Crispy fragrant duck with pickled radish salad

Picked radishes cut through the crispy saltiness of this aromatic duck.
  • For the marinade
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Shaohsing wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • For the crispy fragrant duck
  • 2 (300g) skin-on duck legs
  • 90g potato flour or plain flour
  • Groundnut oil, for deep frying
  • Salt
  • Pinch crushed dried chillies
  • For the pickled radish salad
  • 100g red radishes, finely diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 medium red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp clear rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar (superfine)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Shaohsing wine or dry sherry
Notes: This is one of my favourite street food dishes. In Taiwan they sell this dish in night markets served in newspapers and sprinkled with pickled spicy daikon (white turnip salad). I love serving this as a starter or a lunch for friends. You can prepare most of the ingredients in advance and then fry the duck just before serving.

1) To make the marinade: put the garlic, rice wine, honey, chilli sauce, light soy sauce, cinnamon, ginger and allspice into a bowl or resealable plastic food bag, and set aside.

2) To make the duck: add the duck legs to the marinade, cover with cling film, and leave in the refrigerator to marinate for as long as possible, preferably overnight.

3) To make the salad: put the radish, cucumber, chilli (if using), coriander, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and rice wine, in a bowl and toss to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside in the refrigerator for one hour.

4) To finish the duck: preheat an oven to 180°C.

5) Place the duck legs, skin side up, in a roasting pan, and roast for ten minutes. Then, raise the temperature of the oven to 200°C for five minutes to cook the meat to well done. Remove the duck from the oven, and set aside for two minutes, to cool slightly.

6) Cut the duck meat into bite-sized slices, and dust the slices in the flour to coat well.

7) Heat a wok or heavy-bottomed pan over a high heat, and fill it to a quarter of its depth with enough groundnut oil.

Cook's Note: Ensure your wok is stable before deep-frying.

8) Heat the oil to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped in it turns golden brown in 15 seconds. Place the duck pieces in a spider scoop or wire strainer, and lower them into the oil and fry until crispy, and golden brown. Remove the duck from the pan, and drain on an absorbent kitchen towel to remove the excess oil.

9) To serve, spoon some pickled radish salad onto a serving plate and lay some of the crispy duck slices over the top. Sprinkle a pinch of salt, and some dried chilli flakes over the duck pieces and serve immediately.

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