Stir-Fried Duck with Sugar Snap Peas and Asparagus

Photo 2013-03-24 2 19 36 PM

This is a great recipe to do in a wok as it calls for high heat and quick cooking. You can make this with chicken or pork as well if you don’t have any duck 🙂  But I absolutely love the duck and orange combination! You can also play around with different veggies. Beansprouts, water chestnuts, spinach or baby corn.

4 x Duck Breasts

2 tsp chinese 5 spice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil

2 large handfulls of thin asparagus, trimmed

2 large handfulls of sugar snap peas or mangetouts

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

1 – 3 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced

2 thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

4 oranges, zested then peeled and segmented

1 tbsp honey

A handful of fresh mint, leaves picked.

4 tbsp soy sauce

– First, score the skin of the duck with a sharp knife, then dust the breasts all over with 5 spice and a good pinch of salt. Put the duck breast skin side down in a hot pan and press down until skin goes crispy. Turn over and cook the flesh side until done to your liking.  Set aside.

– Get all your veggies and flavourings ready to go and heat a wok up to its maximum temperature. Add a couple of tbsp of your sunflower or groundnut oil and swirl it around so that it coats the wok well.

– Add your asparagus and sugar snap peas and toss around. Then add garlic, chilli and ginger. Continue stir-frying on the highest heat for a couple of minutes until the asparagus has softened a bit but still has a nice crunch.

– Remove the veg to a plate. slice up your duck breasts into little slivers and put these back into the wok with any resting juices and maybe even an extra pinch of 5 spice. Cook until nice and crispy.

– Put all your vegetables back into the wok and turn down the heat. Add the oranges, honey, half the mint and the soy sauce and serve straight away on a large plate, sprinkled with the rest of your mint.

– Serve with rice or noodles as a started or main course.

Serves 4

Recipe by Jamie Oliver


Sticky Duck Pancakes


For me, this is what a Sunday lunch should look like! You could choose to slow roast duck drumsticks for an hour, then put the plum sauce on and roast for a further hour and crisp up at the end which would be divine! but if you don’t have that much time. The duck breasts work just as well 🙂

For the Duck 

4 Duck breasts

10ml Chinese five-spice  powder

125ml ready made plum sauce (or use the recipe below to make your own)

Spring onions, shredded

Cucumber, cut into thin julienne strips

For the pancakes

1 large egg (whisked)

100 mls milk

40 mls water

100 ml (55g) cake flour

Pinch of salt

Prepare the pancakes first.

– Mix the whisked egg, milk, water in a mixing bowl.

– In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the liquid in. Use a whisk to gradually stir in the flour from the sides. Whisk until smooth and leave to stand for half an hour.

– Heat a little butter in a small non stick pan and pour a thin layer of pancake mixture into the pan and swirl it around to coat the base of the pan. Cook for a minute or two, then flip the pancake over and cook the other side. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Keep the pancakes stacked and covered until ready to serve.

– Score the duck breast skin with a sharp knife. rub in the  salt and chinese five-spice powder.

– Heat a non-stick frying pan on high heat and when hot, place the duck, skin side down and fry until medium. (you can look at the helpful tips section of this blog to see how to cook duck breasts in more detail)

– Once you have turned the duck breast over, pour the plum sauce into the pan while cooking the breast side and allow the sauce to get sticky.

– Take the breast out when done to your liking and slice up.

– To serve, place some of the meat on a pancake. Top with an extra drizzle of plum sauce, some spring onions and cucumber – roll up and serve.

To make your own plum sauce: 

10 ripe plums (Halved and stoned)

125 mls sugar

5ml Chinese five-spice powder

30 ml light soy sauce

5ml white wine vinegar

2.5 mls salt

3 – 5ml dried crushed chillies (optional)

5ml grated fresh ginger.

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer on a medium to low heat for about 40 minutes or until thick and saucy. Season to taste.

Recipe from the Ideas Magazine.

Tips for cooking Duck Breasts

Duck Breast Image

One of my friends recently told me that she is intimidated by Duck. I was a bit too at first and a Gordon Ramsay recipe helped me through my fears and I’m so glad because its really not as intimidating as it seems. Here are a few tips that might be helpful:

– You can freeze duck breasts but just make sure that they are thawed slowly and are completely defrosted before you cook them

– Score the duck breasts by using your sharpest knife and running it through the fatty skin, careful to not cut too far down to the the flesh

– don’t use olive oil in the pan. When the fat starts to render, a LOT comes out and you don’t need any additional fat!

– Normally meat should be added to a hot pan and sizzle the moment it goes in. Duck breast however, should be added to a cold pan and slowly brought up to temperature. This is because the breast skin is very fatty and needs time for the fat to run out into the pan, or render. If you added the breast to a hot pan it will seal in the fat.

– Once the fat has rendered for about 10 – 15 minutes, turn up the heat and fry for about 5 minutes . To make it beautifully crispy, you can weigh it down. Find a smaller lid of another pot and place it on top of the breasts and then weigh it down with a pestle and mortar bowl placed on top of that lid. I know it sounds crazy but it works like a bomb! If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, use your imagination and find anything else that could weigh down the lid.

– Turn the breast over and fry the other side for 1 – 2 minutes until cooked through.

Duck is pretty easy to cook. Try it once! You will wonder why you were worried about it 🙂

Litchi and Duck Breast Thai Red Curry

Litchi and Duck Breast Thai Red Curry

So when I made this, I honestly thought my husband was going to lick the plate. Its a super easy dish and just the most divine taste! You just HAVE to try it! This one is from the PNP Fresh Living Mag.  These flavours are outstanding together! This is such an easy recipe and so simple, yet you could get away with this at a dinner party as you could really make the presentation look amazing. And Duck is always quite ooo-la-la!

