Spice-Roasted Duck

, from Issue #43. May, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Spice-Roasted Duck

For a meltingly tender duck with a sticky but not burnt glaze, the bird needs to be roasted long and slow with the glaze brushed over it frequently to build up a glossy sheen.

Serves: 4


1 duck
1 bunch coriander
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
kitchen string

Spice paste
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon kecap manis
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice


Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Rinse the duck inside and out under cold running water and pull off any excess fat from around the tail. Season the cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with the coriander. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Use a sharp knife to lightly score the skin on the breasts in a criss-cross pattern.

Spice paste: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

To cook: Place the duck, breast side up on a rack set over a roasting dish and add 1 cm of water to the base of the dish. Cook for 30 minutes then turn the duck over and roast for a further 30 minutes. There is no paste on the duck at this point.

Reduce the oven to 150˚C.

Brush the duck with some of the spice paste and place breast side down on the rack and roast for 1 hour. Baste the duck every 20 minutes with a thin layer of spice paste.

Turn the duck over and continue to brush and roast for a further 1 hour. Rest lightly covered for 10 minutes.

To serve: Carve the duck, discarding the coriander and serve with the Cherry and Star Anise Relish. A bowl of hot steamed rice and cooked Asian greens tossed with a little sesame oil and oyster sauce make a great accompaniment too.