Asian recipes/ Dinner/ Duck

Five-Spice Seared Duck Breast with Sesame & Soy Stir Fried Broccoli and Steamed Rice

18 October 2020

Although weekends and weekdays are blurring into each other in these strange lockdown times, I do always try and make something special over the weekend so we have something to look forward to.

Perfectly pan seared rose duck breast (organic and farm bread of course) was our treat for the weekend. People tend to shy away from duck breast, afraid it will turn tough, but with a few simple tricks it turns out perfectly every time.

The broccoli wasn’t just a side, it also was a star if the show 😉 Stir fried, steamed and glazed in a soy and sesame sauce, really delicious. I think I will make it as a veggie main for a weeknight dinner soon.

Recipe for the sesame and soy glaze from Food Network and for the duck breast from Honest Food.

Five-Spice Seared Duck Breast with Sesame & Soy Stir Fried Broccoli and Steamed Rice

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
By Saffron Serves: 2


  • Main ingredients
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 2 tsp Chines 5-spice mix
  • 1 broccoli, stem sliced and florets separated
  • Steamed white rice for serving
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle
  • Hoisin sauce to serve
  • Soy & sesame glaze
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2cm piece ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil


Duck Breast (20 min prep & rest, 10 min cooking, 5 min resting)


Below instructions are for a medium to medium-rare duck breast. Best is to use a steel or cast iron skillet rather than a non stick frying pan.


Score the duck skin with a sharp knife making sure you don't reach the actual meat, this will help you get a crisipier skin.


Salt the breasts well on both sides.


Let rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes to get to room temperature.


Pat dry the duck breasts with a paper towel.


Rub in the 5 spice mix over the skin, give it a good massage.


Heat the pan over high heat for 1 minute, then add 2 tablespoons of oil (duck fat will work amazing, but normal cooking oil is fine too).


Let this get hot, but don't let it smoke.


Lay the duck breasts in the pan, skin side down.


Because of the heat the skin will contract a bit making the meat a bit oval shaped, use your tongs to push down the corners so you get an even sear (30-60 seconds).


Now let the pan do the work, let the fat render and sizzle on a medium heat, ± 4 minutes on skin side till crispy and you see the edges slowly changing colour.


Good to know: when you cook a duck breast, 3/4 of the total cooking time is on the skin side.


After about 4 minutes you will hear the sizzle start to change, it will die down just a bit. This is the time to flip the breasts.


Lightly salt the exposed skin immediately, this will help it crisp up even more!


Cook for ±3 minutes on this side. Poke the breast now and then to feel the firmness, trust your instincts!


Finally, use a tong to rest the duck breasts on their sides, leaning against each others, ±30 seconds on each side. This is just to get some colour.


Take out of the pan and let rest, skin side up for ±5 minutes on a chopping board.


When ready to serve, slice ± 1 come thick slices.


Serve with a drop of hoisin sauce on the side.

Broccoli (5 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking)


Start by mixing the water, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl and set aside for later use.


Break the florets of the broccoli apart and thinly slice the stem (± 0.5 cm)


Heat a wok (or frying pan) and add ± 2 tbsp of oil and swirl to coat the pan.


Once oil is smoking first add the sliced stem, stir fry for a minute, then add the florets.


Add a drop of water to steam the broccoli a bit, stir fry for 2 minutes.


Push broccoli to the sides of the pan and add a drop of oil in the space in the middle.


Add the garlic, ginger and chili flakes, stir fry until aromatic, about 30 seconds.


Add the soy mixture, and coat everything with the sauce, it will start to thicken in about 30 seconds.


Remove from the heat, add the sesame oil and seeds.


Serve as is with steamed rice, or with duck breast like I did 😉

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