Crispy duck with leeks and ponzu

For an unusual starter with Japanese flavours, try Judy Joos crispy slices of duck on a bed of soft leek
By Judy Joo
Crispy duck with leeks and ponzu
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes plus 5 minutes standing
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus overnight standing
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 half duck breast, boneless, skin on
  • 1 leek

For the ponzu dipping sauce

  • 60 ml yuzu citrus juice, see cook's note
  • 15 ml rice vinegar
  • 250 ml soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2.5 cm piece dried kombu
  • 2 tbsp dried bonito flakes
  • lime juice

For the jalepeno pepper sauce

  • 15 g jalapeƱo peppers, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 ml sake

To serve

  • crispy fried daikon radish

Tips and Suggestions

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit with a taste somewhere between a lemon and a grapefruit. You can buy bottled yuzu juice in Asian supermarkets. If you cannot find yuzu, you could try using lemon juice instead, alternatively, try mixing lemon and grapefruit juice together.

This recipe will make more ponzu sauce than you need. It will keep well in the fridge for a couple of weeks and can be used as a dipping sauce for sushi, sashimi, tempura, grilled fish and meat or salad.

Dried bonito flakes are smoked shavings of bonito fish, they are often used in Japanese cooking to make sauces and stocks. You can buy them in Asian supermarkets.


1. For the ponzu dipping sauce: combine all the ingredients, except the lime juice, in a bowl and let it sit overnight. Strain and refresh with the lime juice.

2. For the jalepeno pepper sauce: Mix all the ingredients together with a pinch of sea salt and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let the flavours blend.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Trim the duck breast and rub sea salt and freshly ground black pepper into the skin.

4. Put the duck breast, skin-side down, in a cold frying pan, and place over a medium heat. Render down the fat slowly, until the skin is crispy. Drain off the excess fat and save for another use. When the skin is golden brown, flip the breast over and cook the flesh side for about 3-4 minutes.

5. Transfer the breast to a baking dish and finish off in the oven for about 4-6 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes.

6. Grill the leek until the outside is charred and the inside is soft, then remove from the grill and allow to cool.

7. Discard the charred outer layer and slice the inner leek into 2.5cm-thick disks.

8. To serve, arrange the leek slices on a plate. Slice the duck breast thinly and place on top of the leeks. Drizzle with ponzu sauce, garnish with fried shallot and jalapeno sauce.

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