Crispy tamarind and palm-sugar duck breasts served with oyster-dressed greens on a vermicelli plate

Crispy tamarind and palm-sugar duck breasts served with oyster-dressed greens on a vermicelli plate

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • Carb Conscious
  • 20 minutes
  • 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes
  • Rustenberg Chardonnay 2007


  • for marinating
  • 4 x duck breasts
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 x 140 g pack organic mangetout and sugar snap peas, blanched
  • 200 g asparagus spears, blanched and halved lengthways
  • 180 g fine green beans, blanched and halved lengthways
  • 2 fresh red chillies, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 3 T oyster sauce, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 x 5 cm piece ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
  • 3 cups canola oil
  • 1 kg vermicelli noodles
  • 60 g red salad onions, thinly sliced lengthways
  • For the marinade, combine
  • 2 t tamarind paste
  • 2 T Shaohsing wine or Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 t palm sugar, grated

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Score the duck fat in a crisscross pattern. Pour the marinade over the breasts and leave for 30 minutes.

Place a large nonstick pan over a very high heat. Sear the duck breasts, skin side down, until brown and crisp, then turn and sear for 2 minutes on the other side.

Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Place a wok or large pan over a high heat and drizzle with sesame oil.

Add the mangetout and sugar snap peas, asparagus spears, green beans, sliced chilli, oyster sauce, ginger and garlic, and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender, but still crisp.

Place a small-to-medium-sized saucepan over a high heat. Add the canola oil. When hot, drop in a generous handful of vermicelli noodles. Leave in the saucepan (do not touch) for 2 minutes, or until cooked – they will take the shape of the pan – then drain on paper towel.

Repeat with the remaining noodles.

To serve, top each vermicelli "plate" with slices of crisp duck breast and stir-fried greens. Scatter over the red salad onion.

Finish with a good squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of oyster sauce.

Cook’s note: You can use lemon juice instead of tamarind paste and treacle sugar instead of palm sugar. Shaohsing wine is also available from Asian stores, but if you can't find it, use a very dry sherry or Japanese sake.

TASTE Recipe by: TASTE
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