4 duck breasts

Salt and milled pepper

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4cm knob fresh ginger, chopped

1 sachet (about 45ml) thai red curry paste

Juice of 1 lime (2tbsp)

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1 can (400g) coconut milk

1 packet sugar snap peas

1 packet baby corn

1 packet baby pak choi

12 litchis, peeled, de-pipped and diced

coriander for topping

Steamed basmati rice for serving.

– Score duck breast skin with a sharp knife, be careful not to cut through to the flesh below and season

– Place duck breasts in a cold, deep pan and bring pan to a medium heat and cook duck fat-side down until most of the fat has been rendered and the skin is golden and crispy (about 10 minutes)

– Flip and cook on the flesh side until done to your liking. Remove from the pan and cook garlic and ginger for a few seconds in all the pan juices

– Add the paste, lime juice, fish sauce and coconut milk and mix well. Gently simmer for 5 minutes.

– Toss in vegetables and litchis and cook for 5 – 8 minutes or until just tender.

– Ladle into bowls and top with sliced duck and coriander.

– I served this in a Tagine dish with white basmati rice in separate bowls which made everything look so stunning and I just let the tagine on the table and we just tucked in at our leisure.

Serves 4

Crispy duck with rasberry relish in rice-noodle wrap

Crispy duck with rasberry relish in rice-noodle wrap

Let’s face it, duck is pretty expensive. 2 breasts at woolies cost approximately R80. This is a great recipe to stretch that duck and make a fantastic starter that will no doubt impress and it tastes amazing too! When I prepared these, I made a little (simple) side salad with spinach and micro greens and yellow, purple and orange carrots and I sprinkled a few pomegranate seeds on the plate which looked so pretty! I put 2 on each plate with the salad and it was a great starter.

5ml (1tsp) muscovado sugar

1ml (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon

2 duck breasts

250g (1 punnet) rasberries

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

30ml (2 Tbsp) castor sugar

6 sheets of asian rice-noodle paper

16 fresh basil leaves or spinach leaves, or a combination of both (I prefer the combination)

– Score the duck skin with a sharp knife, careful not to slice into the flesh. Rub ground sea salt and pepper onto the skin side.

– Rub the muscovado sugar and cinnamon into the duck flesh and set aside to infuse for about 10 minutes. Don’t rub the sugar mixture onto the skin side as it will burn.

– Heat a griddle pan to very hot and fry the duck, skin side down, until crispy. Turn over and fry the other side until brown and cooked through.

– Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, then slice into thin strips

– Combine the raspberries, chili, black pepper and caster sugar in a pot and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. (you can add 1 tbsp of water in the beginning if you like)

– Soak the rice-noodle sheets in a bowl of hot water until softened. do this individually so they are easier to handle. They only need about a minute each.

– Lay the sheets on a clean kitchen towel and lay the slices of duck across the middle of each sheet.

– Spoon the relish over the duck and lay basil leaves over this.

– Roll the sheets up tightly . Slice into portions and serve

Serves 6

Chinese Roast Duck Salad with Cucumber Noodles

Chinese Roast Duck Salad with Cucumber Noodles pic

Chinese Roast Duck Salad with Cucumber Noodles

I LOOOVE Duck! Its one of my favourite proteins! Im experimenting more and more with it! It pairs SO well with fruit (which i also love) so its just a win win for me… 🙂 This recipe was in the PnP Fresh Living Mag.

1 Duck, defrosted, rinsed and patted dry

Vegetable or Avocado oil

Sea-salt flakes and milled pepper

1 tbsp (15ml) chinese five-spice

For the dressing:

3 red plums, halved

1/4 C (60ml) sugar

3 star anise

1/4 C (60ml each) rice wine vinegar, light soy sauce and water

For the salad:

1 large cucumber, seeded and shaved into ribbons

1 packet (125g) bean sprouts

1 packet (30ml) pea shoots

1/2 C (125ml) each mint and coriander leaves

1 red chilli, finely sliced

– Preheat oven to 150 C.

– Lightly prick duck skin all over and rub with oil and season well with salt , pepper and five-spice

– Place duck on a roasting rack breast side up over a pan containing a cup of water (to prevent the fat from smoking)

– Roast for 1 hour, then poke the skin all over, flip and roast for 1 hour, breast side down.

– Take the duck out and flip it over and roast breast side up for 1 hour. Take out, flip over and poke the skin again and roast for 1 hour.

– Increase the temperature to 200 C

– Roast, breast side up for 15 minutes. Take out and rest and cool before shredding.

– Save the fat and put it into a glass jar and store in the fridge. This is great for mashed potatoes (instead of butter) for roasting potatoes or roasting root veggies, or even rubbing onto chicken before roasting which adds a deep flavour to the chicken.

– Place the dressing ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until plums have broken up and liquid is syrupy

– Remove skin from plums and puree the dressing. Adjust flavour by adding more vinegar or soy

– Toss salad ingredients together on a platter. top with duck and drizzle over dressing

You can also use a pork belly with this instead of the duck or you can use duck breasts if you don’t have the time to slow roast, and just pan fry them 🙂

You can serve the shredded roast duck in this salad, or you can do what my friend, Alison does and serve it with some egg fried rice and some hoisin sauce (from Woolies). With a cucumber salad on the side.