Cilantro Duck Recipe


Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)

  • 1 oven-ready duck
  • 2 tablespoons ground cilantro (coriander)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • � teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 tablespoons thick dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut (groundnut) or other vegetable oil
  • 6-8 shallots, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely ground
  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 or 5 pieces of sugar cane, each about 10 cm/4 inch long, lightly crushed, or 2 tablespoons palm or demerara sugar
  • 4 scallions (spring onions), sliced diagonally into 5 cm/2 inch lengths



Clean the duck thoroughly, making sure that the insides are free of blood and traces of offal. Wipe dry with kitchen paper, and rub all over with the ground cilantro, black pepper, cloves and soy sauce. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.


Heat the oil in a nonstick wok or pan (make sure that you have a lid at the ready), and fry the shallots for a few minutes until starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, and fry for a further minute until golden brown but not burnt.


Put the duck in the wok or pan, and fry, turning constantly, until every inch of skin has sizzled and browned. The reason for using a nonstick pan is obvious: the skin of the duck browns evenly without scorching.


When the duck is well sizzled, add just enough water (about 200 ml/scant 1 cup) for braising – you do not want the bird to be swimming in the water – and simmer for 1� hours or more. It is important, while the duck is simmering, to keep turning the bird and spooning gravy all over. Cover the pan occasionally – for about 10 minutes each time –  so that the compressed steam cooks the duck faster, and top up with a little more water if it is becoming too dry.


Add the chopped cilantro (coriander), salt and sugar cane or sugar about halfway through the cooking time, and the scallions 15 minutes before the end. When the sauce is thick and glossy, the duck should be done.


Serve whole, or cut into slices, and let diners cut and come again as they wish. Serve the gravy on the side with plain rice as an accompaniment.

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