Thai-Style Duck and Cucumber Salad

, from Issue #38. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Thai-Style Duck and Cucumber Salad

Serves: 4


2 duck breasts
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 clove garlic, chopped
1 long red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon peanuts, roasted
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
3 medium vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce

200 grams round green beans, blanched
1 small telegraph cucumber
1 large carrot, peeled
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
small handful soft herbs – any combination of Vietnamese mint, coriander, Thai basil.
2 tablespoons peanuts or cashew nuts, roasted and coarsely chopped

Nuoc cham
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons caster sugar
½ cup water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice


Duck: Lightly score the skin of the duck and season both sides.

Heat a sauté pan over a low heat and cook the duck, skin side down for 8 minutes. Turn over and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and rest until ready to slice.

Dressing: Put the garlic and chilli in a mortar and pound to a paste. Add the peanuts and roughly grind then add the sugar and the tomatoes and lightly pound to coarsely crush them. Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce.

Salad: Slice the beans in half on the diagonal. Halve the cucumber, scrape out the seeds and slice thinly on the diagonal. Shave the carrot into long thin strips with a vegetable peeler.

Nuoc ChamCombine all the ingredients in a bowl. 

To assemble: Slice the duck thinly. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss together, adding any duck resting juices to the salad. Divide between plates and serve immediately. Serve with a bowl of cooked rice vermicelli noodles tossed with a little nuoc cham sauce, extra herbs and peanuts if desired.