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Crispy Fragrant Duck with Pickled Radish Salad

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.

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  • 2 duck legs (about 600g/1lb 5oz in total), skin on

  • 75g/3oz potato flour or plain flour

  • groundnut oil for deep-frying

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 pinch of crushed dried chillies

  • For the marinade

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 2 tablespoons Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • For the pickled radish salad

  • 100g/3½oz red radish, finely diced

  • ½ cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and finely diced

  • 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon clear rice vinegar or cider vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar

  • ½ teaspoon Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry

  • 1 small handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped


  • 1.

    Place the duck legs in a bowl or plastic food bag together with all the marinade ingredients. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to marinate for as long as possible, preferably overnight.

  • 2.

    Place all the ingredients for the pickled radish salad in a bowl and combine well. Cover and set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.

  • 3.

    Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Place the duck legs, skin side up, in a roasting tin and roast for 10 minutes, then turn the oven up to 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7 for 5 minutes to cook the meat to well done. Remove from the oven and set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly.

  • 4.

    Slice the duck into bite-sized slices, dust the slices in the flour and coat well.

  • 5.

    Heat a wok or pan over a high heat and fill to a quarter of its depth with groundnut oil. Heat the oil to 180ºC/350ºF, or until a cube of bread dropped in turns golden brown in 15 seconds. Place the duck pieces in a spider/scoop, lower into the oil and fry until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

  • 6.

    To serve, spoon some pickled radish salad on to each plate and spoon some of the crispy duck slices on top. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and some dried chilli flakes over the duck pieces and serve immediately.

  • 7.

    Tip: Ensure your wok is stable before deep-frying.



  • To help vegetables cook in the wok, add a splash or two of water to help create some “steam” whilst stir frying.

  • Use msg free products where possible.

  • Groundnut oil can be substituted with vegetable oil, sunflower oil or corn oil.

  • A large number of dishes can be adapted to suit vegetarians. Look out for where you can substitute the meat for tofu or vegetables and use vegetarian sauces.

  • Use low sodium soy sauce where possible
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