I’m a sucker for delicious duck dishes, especially ones with a sauce and an Asian twist. This sous vide Asian duck breast, with really crispy skin, is up there in my favourites. The rich sauce pairs perfectly with moist duck and sesame-infused vegetables.
It’s also a perfect match for a good Pinot Noir.
Sous Vide Asian Duck Breast
- Sous vide and vacuum sealer
- Vacuum bag
- Skillet or frying pan
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Small bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Kitchen towel
- Kitchen foil
- Small saucepan
Check out my blog post on sous vide cooking for more information on this type of cooking, and where to get sous vide cooking devices from.
- 4 large duck breast
- 1 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 tsp red and black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- 4 baby pak/bok choi
- 400g mushrooms
- 250g peas
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar
Start with a little cumin and add more as needed. Some brands have stronger flavours than others. The mushrooms are a personal choice, I like cepe, shiitake and chestnut.
There is a reasonable amount to do during the assembly stage of this recipe, having two people cooking together makes it much easier.
- Pat the duck breast dry with kitchen towel, then score them with a sharp knife and sprinkle with a little salt (see hints and tips section for a trick to make the skin really crispy).
- Pre-heat the sous vide to 58°C/136°F.
- Combine the Chinese five-spice powder, 1 tsp salt, pepper and cumin in a small bowl to create a rub.
- Sear the duck breast skin side down in a skillet over medium heat to render out fat for 6-8 minutes, until the skin is a light gold brown colour. Remove the duck breasts, pour the fat from the skillet into the wok and save for later.
- Return the duck breast to the skillet skin side up, sear the breast base for 30 secs then remove from the skillet.
- Pat the duck breast dry again with kitchen towel. Add spice rub to duck skin, then seal them in sous vide bags.
- Place the bags in a sous vide and cook for 90 mins. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms and separate pak choi leaves.
- Bring an oven up to a warming temperature, around 90°C/200°F. Clean the skillet and heat up to a high temperature.
- Remove the bags from the sous vide and extract the duck breasts, reserving the liquid from the bags.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a clean skillet, then sear the duck breasts skin side down for 1 min. Remove them, cover in foil and place in the warming oven to rest.
- Heat up the reserved duck fat in the wok. Add the vegetables to the wok, stir fry for 2 mins until soft. Then add the mushrooms, stir fry for a further 2 mins. Finally add the sesame seeds, peas and pak choi leaves, stir fry until the vegetables are all cooked, 3-4 mins.
- Whilst the vegetables are cooking, mix the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and rice wine vinegar. Add to a small saucepan, add 2 tbsp of juice from the sous vide bags and heat for 2-3 mins. Add more sous vide bag juice according to your tastes.
- Add some vegetables to a plate, slice the duck breast and add to the plate, then pour some of the sauce from the saucepan over the duck.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- For really crispy skin, after the duck breasts have been scored and salted, place them on a plate and leave uncovered in a fridge during the day.
- The duck breasts might generate a large amount of fat, if so decant off some fat partway through the initial sear and continue to render off more until the skins are golden brown.