Fragrant duck with cucumber and radish salad

Chinese twice-cooked duck made into an easy supper for two? Ching He-Huang proves it's perfectly possible
By Ching-He Huang
Fragrant duck with cucumber and radish salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus marinating time
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 duck legs, preferably free range, skin on
  • 75 g cornflour
  • groundnut oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 pinch dried red chilli flakes

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp shaosing rice wine, or dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice

For the salad

  • 100 g radishes, finely diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1 medium red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp clear rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp shaosing rice wine, or dry sherry
  • 1 small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped, plus extra whole leaves to garnish

Tips and Suggestions

If you are refrigerating the marinated duck overnight, add a little oil to the sealable bag to prevent the meat from drying out.


1. Put the duck legs in a sealable plastic bag and add all the marinade ingredients. Seal the bag and leave in the fridge to marinate for several hours, or overnight.

2. For the salad: combine all the ingredients in a bowl, add ½ teaspoon of salt and mix well. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 and line a roasting tin with parchment paper. Place the marinated duck legs rounded-side up in the tin and roast for 10 minutes, then turn the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7 and continue roasting for another 5 minutes or until the meat is well done. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly, about 2 minutes.

4. Cut the duck meat into bite-sized pieces. Dust them in cornflour until well-coated.

5. Take a wok or large saucepan and pour in enough groundnut oil to fill a quarter of its depth. Place over a high heat and heat the oil to 80C ' it is also ready when a cube of bread turns golden brown in 15 seconds.

6. Place the duck pieces in a spider or frying basket, lower them into the oil and fry for about 1 minute, until crisp and golden brown. Remove the duck from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

7. To serve, spoon some salad onto each plate and add the crispy duck pieces. Sprinkle the duck with a pinch of salt and some dried chilli flakes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

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