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The Dish: Lengua de pato (duck tongue)
Where to Get It: China Chilcano, 418 7th St. NW; (202) 783-0941; chinachilano.com
What It Is: The José Andrés restaurant first peels and poaches each duck tongue before marinating it in a mixture of Peruvian aji panca chile pepper and olive oil. It is then skewered with Cape gooseberries and brushed with a sauce of cilantro, onions, and chilies. It’s cooked and served with a chimichurri sauce and roasted potatoes.
What It Tastes Like: The dish tastes less “out there” than it sounds. The duck tongue has a subtle fatty flavor with a tender texture similar to that of a mussel or a clam. The meat takes on smoky and citrus flavors from the smoky aji panca chile and chimichurri, which pairs well with the tangy pop of the Cape gooseberry.
The Story: China Chilcano’s menu pays tribute to traditional Peruvian dishes as well as those influenced by the country’s Chinese and Japanese immigrants. The lengua de pato is served as traditional anticucho, a grilled and skewered meat dish that’s a popular street food in Peru. Other common iterations are made with proteins like beef heart or chicken. The dish takes several hours to prepare to make it tender enough to eat.