of chef Jason Liang’s food, where simple flavors are brought out using technique with restraint. Plus, it features a theatrical presentation that wows the room.
The duck breast marinates for 48 hours in mild, sweet saikyo miso before it is seared over binchotan (white charcoal). Slices with beautifully browned skin and a nice layer of fat are served on stone under a glass cloche filled with hay smoke, which makes as much of an impression as the tender meat. The rich, bold duck flavor goes to smoky heights, while the sweetness is balanced by just the right amount of salt.
At $58, the dish is pricey, but it fed two of us (plus some to take home) and came with sides that complemented the savory slices. You can wrap a piece of the tender meat in a duck-fat scallion pancake made in-house, or balance the smoky rendered fat with cucumber slivers and a negi (Korean scallion) salad. You also can scoop it up with a basket of seasoned veggie chips.