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Five Spiced Asian Duck

Be inspired by the Eastern-inspired flavour of Melba Restaurant's recipes.


  • 60ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce

  • 2 tbs hoisin sauce

  • 2 tbs brown sugar

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice

  • 1 (about 1.2kg) duck,

  • 2 large (about 600g) brown onions, sliced

  • 2 tsp peanut oil

  • 1 tbs spoon cinnamon

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 120g (3/4 cup) roasted unsalted peanuts


  • 1.

    Combine the soy and hoisin sauces, sugar, garlic and Chinese five spice in a jug, and stir until well combined.

  • 2.

    Place the duck in a large ceramic or glass dish and pour over the sauce mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum 8 hours or overnight to marinate, turning occasionally.

  • 3.

    Preheat oven to 200°C.

  • 4.

    Place the onion and oil in a large roasting pan and gently toss until well coated. Drain the duck, reserving the marinade and place, breast-side down, on the onions.

  • 5.

    Place the marinade in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  • 6.

    Place the cinnamon in the cavity of the duck. Brush the duck evenly with the marinade. Cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

  • 7.

    Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Turn duck over and sprinkle the breast evenly with the salt. Cook, basting occasionally with the pan juices, for a further 55 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.

  • 8.

    When the duck is cooked, remove from the oven and transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest. Combine the peanuts and onion slices in a large bowl. Use sharp kitchen scissors to cut along either side of the duck backbone and discard the backbone. Cut each duck half into 2 pieces and serve immediately with the onion slices and peanuts.

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