chinese food

Culinary Odyssey (Part 5): Warm Duck Salad

Read time - 2 minutes

Join Exodus’ Dan Jackson for a worldwide culinary odyssey. For the penultimate instalment, it's a warm duck salad inspired by Chinese cuisine

As with anything food-focused, it would seem fairly appropriate for me to knock up some amazing Chinese cuisine for you to salivate over.

Only trouble is I’m going to hold my hands up and admit this is a gaping hole in my culinary CV - apart from the odd stir fry (and I’m not going to insult your intelligence by patronising you with this dish when we all know a student could knock up a half-decent stir fry) I just don’t do Chinese food – in fact, I rarely even eat it all – and besides I’m not a huge fan of the thought of chicken feet and turtle soup.

So apologies if you were expecting a Chinese banquet for today’s culinary odyssey but this little number is perfect for a light summery meal and the added bonus is that it does include a major ingredient in Chinese cuisine – duck.

I’m going to dispense with the feet, neck and tongue and all the other ‘delicacies’ that you might find simmering away on a roadside stall in a Beijing alleyway and stick to the breast if that’s ok with you.

Chinese gardens 

Ingredients for Warm Duck Salad with Soy Dressing

  • 2 duck breasts - skin on
  • 100g bag of watercress
  • 2 small oranges cut into segments (or try with cherry tomatoes instead)
  • 5-7 spring onions roughly chopped
  • Handful of halved walnuts

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of fresh chilli flakes

Warm Duck Salad with Soy Dressing Recipe

  • Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  • Score the skin of the duck breasts and season.
  • Pan-fry the duck skin side down on a high heat for 4-5 minutes then transfer to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes if you prefer your meat pink, or 15-20 minutes if you get a bit queasy at the sight of blood oozing from your food.
  • Rinse the watercress and arrange on plates with the roughly chopped spring onions and orange pieces strewn (or cherry tomatoes) about as you see fit.
  • Mix the dressing together.
  • Slice the duck (which ideally should rest for 3 minutes once removed from the oven) into strips and pour the dressing over the meat and over the salad.
  • Scatter the walnuts over the duck and salad then serve while the duck is still warm.
  • How about trying a glass of Tsingtao beer from the Qingdao region in North-East China which nestles between the Yellow Sea and Fu Shan mountains to accompany your vaguely oriental Duck dish.

Got a taste for China? Take a look at our Chinese escapes below. 

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