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  • Recipe Room  »  Billy Kwong’s duck with citrus sauce



    • 1 × 1.5 kg free range duck
    • 2 tablespoons Sichuan pepper and salt
    • ¼ cup (35 g) plain flour, safflower or sunflower oil, for deep-frying

    Citrus sauce

    • 1 cup (250 ml) water
    • 1 cup (220 g) brown sugar
    • ¹⁄³ cup (80 ml) fish sauce
    • 6 star anise
    • 2 cinnamon quills
    • 1 orange, peeled and sliced crossways
    • juice of 3 limes

    Billy Kwong’s duck with citrus sauce

    For our signature dish, duck is marinated and steamed for tenderness, then dusted in flour and deep-fried for beautifully crispy and golden skin. Because the duck is very rich, we serve it with a wonderfully robust, intense sauce that can stand up to the meat’s strong, bold personality.

    We make a sweet, sour, salty and caramelly sauce from brown sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, with extra spicy depth from star anise and cinnamon. For a fresh finish, we add either oranges, mandarins or plums to the sauce, depending on the season.


    Rinse duck under cold water. Trim away excess fat from inside and outside the cavity, and trim off neck, parson’s nose and winglets. Pat dry and rub the skin all over with Sichuan pepper and salt. Cover duck and place in refrigerator to marinate overnight.

    Transfer duck to a large steamer basket. Place basket over a deep saucepan of boiling water and steam, covered securely, for approximately 1¼ hours, or until the duck is cooked through (to test, insert a small knife between leg and breast – the juices should run clear).

    Using tongs, gently remove duck from the steamer and place on a tray, breast-side up, to drain. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to refrigerator to cool further.

    Meanwhile, make the citrus sauce. Combine water and sugar in a small pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Add fish sauce and spices and simmer for a further minute. Stir through lime juice and orange, then remove pan from stove.

    Place cooled duck breast-side up on a chopping board and, using a large knife or meat cleaver, cut duck in half lengthways through breastbone and backbone. Carefully ease meat away from carcass, leaving thighs, legs and wings intact. Because the duck has been cooked through completely, the meat should come away from the bones very easily. Lightly toss duck halves in flour to coat, shaking off any excess.

    Heat oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Deep-fry duck halves one at a time, for about 3 minutes on each side, or until well-browned and crispy. Using tongs, carefully remove duck from oil and drain well on paper towel, then leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes while you gently reheat the citrus sauce.

    Finally, with a sharp knife, cut the duck into pieces and arrange on a serving platter. Spoon over hot citrus sauce and serve immediately.

    Submitted by
    Kylie Kwong

    Tips and Tricks

    • To use up lemons and limes, cut them up into slices and lay flat in a freezer bag. Freeze and keep to use in drinks and cocktails.

    • Cooked duck will last 3-4 days in the fridge. It should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking and kept in a shallow air tight container.

    • FoodWise recommends free-range and organic purchases where possible to ensure the highest possible standards of animal welfare.

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